Tuesday, December 31, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR: Family Friends and Followers

A New Year Blessing For You

Comfort on difficult days
smiles when sadness intrudes
laughter to kiss your lips
hugs when spirits sag
beauty for your eyes to see
friendships to brighten your being
faith so that you can believe
Love to complete your life


Thursday, December 26, 2013

New book - Michael Jackson * The Maestro – The Definitive A-Z

Finally Chris Cadman's New book, Michael Jackson -The Maestro is released. Chris is a well known respected author and historian on all things Michael in the MJ Community. He has written several very popular reference books on the life and works of Michael Jackson. Probably his most famous was  "For The Record" which was a number One best seller in 2009.  This time he has  written a definitive book about Michael called "The Maestro – The Definitive A-Z"  and the first volume has just been released . (Volume 1  A-J )  This is not tabloid, it is a very thoughtful, well researched, reference book about his life and his work as an artist.  I am certainly going to add this one to my collection.  ~ Qbee


From the moment he first stepped on stage at the age of five to his final rehearsals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Michael Jackson was a dynamic performer. During his 45 year career in entertainment, Jackson changed the face of popular music, amazed audiences worldwide and broke down barriers still felt today.

"Michael Jackson The Maestro – The Definitive A-Z ", the new book from the co-author of "Michael Jackson: For The Record", Chris Cadman takes the reader through the music that made the world dance and sing along, the TV performances that were household events, the tours that sold out venues across the world, and many moments that are remembered today. 

Included is information on Jackson's many recordings from the mid 1960s sessions at Steeltown Records to his last recordings, his performances, short films, film projects, and titbits on the producers, directors, songwriters, and many others who played a significant role in Jackson's career. 

Carefully researched over a span of 4 years, 'The Maestro' goes beyond the tabloid generated image and looks into the heart of one of the greatest artists of all time.

'The Maestro' brings you Michael Jackson's remarkable life through his music, his performances, his interviews, his achievements and his charity endeavours. Read about the significant people in his life and the many film offers that came his way that sadly never came to fruition. Plus discover his never ending devotion to children's charities and the less fortunate around the world.

This is Michael Jackson The Maestro - The Definitive A-Z: ( Volume 1 - A-J

'The Maestro' (Volume 1) is a detailed 860 pages celebrating the life and times of Michael Jackson from recordings to tours to interviews. It's all here. Everything you want to know.


"Michael Jackson The Maestro" is currently available to purchase from
Amazon.com  And for pre-order from Amazon UK. In the next few weeks it
will become available at Barnes & Noble and Authorsonline 

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Both sides have waived giving oral arguments. Now its just a waiting game for the court to make its decision.  I really don't think they will approve any appeal. Not in this court. Murray can then exhaust all effort by taking his appeal to the higher courts all the way up to United states Federal and supreme courts. The whole process can take years. ~ Qbee


Associated Press – Tue, Dec 17, 2013.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Attorneys handling an appeal by the former doctor convicted in the death of Michael Jackson have waived oral arguments in the case, court documents filed Tuesday show.

Defense lawyer Valerie Wass and Supervising Deputy Attorney General Victoria B. Wilson filed letters with the 2nd District Court of Appeal waiving the arguments in the case of Conrad Murray unless justices have specific questions.

The appeals court had set arguments for Jan. 9.

Wass said the decision was made because both sides felt they had filed extensive papers laying out their cases and the court doesn't want to hear repetitive arguments.

"The waiver is in large part due to the Court's generous permission allowing the parties to file briefs at double the word limit," Wilson wrote in a letter to the court.

Murray was convicted in 2011 of giving Jackson a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol. He was released in October after serving two years in jail.

Jackson died in June 2009 while preparing for a series of comeback concerts titled "This Is It."

Murray argues in his appeal that the trial judge excluded jurors from hearing key evidence and should have sequestered jurors in the high-profile case.

The attorney general's office has said the issues cited by Murray's lawyers were not errors and are not a basis for a new trial.

AP/Yahoo News

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Michael Jackson Backup singer Dorian Holley: Being Onstage with MJ Was a Ride in a Whirlwind

Dorian Holley one of Michael Jackson's backup singer explains what is was like to perform on stage with Michael. Dorian was blessed to go on many tours with MJ, including being chosen once again, for The "This Is It" Concerts that were cancelled due to Michael's passing. ~ Qbee

Dorian Holley, Michael Jackson, Sheryl Crow & Darryl Phinnessee

Recently a young man asked me what it was like to share the stage with MJ.

Being onstage with mj was a ride in a whirlwind. The entire band, singers and dancers accepted the challenge of bringin it in the same way Michael brought it. We weren’t stopping till the train pulled all the way into the station.

Michael hit it hard, so hard, too hard! Every single night out he would hammer down the show like he was trying to bust up a mountain. It was always: "This is my last show." Most of us say it, but that's the way he did it. He danced hard. He sang hard. He always struck me like an artist just getting in the business and trying to make a name for himself; like he had something to prove.

We tried to slay it as well. We rode Tyrannosaurus Rex into the mouth of a volcano. We surfed the lava, the board melting under our feet.

 Whatever MJ did we followed him. If he stopped, we hit the brakes. If he kept going, we fired it off. All the way up. All the way down. Talk about a high. Woooo.

 After each show it felt like I’d ridden a comet to the moon. Can't even describe it to you. My first world tour. MJ's first solo tour. We were out to conquer the universe.

Dorian Holly Facebook https://www.facebook.com/dorian.holley

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

MICHAEL * Chosen As Best POP Album Cover

According to COMPLEX Art + Design, the MICHAEL Album Cover is the Best POP cover in that last five years. It's So Nice seeing Michael # 1 on just about everything related to him even 5 years after his passing. I love to see positive articles like this. ~ Qbee

The Best POP Album Covers of the Last 5 Years


Pop, derived from the word "popular," is a genre that's continually hard to define. Pop music shifts constantly, but over time, it has been known to include catchy melodies and hooks, repeated choruses, and widespread appeal. Today, pop music borders on a lot of rap and dance music, but at its core, the aforementioned qualities define it.

