Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Official announcement: First Single from Michael Jackson's Xscape album premieres May 1st

Here is the announcement of the first single and it's premiere date, from Michael Jackson's  Xscape Album , which will be released in the USA May 13th  2014.
 'Love never felt So good'  has been getting rave reviews from the media and fans who have heard it at the official listening sessions, around the world.  I have also heard it in the L.A.  listening session and I think its a great choice for the first single. ~ Qbee

Get ready for the premiere of the first ‪#‎MJXSCAPE‬ single,

“Love Never Felt So Good” on Thursday!! More details to follow.......

Michael Jackson. Facebook

Friday, April 25, 2014

Sony Offers Free Downloads of Michael Jackson’s Xscape in Hi-Res Audio Format.

Sony Offers Free Downloads of Michael Jackson’s Xscape for Hi-Res Audio

Michael Jackson's new album XSCAPE will be released worldwide on May 13. Sony Mobile customers of select new devices, including Xperia Z2, Xperia Z2 tablet and Xperia M2, will be able to download the new album for free on day of digital release through the Xperia Lounge app.

Sony Mobile customers will get to enjoy the album free of charge on select new devices including the Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z1S.

Oh whoop-de-doo, a pristine rendering of a recently-uncovered work in an inferior audio quality.

But ... Sony just announced last week that it would also offer a free download of Xscape—this one in an HRA format—for buyers of Sony hi-res audio products.

Sony announced today a slew of new hi-res products and plans to use the Xscape giveaway in a big promotion for the line. Sony plans a big push around this promotion, so dealers as well should prepare to use the hype to lure music-loving customers to the  hi-res audio world.

Read more:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

CONTEST: Win the Ultimate Michael Jackson Get Away in Vegas

The Estate of Michael Jackson and Sony Music are very excited to announce the launch of a contest today providing two lucky winners (and a guest) the opportunity for the ultimate Michael Jackson weekend in Las Vegas. The contest is open to fans in many countries worldwide, but not all. Due to local legal restrictions, residents in certain territories are not eligible to participate in the sweepstakes. However, all fans worldwide are welcome and encouraged to create a video and participate in the contest for fun, even if they are not a resident of a country in which they are eligible to win.

Please visit for contest details and eligibility.

How To Enter
Entry deadline is May 4, 2014

1. Upload a video to Instagram about why you deserve this Michael Jackson Vegas weekend
2. Use hashtag  #XscapeToVegas in video description
3. Share your video

Friends And Family To Celebrate Life Of Drummer Ricky Lawson

Ricky lawson, drummer of  Michael Jackson,  who past away this past December will be honored in Detroit, his home town, by family, friends and fans. Although he was best known for drumming, Ricky was a Grammy Award winning composer and one of the most respected songwriters, producers and arrangers in the industry. Like Michael he was a gentle soul known to be a very kind and generous person beyond his awesome talent.  Below is an article from Detroit Freep with more details.  ~ Qbee

Friends and Family To Celebrate Life Of Drummer Ricky Lawson

He was the globe-hopping drummer who played with everyone from Michael Jackson to Paul McCartney.

Now Ricky Lawson’s hometown will get a chance to pay its respects.

Lawson, who died in Los Angeles just before Christmas, was one of Detroit’s most renowned and respected session musicians. The 59-year-old drummer and Cooley High grad had a sprawling, glowing résumé that included his early-’80s stint with the Yellowjackets, a pair of world tours with Michael Jackson, and an eclectic array of studio work with artists such as Steely Dan, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart and, more recently, Béyoncé and Mariah Carey.

That’s Lawson you hear on hits such as Lionel Richie’s “Dancing on the Ceiling,” Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love” and Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” — where his single tom-tom hit dramatically sets up Houston’s soaring finale.

Ricky Lawson (far right)  Michael Jackson's BAD Tour Band

The late drummer’s life and career will be celebrated by friends, family members and musicians during a Saturday afternoon memorial program at Music Hall, followed by a jam session at Centre Park Grille (formerly the Rhino). Both events are free and open to the public.

“We want to send him off in the best fashion possible in his hometown,” says cousin Paul Riser Jr.

The memorial celebration will feature a drum line performance including members of the Cass Tech band, video tributes from Lawson’s artist colleagues, and proclamations from state and city officials. Several Lawson family members will participate in musical performances and poetry readings.

Ricky Lawson Dangerous Tour

Emcees will be jazz disc jockey Maxine Michaels and WDIV-TV newsman Chauncy Glover.

The evening jam session will be led by Detroit jazzer David Myles.

“We may get some surprise musicians coming up onstage,” says Riser. “That’s the spirit we want to create — dynamic and fun.”