Picking a list of The 50 Best Pop Album Covers of the Past Five Years is hardly an easy task, but it's one that reveals a lot about how these album covers work. Especially in the context of recent pop releases—Katy Perry's Prism, Lady Gaga's ARTPOP, Sky Ferreira's Night Time, My Time, and M.I.A.'s Matangi—one realizes the tendency for pop covers to be direct facial portraits, sometimes without much more styling or design.

When it comes to more indie releases, the imaging naturally gets more experimental. Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion is an abstract optical illusion, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs photographed a fist crushing an egg for It's Blitz, and three versions of Santigold pose in front of a painting of herself for Master of My Make Believe.

This list includes pop albums that came out between November 8, 2008 and today. Enjoy this visual tour of pop music, and its best covers, from the last five years.

Click here to start the count down

1. Michael Jackson, Michael

Release date: Dec. 10, 2010
Cover art: Kadir Nelson
Art direction: Christina Rodriguez, Sheri Lee
Labels: Epic, MJJ

The first release of new Michael Jackson music after his death in 2009, Michael features a brilliant, multifaceted painting by renowned author, illustrator, and painter Kadir Nelson. Nelson, who has painted the likes of Marvin Gaye and later the album cover for Drake's Nothing Was the Same,here created something that at first glance looks like a collage of highlights from Jackson's career. Upon closer inspection, it becomes clear this is an intricate painting meant to represent the ups, downs, and struggles of one of the greatest pop artists in history (of which there were many). We get Michael and all his most important moments: Michael preening for Off The Wall, the tabloid cover from a Weekly World issue, and the cherubs crowning him—one black, one white. Bubbles fills the bottom left of the picture, a reference to Jackson's pet chimp—the nods to MJ's life are numerous.

It's as much a puzzle for fans to unravel as it is a retrospective of one incredible man's incredible life. Nelson's ability to surmise and synergize Jackson's struggles is phenomenal. At one point this artwork was erected in Middlesex, England as a 29,000-square-foot mural, making it the largest poster in the history of the world. Jackson was always larger than life. —Dale Eisinger

Source COMPLEX Art + Design http://www.complex.com/art-design

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

In The Studio With MJ - Orlando Jan 25th With Special Guest Matt Forger

Four studio albums.  Countless sessions.  Video mixes.  Dance mixes.  Three world tours.  A ranch called “Neverland.”  This was Brad Sundberg’s life and career for nearly 18 years, working closely with the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson.  This is your chance to hear of the music, the stories behind the music, and what it was like to be a part of Michael’s team.  This is a one-of-a-kind music, photo and video-filled seminar.

Special Guest Matt Forger will be joining Brad for this amazing event.  Matt brings a wealth of knowledge as he was there for Thriller and he completely recorded and mixed Captain EO!  Brad and Matt have been friends for many years, and Matt has agreed share his stories and insights, particularly on the Captain EO project.

Brad had the opportunity to work closely in the studio and at Neverland Valley Ranch with Michael Jackson.  He was Michael’s technical director and one of the engineers on four studio albums including “Bad”, “Dangerous”, “HIStory”, and “Blood On The Dancefloor.”  (Michael even gave Brad the nickname “Really, Really Brad”.)  These mammoth projects (including production, tour-prep and countless remixes) took upwards of 16 months each. 

You will see and hear what it was like to be in the studio with Michael and the team of engineers and producers who created these songs, through a carefully crafted timeline of music, video and behind-the-scenes info.  From “Captain Eo” to “Man In The Mirror” to “Smile”, Brad was there, and you will hear about the production process.

If you are a fan of Michael’s music, or are curious about how those albums were recorded and the staggering amount of tapes, tracks and time invested, you will want to attend “In The Studio With MJ.”

Brad and Matt, together in a seminar for the first time ever.  No script, no second-hand stories – these guys were there, and they are very excited to share their stories, music and home-videos.  You do not want to miss this!

There are a limited number of tickets available, and the seminar will include a catered dinner with Brad and Matt.  This will include one of Michael’s favorite “Family Friday Dinners”, and give you extra time to ask questions and hear a bit more about their time working together. 

Details:  The event will be offered on January 25, 2014, at 12:00 PM. There are a limited number of tickets available, and the seminar will include a catered dinner with Brad and Matt.  This will include one of Michael's favorite "Family Friday Dinners", and give you extra time to ask questions and hear a bit more about their time working together. 

Check out In The Studio With MJ Facebook page: 

More information and Tickets

California Court schedules oral arguments for Conrad Murray to Appeal his conviction.

This should be good. Cant wait to see him turned down. No court is going to overturn or allow a retrial of that conviction. ~ Qbee

LOS ANGELES — A California court has scheduled arguments next month for Michael Jackson's doctor to appeal his involuntary manslaughter conviction.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles set arguments in the case for Jan. 9.

An appeals court in Los Angeles announced Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, that it has scheduled oral arguments on Murray's appeal of his involuntary manslaughter conviction for the morning of Jan. 9, 2014.

Former cardiologist Conrad Murray is appealing his 2011 conviction on various grounds. He says a judge excluded jurors from hearing key evidence and should have sequestered jurors on the high-profile case.

The attorney general's office has said the issues cited by Murray's lawyers were not errors and are not a basis to give him a new trial.

Murray was convicted of causing Jackson's death by giving the singer an overdose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009.

Murray was released in October after serving nearly two years in jail.


Sunday, December 08, 2013

Michael Jackson’s “A Place With No Name” – The Story Behind The Song

This is a wonderful article  By Damien Shields  about the origin and evolution of the recently leaked Michael Jackson song " A Place With No Name"  I'm so in love with this song and it's nice to hear how it all came about.  I cant wait for it's proper release ~ Qbee 

Michael Jackson’s “A Place With No Name” – 
The Story Behind The Song
by DAMIEN SHIELDS posted on DECEMBER 6, 2013

On July 16, 2009, just three weeks after his tragic passing, a portion of an unreleased Michael Jackson song leaked online. Celebrity gossip website TMZ posted a twenty-four second snippet of the track, called “A Place With No Name”. For the past four-and-a-half years the twenty-four second snippet is all that Michael Jackson fans have had access to. That is, until now.

A few days ago, on December 3, 2013, the full-length version of the song, which is essentially a lyrically re-written cover of the 1972 hit “A Horse With No Name” by the band America, appeared online to the delight of Jackson enthusiasts around the world. With the leak of the track came questions about its origins – some of which could be answered by reading previously published interviews with those who worked on the track, and others which remained unanswered. This article aims to put all the pieces of the puzzle in one place to tell the complete story behind the song.

“A Place With No Name” was first conceived in 1998 by Elliot Straite, a talented singer, songwriter, and music producer who goes by the name “Dr. Freeze”. Record executive John McClain, who was managing Michael Jackson at the time (and is now coincidentally a co-executor of The Michael Jackson Estate) gave Freeze the opportunity of a lifetime – to collaborate with the King of Pop.

“I knew his manager, John McClain, and I was working on an album with my partners, Spydermann,” recalls Freeze. “After completing the album, it did not go as planned and we had to cancel the project. I was very upset. And then John McClain said, ‘Do not worry Freeze. I have another project for you. You’ll be in business with Michael.’ I said, ‘Michael who?’ And he said, ‘Michael Jackson!’”

“I did not believe it at first and I thought it was crazy. And then one day I was on the phone with my father and someone called me on the other line… It was Michael! That’s how it all began… That’s how we met.”

READ MORE > http://www.damienshields.com/michael-jacksons-a-place-with-no-name-the-story-behind-the-song/

Saturday, December 07, 2013

The World's ACTUAL Highest-Paid Musician 2013 Is Michael Jackson

Looks like everyone else can Beat it ~ Qbee

The World's Actual Highest-Paid Musician Is... Deceased Michael Jackson

Remember this as you sort through Forbes' ever-fascinating list of Musicians Who Still Make Lots of Money: It's limited to living artists only. Quite sensibly, sure, but the scrilla scared up by your Madges and Gagas and Bruce's and Jovis, Bon does still pale -- well, not quite pale, but doesn't nearly match up with that earned by the True King of Pop, His Immortal Greatness, Michael Jackson.

Madonna topped out at $125 million.
Next on the list, Gaga raked in $80 mill.
Diddy (No. 12) scraped together $50 million shilling shitty clear liquor.

But MJ? Whoo-boy...

$160 million is the late pop star's estate's gross income for 2013, as reported by Forbes.

And on a list that reads like a battle of old names against newer ones -- Bieber vs. Bruce, Taylor vs. Toby Keith, Coldplay and Queen Bey -- consider it the ultimate triumph of the past and the King of Pop, that a dead Michael Jackson still beats a living everyone else... by exactly $35 million.

Story By Ian S. Port Mon., Dec. 2 2013 - Categories: The Music (Sigh) Industry
Source: http://blogs.sfweekly.com

Friday, December 06, 2013

THE IMMORTAL World Tour, Ninth Top Grossing Music Tour Of All Time, Returns To North America In 2014

Exclusive Presale Window Starts December 9

General On Sale Begins December 13

The Estate of Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil announced today that Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour, which currently ranks as the 9th top grossing tour of all time according to Billboard, will return to North America in 2014.

The 2014 North American tour will kick off in February.

Starting December 9, subscribers to the MichaelJackson.com newsletter will have exclusive access to purchase presale tickets through MichaelJackson.com 

Starting December 13 at 10am, tickets will go on sale to the public for the cities and dates listed below. Additional cities and dates will be announced in the coming weeks so check back for cities and dates in your neighborhood:

For further details and ticket information, please visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/michaeljackson.

February 28 – March 1 Worcester, MA – DCU Center*
March 5 – 6     Amherst, MA – Mullins Center*
March 10 – 11 Rochester, NY – Blue Cross Arena
March 18 – 19 Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Arena
March 21 – 22 Fairfax, VA – Patriot Center
March 25 – 26 Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Arena
March 28 – 29 Trenton, NJ – Sun National Bank Center

*Tickets for Worcester and Amherst will be available for pre sale on December 16 and on-sale to the general public on December 20.

Since its world premiere in Montreal in October 2011, this electrifying production has thrilled audiences across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, performing over 400 shows in 26 countries. Over 3 million people have experienced the show, setting records at a number of venues where it has played. THE IMMORTAL World Tour was awarded Billboard’s prestigious Creative Content Award in 2012 and was named a finalist for Billboard’s Top Tour Award in 2013.

Created by Cirque du Soleil and directed by Jamie King, THE IMMORTAL World Tour features 49 international dancers, musicians, and acrobats, presented in a rock concert format that combines the excitement and innovation of Michael Jackson’s music and choreography with Cirque du Soleil’s unparalleled creativity.


Social Media
Twitter: @MichaelJackson – Hashtag: #mjIMMORTAL
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michaeljackson

Thursday, December 05, 2013

The Michael Jackson Estate Mourns Nelson Mandela

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God - Matthew 5:9 

My heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to Mr Mandela's family and all those around the world who were deeply inspired and moved by his courage and generosity. The world has lost another great man of love and peace. I'm deeply saddened - RIP Nelson Mandela

~ Qbee

Statement From The Estate Of Michael Jackson About The Passing Of Nelson Mandela

Michael Jackson was proud to call Nelson Mandela his friend. Like millions of admirers around the world Michael drew inspiration from President Mandela’s courage, his fight for human dignity and his commitment to peace. During his visits to South Africa Michael met often with President Mandela, who described Michael as “a close member of our family.” Our hearts go out to President Mandela’s family and to his beloved South Africans as they mourn their incalculable loss.