The music industry’s hired guns often operate in relative obscurity, their work heard by millions but their names known by few. Lawson was an exception: His long, eclectic tenure made him a much-loved figure, particularly in the smooth-jazz world where he’d spent his recent years, and his death prompted an outpouring of remembrances from fans and musicians such as Questlove.

Greg Phillinganes, Ricky Lawson and Siedah Garrett

Lawson died Dec. 23 in a Los Angeles-area hospital after 10 days on life support. He had suffered a brain aneurysm while performing in a holiday-themed concert at a popular local jazz club. A private funeral was held in L.A. in late December.

Saturday’s Detroit event follows a January tribute concert in L.A. with musical guests such as saxophonist Dave Koz, trumpeter Rick Braun, percussionists Sheila E and Pete Escovedo, and others.

Riser says musical tributes to Lawson have also been staged in Japan and Europe.

Source: By Brian McCollum

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Michael Jackson's Xscape - Official T-Shirts and Track List Revealed.

Today we see the official track list of Xscape's standard version  album with 8 songs, along with a T-Shirt bundle offered on  It's bundled with  digital tracks or with the CD's for both the standard and deluxe versions. I guess we have to wait on the track list for the Deluxe version.  I really like the T-shirt and ordered it with the standard Xscape CD.  I already have  the Deluxe digital coming from itunes and will order a physical deluxe version for my ever growing collection soon ~ Qbee

The final official Xscape tracklist on the standard version

From the official website: "The tracklist for XSCAPE's standard version has officially been revealed! It features eight of Michael Jackson’s strongest unreleased songs, dusted off and polished with state-of-the-art production. View the tracklist below and pre-order XSCAPE now on iTunes or

XSCAPE standard Version, as well as the deluxe edition which includes a collection of the original recordings, will both be available in stores everywhere May 13th, 2014."

Michael Jackson Xscape standard edition

1. Love Never Felt So Good
2. Chicago
3. She Was Lovin' Me
4. A Place With No Name
5. Do You Know Where Your Children Are
6. Slave to the Rhythm
7. Blue Gangster
8. Xscape

Here is the Xscape Deluxe CD bundled with the T-Shirt. 
You can also order standard version CD and digital bundles as well.

See more at  MJ Store

Xscape Deluxe CD  with T-Shirt

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

NBC to premiere new Michael Jackson song during iHeartRadio Music Awards broadcast

Well some exciting rumors are swirling,  that a new track from the Xscape album will be premiered on iheartradio Music awards show May 1st on NBC.  Here is an article with more info posted on  Damien Shields blog.  Its about to all unfold for us now. Im very Excited ~ Qbee

Updating with commercial from NBC

NBC to premiere new Michael Jackson song during iHeartRadio Music Awards broadcast

A new Michael Jackson song will premiere during NBC’s broadcast of the iHeartRadio Music Awards on May 1, 2014 according to a commercial that aired during The Voice last night.

The inaugural iHeartRadio Music Awards will stream live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on NBC at 8pm PST (May 1), featuring performances by Drake, Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar, Pitbull, Shakira, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Ariana Grande, Arcade Fire and Ed Sheeran.

For many Michael Jackson fans, however, the reason for tuning in will be the unveiling of a new song from the King of Pop’s upcoming ‘XSCAPE’ album.

If available information regarding the album’s lead single is anything to go by, the track being unveiled would seem to be “Love Never Felt So Good” – which is schedule to begin worldwide radio rotation from May 5. The iHeartRadio Music Awards would provide the perfect platform to introduce the song to the American public, and in turn, the world.

It is unclear exactly how the iHeartRadio Music Awards will incorporate the Jackson premiere into their event’s schedule, but there are seemingly only two realistic options; a) streaming the track’s yet-to-be-announced music video during a break in the broadcast, or b) a live choreographed dance performance on the night.

In other news, five days ago, on April 17, Rich and Tone Talauega, otherwise known as ‘The Talauega Brothers’, tweeted that they were: “On a secret mission for the King of Pop in the Bay Area,” before advising that more details would be revealed soon.

The Talauega Brothers choreographed a number of Jackson’s short films and live performances throughout his career, and have most recently worked on posthumous Jackson projects including Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Immortal’ and ‘ONE’ productions, as well as the music video for “Hollywood Tonight”.

The brothers have not followed up with any further tweets since April 17. It’ll be interesting to find out whether their secret mission for the King of Pop is connected to the iHeartRadio Music Awards, or another Jackson-related project.

More information to follow as it becomes available:

Happy Earth Day 2014 !