- John Branca and John McClain, Co-Executors The Estate of Michael Jackson

Source: MJOnline
The Official Online Team of The Michael Jackson Estate™

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' How One Album Changed the World

This is a Great article from Steve Greenberg, published on Billboard last year to celebrate the 30 anniversary of Thriller. This is a MUST read for all musical buffs, historians and especially each new generation of MJ fans. Less anyone forgets the impact Thriller had on the success of the whole musical industry. Thriller's was also very significant in breaking down racial and other barriers in the music industry and society that was prevalent at the time it was released. No other Album has ever had such a impact. ~ Qbee

Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' 
How One Album Changed the World

"Thriller" conquered racial divides and evolving platforms at MTV, radio

When executives of CBS Records went about the business of preparing for the November 30 release of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" in the fall of 1982, they knew they had on their hands a terrific album by one of the biggest superstars in the music industry. But they were also a bit concerned, since the timing of Jackson's follow-up to his mega-selling 1979 album "Off The Wall" could not have seemed worse.

For starters, the record industry as a whole was in a bad slump, with shipments industry-wide down by 50 million units between 1980 and 1982. CBS Records' own profits were down 50% and sales were down over 15% for the year. As a result, major company-wide layoffs occurred in mid-August, on a day the company would remember as "Black Friday." CBS desperately needed Jackson's album to be a hit, but market conditions appeared daunting. ....

Know your MJ history ...

Read more at http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns

Looks like we can expect another Great Thriller Article from Steve Greenberg in the near future :)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Cease And Desist Letter sent to Conrad Murray From Michael Jackson Estate 11/26/2013

In Lieu  of the recent TV and Tabloid interviews from Conrad Murray, the Doctor (I use that term loosely) responsible for Michael Jackson's death. The Michael Jackson Estate has issued a legal Cease and Desist order, sent to Murray through his attorney Valerie Wass, warning him to shut his trap and quit breaching the Physician patient privilege laws.  I commend the Estate for this action and I fully expect they will follow through if Murray continues with his unethical behavior. ~ Qbee

Click + below to enlarge or the link below to view on scribd
Link >  Letter to Conrad Murray 11.26.2013 by Mickie Qbee

Friday, November 22, 2013

Michael Jackson’s 1989 Vanity Fair Cover voted the Best in magazines 100 yr History

How exciting is this. 2 articles in Vanity Fair  to make the announcement. Michael Jackson fans are a force to be reckoned with. ~ Qbee

Michael Jackson’s  1989 Vanity Fair Cover
 Voted the Best in magazines 100 yr History

VANITY FAIR - Growing Up Jackson
 by Alyssa Bereznak

The votes are in and our dear readers have deemed Michael Jackson’s 1989 Vanity Fair appearance, photographed by Annie Leibovitz, the best cover in the history of the magazine.

Considering the King of Pop’s competition—hundreds of Hollywood stars, heartthrobs galore, and gorgeous Art Deco illustrations from another era—we’d say a celebration is in order.

As a thank-you to all the Jackson fans who voted, we’ve put together a collection of moments in the rising star’s career that led up to that legendary cover.

Click below to see the performer rise from 12-year-old musical prodigy to unstoppable stage presence. !

Michael Jackson Voted Best Vanity Fair Cover Star of All Time

 Vanity Fair
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
Michael Jackson on 1989 Vanity Fair cover.

After months of voting, readers have selected their favorite Vanity Fair cover of all time: our December 1989 issue featuring Michael Jackson, shot by contributing photographer Annie Leibovitz.

The King of Pop faced some stiff competition. The winning issue was up against covers from over a century, ranging from portraits of classic Hollywood icons, Jazz Age illustrations, heartthrobs, and such pop queens as Lady Gaga. Robert Pattinson’s Cajun-inspired April 2011 cover came in at second place, bolstered by a zealous group of dedicated Twihards.

Other popular covers included Kristen Stewart in couture on our July 2012 issue, a sultry Marilyn Monroe on our October 2008 cover, David Duchovny’s June 1998 cover, and Audrey Hepburn’s May 2013 issue.

To honor our winner, we’ve put together a
slide show of important moments in Jackson’s career that led up to our 1989 cover. So c’mon, jam on it.


Friday, November 08, 2013

The Inside Story of the Success of MJ's Touring Business and New Music

A very Interesting article from Billboard with an interview of John Branca discussion ongoing projects and possible new projects on the horizon to continue Michael Jackson's Musical Legacy. It's  nice to hear how well the Estate projects are coming along and finally hear some new information about future projects from the Estate ~ Qbee

The inside story of why MJ's touring business is now bigger than ever
The Billboard cover story

In the fall of 1987, not long after the release of his blockbuster album Bad, Michael Jackson and his longtime lawyer/adviser John Branca piled into a van to see the Los Angeles debut of Cirque du Soleil at the Santa Monica Pier.

They took a van, with Branca driving, despite the fact that Jackson had gifted Branca with a Rolls-Royce, and their journey was briefly stalled after Branca headed in the wrong direction on the congested Interstate 405. But the pair eventually made it to the show. Cirque du Soleil was 3 years old at the time, and true to its inspiration in the circus, was housed in a tent on this visit to Los Angeles. Jackson could hardly contain his excitement to watch the Quebec troupe perform, Branca recalls.

"After the show, Michael said to me, 'Branca, we have to go backstage and meet the cast,'" he says. "I couldn't tell who was more excited, the cast to meet Michael or Michael to meet the cast. That's how enthusiastic he was."

Jackson's growing fascination with Cirque didn't end there. After attending many other performances by the troupe, known for its mesmerizing aerial acrobatics and otherworldly costumes, the King of Pop decided to visit the company's Montreal headquarters to get a firsthand look at its operations.

"I did the tour with him," Cirque president/CEO Daniel Lamarre remembers. "As you can imagine, all our employees were thrilled to have him in our studio, and he was thrilled to be here. He spent a lot of time in our creative studio and our costume workshop. It was a great day."

At the time, Jackson was still filling arenas and stadiums around the world. Neither the pop icon nor Cirque could have fathomed that an arena trek blending hits like "Billie Jean" and "Thriller" with stunning visuals and the theatrical touch of Cirque would one day rank among the top 10 highest-grossing tours in history.

But indeed it has, proving that even in death, Michael Jackson remains one of the most lucrative musical brands in today's live entertainment business.

CONCEIVED THROUGH AN equal revenue-sharing partnership between the Jackson estate and Cirque du Soleil, "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour" recently became the No. 9 top-grossing tour of all time, earning $325.1 million from 407 shows that drew 2,985,324 concert-goers, according to Billboard Boxscore. Tickets prices ranged between $50 and $250.

"Immortal" also ranked fourth among Billboard's top 25 highest-grossing tours of 2012 and took home the Creative Content Award at the Billboard Touring Awards that same year. Although official rankings haven't yet been released, "Immortal" will rank among the highest-grossing tours of 2013 as well.

On the Boxscore chart, "Immortal" edges out the Rolling Stones' 1994-95 Voodoo Lounge tour (ranked No. 10, with $320 million in grosses) and trails Bruce Springsteen's 2012-13 Wrecking Ball tour (No. 8, $347 million). U2, the Stones and Roger Waters are the top three highest-grossing touring acts, respectively. Jackson is the only deceased artist among the top 10.
The Jackson estate's deal with Cirque also includes a permanent Las Vegas theater production, "Michael Jackson One," that debuted in May at a refurbished, 1,800-seat theater at Mandalay Bay, the former home of "The Lion King" and "Mamma Mia!" Since opening, "One" has been selling at about 93% occupancy from an average of 10 shows per week, according to Cirque.

"The 'One' and 'Immortal' shows represent a true Michael experience, the next best thing to seeing him live," says Branca, who now serves as co-executor of the Jackson estate with John McClain. "'Immortal' is akin to a rock concert experience with a live band in an arena, and 'One' is more of a theatrical show."

With a total development cost of about $145 million, "Immortal" and "One" are two separate and distinct productions built around Jackson's music. Both shows were written and directed by Jamie King, a dancer on Jackson's Dangerous world tour in the early '90s. The productions also feature several other musicians, choreographers and costume designers Jackson worked with during his career.

Despite the onstage absence of Jackson himself, King says the songs, images, spoken-word interludes and other visuals chosen for "Immortal" and "One" reflect the very best of the pop legend's life and musical career.
"I had the heavy responsibility of bringing Michael's spirit onto the stage, reflecting his creative sensibilities and projecting his unbelievable talent for his fans," says King, who has also directed arena tours by Madonna, Britney Spears and Rihanna. "Michael was never, ever missing during the development, rehearsals and launch of these two shows."

"Immortal" debuted at Montreal's Bell Centre in October 2011 and performed its 407th show at New Zealand's Vector Arena on Nov. 3. The trek will relaunch in December with a lengthy run in Dubai before returning to various-sized North American arenas in March 2014 (see story, right). Cirque is also in talks with international promoters about bringing "Immortal" to select overseas territories. So far, it has already visited 25 countries on four continents.

Lamarre believes the tour will continue to climb the Boxscore chart. "I wouldn't be surprised if by the end of the tour, whenever the end of the tour is, we ranked among the top five touring shows in the history of rock'n'roll," he says.

WHEN JACKSON DIED on June 25, 2009, from drug-related cardiac arrest at the age of 50, he was reportedly $500 million in debt from years of excessive spending. Though he still had high earning potential based on 50 sold-out shows for his "This Is It" residency at London's O2 Arena, Jackson has earned more money in death than when he was living. Billboard estimated that MJ Inc. generated at least $1 billion in revenue in the year following his death (Billboard, June 2010).

Last year the Jackson estate paid off the late singer's outstanding personal debt, thanks in part to a lucrative $250 million deal with Sony Music, profits from the concert film "Michael Jackson: This Is It," 50 million albums sold worldwide after his death, his half ownership of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, various licensing deals and the high-grossing Cirque shows.

"Sometimes, sadly, our great artists are appreciated more after they've passed away. Michael was a great artist and his legacy is enduring," Branca says. "But there was a lot of interest in Michael, and a lot of earning power, before he passed away, witnessed with 50 sold-out shows at the O2 Arena."

Overall earnings from the Jackson estate are divided among charity (20%), the singer's children (40%) and his mother, Katherine Jackson (40%). Jackson's three kids will receive Katherine's share upon her death. Generally, Branca and McClain receive a 10% commission rate of the estate's earnings.

But the co-executors had always planned on a live experience around Jackson's music. Cirque seemed like an ideal partner given the artist's past appreciation for the troupe. So in late 2009, the estate began discussions with Cirque about potential projects. "We had thought about several potential partners to create a show, and after careful deliberation we felt Cirque was the best potential partner," Branca says. "They're very creative and groundbreaking, much like Michael was. They're also perfectionists, like Michael was."Branca says the estate is constantly approached with ideas for Jackson-related projects, but he and McClain are very selective about new partnerships and licensing deals. "We don't want to over-license Michael, but we do license those products that we think are appropriate and fun," Branca says, citing a successful approval for a Jackson slot machine in Las Vegas. "We're careful."

Branca and McClain initially envisioned only a permanent show in Vegas based on Jackson's music, similar to Cirque's perennially sold-out "Beatles Love" concept at the Mirage Hotel, which began in 2006. But after lengthy talks, Lamarre and Cirque founder Guy Laliberte found that a permanent tech-heavy show would take years to create and that a global arena tour could be a lucrative endeavor in the meantime.

"In an ideal world, maybe we would've done both at the same time," Lamarre says. "But when doing a permanent show that will probably last forever in Las Vegas, you have to bring technology that is very complicated. We had to redo the theater at Mandalay Bay, which took almost two years. We couldn't resist the temptation of touring around the world."

Twenty months after the debut of "Immortal," the Jackson estate and Cirque, in partnership with MGM Resorts International, began previews of "One" on May 23. The show officially opened June 29. Cirque says it could sell more than 452,000 tickets from 270 performances by the end of 2013. (Numbers for "One" haven't been reported to Boxscore.)

Cirque and the estate each own 50% of "Immortal" and "One," and share equally in the cost of producing them. The estate receives royalties from the use of Jackson's music and other assets. Royalties also go to Sony for the use of his solo master recordings and to music publishers like Warner/Chappell (which administers Jackson's Mijac Music catalog) and Universal Music Publishing Group (which handles the catalog of songwriter Rod Temperton, who wrote hits like "Rock With You" and "Thriller").

Branca says the two-pronged Cirque deal plays "an important part of the earnings for the estate." But he wouldn't project where the shows rank among the estate's overall portfolio, in terms of revenue.

"These touring shows were created to generate long-term revenue," he says. "But the point of these shows is also to continue introducing Michael to new generations of fans. We're finding that not only existing Michael Jackson fans go to the shows, but also kids and new fans who come and become Michael fans."


BRANCA BELIEVED IT made sense to release an album in conjunction with the "Immortal" tour. So in November 2011, as part of its multimillion-dollar 10-album deal with the Jackson estate through 2017, Sony released the "Immortal" soundtrack on MJJ/Epic Records.

Aside from the soundtrack, there aren't plans to release other albums or DVDs in conjunction with "Immortal" or "One." However, Cirque and the Jackson estate are exploring the idea of releasing a mobile app that provides a look into the show experiences, Branca notes.The set features an alternative version of the Jackson 5 hit "ABC" and a series of mash-ups and remixes. The "Immortal" tour utilizes more than 60 songs from Jackson's catalog, but the album includes 15 tracks (the deluxe edition has 22). The soundtrack debuted at No. 24 on the Billboard 200 and has sold 202,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Other albums released under the Jackson estate-Sony deal include Michael Jackson's This Is It (2009), Michael (2010) and the Bad 25th-anniversary edition (2012), which included a concert DVD and documentary directed by Spike Lee. They have collectively sold 2.4 million copies. Also released under the agreement was the three-disc DVD set "Michael Jackson's Vision" in 2010, which has sold 133,000.

"Michael Jackson is without question the most successful artist in the history of Epic Records," Epic chairman/CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid says. "His name is synonymous with our label and we take great pride in the fact that Epic has been his musical home for nearly 40 years. From a musical, emotional and business perspective, continuing our relationship with the Michael Jackson estate is paramount. It is a true partnership committed to furthering his legacy for generations to come."

Rumors continue to circulate about possible new Jackson music-both Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen have said May has worked on tracks that Freddie Mercury and Jackson recorded in 1983-but neither Sony nor Branca would divulge any details about when fans might see the next album from the King of Pop.

"There's definitely music coming, but I can't reveal when we think it's coming," says Branca, who also declined to reveal whether any other Jackson-related projects are in the works beyond album releases. "Michael had a policy that we try to follow-not to talk about things until they're ready to be released. We like to keep things under wraps until we're ready to go with everything. We have ideas and things we're working on, but nothing that we're ready to announce."

This is an excerpt. For the complete story, buy this week's issue of Billboard.

Source:  Billboard.com

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Michael Jackson One: Enables a lucrative Empire and legacy.

Michael Jackson One: Piece Of A Postmortem Empire

“It’s me. It’s Michael.” Those words—spoken by the King of Pop’s disembodied voice—proclaim the beginning of One, the Las Vegas spectacle that’s the latest piece of Michael Jackson’s lucrative legacy.

Indeed, there’s plenty of Michael. As One unfurls, the hard-rocking riffs of “Beat It” blare out across the show’s permanent home at the 1,804-seat theater at Mandalay Bay as ersatz paparazzi, sporting oversized cameras and red trench-coats, zip-line overhead en route to the stage (the characters return throughout the show, a reminder of Jackson’s under-the-microscope life).

What follows is a 90-minute extravaganza that pairs some of Jackson’s most popular songs with Cirque du Soleil’s signature touches—acrobats performing feats in midair that would seem impossible even on the ground while contorting their bodies like human Gumby toys.

“The most important thing for the estate of a deceased performer is keeping his or her name or persona in front of the public,” says entertainment attorney Donald David, whose résumé includes representing the postmortem interests of late rapper Tupac Shakur. “They are no longer here to give performances or interviews … thus, the secret is to keep the deceased star in the public’s mind.”

With its posters plastered all over Las Vegas, One seems to be doing exactly that. The show should also play a major role in generating income for the estate in the coming years. How much, exactly, is difficult to pinpoint—data provider Pollstar doesn’t track the grosses of Vegas shows. (“Casinos frequently comp significant parts of the house to high-rollers and that distorts sales stats,” says Gary Bongiovanni, the outfit’s president and editor-in-chief.)

Even so, FORBES estimates that One is capable of grossing between $150,000 and $250,000 for a sold-out show; that figure doubles on nights with two performances. And when the show made its official Vegas debut this summer, it gave Jackson the remarkable ability to tour in two places at the same time.

The other half of Jackson’s postmortem performance empire  is the Michael Jackson Immortal world tour, also a joint venture between the estate and Cirque. The show has been crisscrossing the globe since late 2011 and recently topped the $300 million mark for gross tickets sales, winning the Creative Content honor at last year’s Billboard Touring Awards as well.

One and Immortal were conceived at the same time, the product of conversations between Jackson’s estate and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, who pushed to launch the traveling show first and follow with the Vegas show. He and Jackson estate co-executor John Branca tapped Jamie King, who got his start as a dancer on Jackson’s Dangerous tour, to write and direct both productions.

Unlike Immortal, however, One got its own permanent home in Vegas. That meant a chance for additional overhead daredevilry—acrobats moonwalking up the walls, for example—and opened the door for audiovisual extravagances including floor-to-ceiling video screens on either side of the stage and speakers in and around every single seat.

“There’s nothing better than being handed the keys to a brand-new Bentley, right?” says King. “This was a perfect opportunity for me to work with my design team and craft a show for a theater designed for this show.”

The “Stranger in Moscow” sequence toward the beginning of the show is among the best examples of this. A single acrobat climbs a silk rope and performs a lengthy series of twists and flips, his movements so effortless it seems he’s surrounded by water rather than air. Meanwhile, snowflakes improbably descend from the ceiling, seemingly evaporating before they hit the ground.

There are plenty of other jaw droppers: a “Thriller” sequence where performers in zombie costumes bounce back and forth between a trampoline on the ground and another 20 feet above it (or up to an even higher ledge); and later, to the tune of “Dirty Diana,” a dance routine where a lady in red gyrates up and down a 30-foot pole.

Though the storyline stringing the sequences together can be tenuous at times—the show follows four youngsters as they zip from scene to disparate scene, imbued with mystical powers from Jackson’s shoes, sunglasses, fedora and trademark white glove—the plot isn’t the point.

At its core, One is a flying, twisting, twirling rock concert. Each scene brings yet another feat of eye-popping physical prowess, another classic Jackson song, another set of oohs and ahhs from the crowd. Ultimately, that means more cash for his estate’s coffers. Says David: “I can virtually guarantee you that every guest [at One] is going to buy a Michael Jackson album at the very least.”

Having a permanent theater also enables the inclusion of the show’s most crucial performer: Michael Jackson. More accurately, a hologram-like illusion that looks and moves like the King of Pop appears and performs “Man In The Mirror” right there with the rest of the show’s dancers toward the end of the show.

“The cool thing is that kids who didn’t grow up with Michael are now discovering his genius and legacy … his spirit is with us,” says King. “And his music will live forever.”

It seems his hefty earnings will, too.

Source: Zack O'Malley Greenburg, Forbes Staff

Quincy Jones Sues Michael Jackson's Estate

Seems Quincy is upset he wasn't included in the production credits for 'This Is IT'  and thinks he should  have had first right to remix or edit the songs for the Cirque du Soleil shows.  This should be an interesting law suite, as if they don't  have enough on their plate already. Eta:  Gradstein & Marzano (the same firm representing Wade Robson) are representing Quincy. :( ~ Qbee

Quincy Jones Sues Michael Jackson's Estate
LOS ANGELES October 26, 2013 (AP)

Quincy Jones sued Michael Jackson's estate on Friday claiming he is owed millions in royalties and production fees on some of the superstar's greatest hits.

Jones' lawsuit seeks at least $10 million from the singer's estate and Sony Music Entertainment, claiming the entities improperly re-edited songs to deprive him of royalties and production fees. The music has been used in the film "This Is It" and a pair of Cirque du Soleil shows based on the King of Pop's songs, the lawsuit states.

Jones also claims that he should have received a producer's credit on the music in "This Is It." His lawsuit seeks an accounting of the estate's profits from the works so that Jones can determine how much he is owed.

The producer worked with Jackson on three of his most popular solo albums, "Off the Wall," ''Thriller" and "Bad."

Jackson's estate wrote in a statement that it was saddened by Jones' lawsuit. "To the best of its knowledge, Mr. Jones has been appropriately compensated over approximately 35 years for his work with Michael," the statement said.

An after-hours message left at Sony Music's New York offices was not immediately returned.
Jackson's hits "Billie Jean," ''Thriller" and "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" are among the songs Jones claims were re-edited to deprive him of royalties and his producer's fee.

Jones' lawsuit states the producer's contracts called for him to have the first opportunity to re-edit or alter the songs, in part to protect his reputation.

Source: ANTHONY McCARTNEY AP Entertainment Writer
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

Friday, October 25, 2013

Michael Jackson Fans Unite-Tired of Injustice: No Profit for Conrad Murray

Boycott Conrad Murray Campaign 

Michael Jackson Fans Unite-Tired of Injustice: No Profit for Conrad Murray

We are a group of very concerned Michael Jackson fans. We are uniting out of our respect for Michael Jackson and his legacy.  He was a global superstar and while he should be remembered for his artistry, he should also be remembered for his humanitarianism.  Of equal importance was his love for his own children and his loyal fans.  These are the things an individual like Michael Jackson should be remembered for... not the tragic manner in which he was taken from us.

The man responsible for taking Michael away from his children, family, and fans, Conrad Murray is scheduled to be released from jail in a matter of days. Murray is now a convicted felon, who was put in handcuffs and taken to jail moments after his manslaughter conviction. Michael Jackson’s fans from all over the globe are steadfast in our belief that Conrad Murray should not be allowed to profit from his criminal negligence, which resulted in the death of another human being. A human being beloved by millions all over the world.

We are reaching out to all media outlets, broadcasters, public relations organizations, and publishers, in an attempt to encourage them not to give Murray a platform to profit or exploit the life and/or death of Michael Jackson. Murray has shown absolutely no remorse for his crime and accepts no responsibility for his egregious actions and negligence. Instead, he continues to re-victimize Michael Jackson and his children. Murray continues through his agents and through jail house interviews to shift the blame post-conviction to his victim. In a reckless and thoughtless act, Murray released a taped message to Michael’s daughter, Paris. In this act he has demonstrated his selfishness and heartlessness towards the very child he left orphaned by his criminality.

We are determined to hold any organizations accountable for any/and all partnerships with Murray. If necessary, we will reach out to advertisers, sponsors and community organizations, to prevent Murray from profiting. Murray should not be given any platforms to spread 'his truth' especially since he refused to tell 'his truth' under oath. Our fight for justice for a just man such as Michael knows no limits. We believe that all media outlets should respect the fact that Michael Jackson is no longer here to defend himself against any allegations, and let this man, who millions love and continue to mourn, finally rest in peace.

The undersigned groups have pledged their support to this cause:








Attention: If you are an admin of an MJ fan group or blog and would like to join the Boycott Conrad Murray Campaign, please email us your logo to: boycottcm@gmail.com and include a link to your site or blog.

Twitter: @BoycottCM

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

An Inside Look at the "Michael Jackson One" Cirque Du Soleil Show

This is one of the best Interviews of Jaime King by Wall Street Journal's , Lee Hawkins. He really asked some great in depth  questions which brings us lots of details  about Jaime's role, the Michael Jackson One show and those who make it all possible. I really enjoyed this Interview. ~ Qbee

An Inside Look at the "Michael Jackson One" Cirque Du Soleil Show

Jamie King, writer/director of the "Michael Jackson One" Cirque Du Soleil  show and former MJ backup dancer, talks to the WSJ's Lee Hawkins about the challenge of doing a show that lives up to Jackson's high standards and his working relationship with John Branca, chairman of The Michael Jackson Co. and co-executor of Jackson's estate. According to the estate, Jackson has sold more than 50 million records since his death, and 70 percent of his sales come from outside the United States. King also discusses "Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour," which he also wrote and directed.

Published on Oct 22, 2013  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1ngBGH2uVo

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Thai Puppeteers Bring Michael Jackson's Iconic 'Billie Jean' performance to life.

The art of puppetry has resurrected the King of Pop, Michael Jackson with the unprecedented manipulating technique and the innovative puppet mechanism to emulate the immortal gestures and styles of the King of Pop known and loved around the world.

A free performance of traditional Thai arts dazzled an audience in Washington D.C. last week as the Royal Thai Embassy hosted the “Thai Classical Dance (Khon) and Puppet Show”, performed by the Fine Arts Department of the Ministry of Culture of Thailand and the Joe Louis Theatre in Bangkok, at the Warner Theater.

The September 30 show was part of celebrations marking the 180th anniversary of official relations between Thailand and the United States. The event was attended by almost 1,700 people, including invited guests from high-level U.S. governmental and private sectors, diplomatic corps as well as Thai and American general public.

Asian puppeteers bring the King of Pop's most iconic performance to life.

The performance was the last performed before the closing act featuring all the dancers and puppeteers, during a colorful night of Thai classical dance (Khon) and Thai puppetry at Asia Society in New York, presented in conjunction with the Royal Thai Embassy. The puppeteers are artists from the Joe Louis Theatre in Bangkok.

While a huge contrast to the traditional dancers and puppets that were featured, this shows a great appreciation for Michael Jackson's art and how he inspires all cultures with his music and dance. At the end of the last performance as all performers take their bows, you can see Michael's puppet (true to form) waving and throwing kisses to the audience.

 Watch the complete program (1 hr., 54 min.) 


Source http://asiasociety.org  http://www.visetkaew.com

Monday, September 30, 2013

Quincy Jones, Bruce Swedien & Rod Temperton Discuss Working with Michael Jackson

On September 24th, 2013 at the Dubai Music week festival, fans of Michael Jackson had the opportunity to hear from the multi-Grammy winning Dream team behind the King of Pop’s record-breaking albums, Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad. Speakers included Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton, (via Skype) and Bruce Swedien, discussing the experience of working with Michael Jackson as well as producing  the greatest selling album of all time. Yet again another example of how Michael's legacy is being positively promoted to the masses. Here is one article about the event.  I'm hoping we get more details of  this discussion soon ~ Qbee

left to right, moderator Ben Fong-Torres, producer Quincy Jones and assistant
producer Bruce Swedien at the Dream Team panel discussion at Dubai Music Week.

Quincy met Michael in 1978:

“I was working on the soundtrack to Sidney Lumet’s film The Wiz,” the producer Quincy Jones recalled. “Michael was there and he said: ‘I got a deal to record a solo album, will you help me find a producer?’ I told him: ‘Michael, I don’t know what you are talking about because I only have one song for this film. I have to work on this first.’”

While recording the soundtrack, Jones first experienced Jackson’s trademark determination; the then 20-year-old Jackson memorising all the soundtrack’s lyrics and associated dance steps.

“I knew we had to work together,” Jones said. “The record label said no to us working together because they said ‘Quincy was too jazzy’. We went on to record Off the Wall and that became the highest-selling black record of all time at that period.”

Rod Temperton On Jackson’s singing style:

“He always sat on top of the beat and really pushed it along and gave it a lot of melody,” described the British songwriter Rod Temperton, responsible for penning classic tunes including Rock with You, Off the Wall and Thriller.

 “Writing for him, I knew he loved songs with a strong melody with a lot of short notes in it. The other thing I noticed about Michael is that he loved a lot of vocal harmonies on the song, so that was something I included. I always tried to make the words melt into the melody.”

Bruce Swedien On Acusonic Recording:

“Some people thought that it was an actual device and one guy from Japan wanted to buy it,” said the assistant producer Bruce Swedien about the famed Acusonic Recording Process used to record the albums. “It actually means accurate sonic recording, which is what Quincy and I do all the time.”

Swedien says he incorporated a lot of sonic techniques to give the three albums a cutting-edge feel: “Sometimes I would have Michael sing close to the mic and double [track] it and then tell him to move back further and the third time even further. What that does is create a sonic energy with the sound and then you can stagger it, making the sounds come from the left [speaker], the right and the middle. When it all combines together on the record, it just sounds magical.”

Thriller was called Starlight:

The aim with Thriller was to be Jackson’s “mature” album: “The transition from Off the Wall to Thriller was to say that he has moved from being a youth to man,” Jones said.

This explained the adult themes in the lyrics and the more aggressive sounds. After completing the melodies, it took a while for Temperton to come up with the appropriate the lyrics to match the song’s drama. 

“I never write lyrics until the very end,” Temperton said. “So Thriller was actually called Starlight and that was just some rubbish word I put down to demonstrate to Michael how the melody went. Then during breakfast the next morning, the word shot into my head. It was like electricity and immediately I started thinking of the lyrics. That’s how Thriller came to be.”

Michael the songwriter:

When it came to the last of their collaborations, Bad, Jones pushed Jackson to take the songwriting reigns. “He wrote two and half [songs] in Off the Wall, four in Thriller. And when it came to Bad, I told him it’s time to go against all the publicity and walk into the eye of the fire and tell the truth about everything.

“He eventually wrote nine songs for Bad. The album had five No 1 records.”

Jackson’s legacy:

“There was no one like him,” Jones said. “He focused on everything he did and he would never give up. I have never seen anyone like him.” Temperton believes Jackson’s personality was largely responsible for the magic on the albums. 

“All the inspiration was driven by Michael,” said Temperton. “He was a very quiet man off the stage but once that tape rolls, you realise no one has that electric energy that he had.”

Dubai Music Week offered something for all: from the concerts to the panel discussions curated by the leading music industry body Midem. While casual music fans enjoyed the concert action, the event was home to important discussions about the creative and business side of the regional music industry.

Dubai Music Week continues through Sunday Set 30th

Source: http://www.thenational.ae