Happy Earth Day.  we all know how much Michael loved our planet and wanted us to focus on environmental issues and get involved in making our world a better place. . He said if we don't do it, who will?  Lets all try to be better stewards of the earth and  get the word out to others. If  you can  take take an active role in your communities, to help make a better life for our children and our childrens children. Time is running out. We need to take action now. Visit the earth day website to see how you can participate. ~ Qbee

Enjoy Michael's beautiful Earth song 

Planet Earth by Michael Jackson

Get involved with Earth Day!

Every year on April 22, over a billion people in 190 countries take action for Earth Day. From San Francisco to San Juan, Beijing to Brussels, Moscow to Marrakesh, people plant trees, clean up their communities, contact their elected officials, and more—all on behalf of the environment.

Like Earth Days of the past, Earth Day 2014 will focus on the unique environmental challenges of our time. As the world’s population migrates to cities, and as the bleak reality of climate change becomes increasingly clear, the need to create sustainable communities is more important than ever. Earth Day 2014 will seek to do just that through its global theme: Green Cities. With smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and an educated and active public, we can transform our cities and forge a sustainable future. Nothing is more powerful than the collective action of a billion people.

As the global organizer behind Earth Day, Earth Day Network creates tools and resources for you to get involved with Earth Day in your community.

 Here’s how you can participate:

Michael Jackson, tracks from his first unreleased album, "Xscape"

This is another review  from ABC Spain. of the Xscape Listening Session held April 7. Some more tid bits on the songs and all the mystery and secrecy surrounding the release of the Album. This is loosely translated from Spanish to English, so read with that in mind. ~ Qbee

Michael Jackson, tracks from his first unreleased album, "Xscape"

The April 7 took place in Madrid an exclusive hearing, the lordly halls of the Palacio de Fernan Nunez , the new album by Michael Jackson . Under a solemn atmosphere and tight security, they had to leave the phones or any electronic device on the door, they were shelling the eight songs that make up 'Xscape' , which goes on sale next May 13.

There came ABC , promising not to publish anything until the record label, Sony Music , lift the embargo on the information. The secrecy is so extreme that even today, when I finally can give notice of hearing, we can not even have the song titles, except that names the album. So we have to trust some leaks that have appeared on the Internet.

This is the second posthumous album of unreleased tracks from Michael Jackson , as recorded tunes, ideas, letters ... as they occurred to him. The heirs have signed a contract to give the company unlimited access to all their recordings and thus nurture several more pitches. This time, to shape these sketches has been responsible mainly producer Timbaland , updating the classic sound of American star, and offering, by the way, finished far more lucid than that offered in the previous release, 'Michael' (2010), in which it showed the urgency for a return of the death of the star.

They have also collaborated on the final outcome Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome "Jroc» Harmon and John McClain , and, in general, one can speak of a very modern production for a voice that is timeless. Michael Jackson certainly makes it clear that had very good ideas, and a prodigious sense of rhythm and its mix of funk and pop style. The lining of the songs is sometimes successful and other fresh and overloaded in excess.

1. "Love Never Felt So Good" . This is a part-time, with violins and an outstanding rhythm section. Remember the style of Barry White . That is, mellow but with rhythm. As with other songs, abused some production effects.

2. 'Chicago' . Another half time when Michael Jackson doubles voices. Resumes tackles the rhythm, which sounds a bit disconcerting. There are sweet moments that combine with furious now.

3. "Lovin 'You" . Continued over the rhythm section in the foreground. The best, the own contribution of Michael Jackson, his voice full power, with an innate intuition for rhythm and melody. A great timeless song has been sealed as very contemporary.

4. "A Place with No Name" . The first great moment of the disc. The latest songs led the applause of those present at the audition, but were heard at the end of this most sincere and convincing. The voice is in good company. We find your facet pop, with a chorus that sticks to the first and encouraging the dance.

5. "Slave to the Rhythm" . It has an electronic start. Here we step facet funk, to classic rhythm changes, acceleration and stoppages nervous he dominated with cockiness. After the previous song, however, sounds a little step, but it is danceable. The rhythm is marked by synthesizers, which is perhaps the most "interesting" of the song.

6. "Do You Know Where Your Children Are" . Strange robotic effects mixed with the typical singer shrieks. It also seems too ornate, but the issue is gaining with each passing second. The 'dark' disc, without concessions to sentimentality.

7. "Blue Gangsta" . The strangest. Michael's voice seems to be groping various ways. It even seems to speak to us from beyond.

8. "Xscape" . The single, although it has not yet been made ​​public. It has the classic stamp of its author, perhaps more. Even when listening, one would immediately comes the image of Michael Jackson dancing it. Unfortunately, it is something we can imagine, but it will never see. A great theme.


Monday, April 21, 2014

First listen: Michael Jackson's posthumous 'Xscape'

Below is another positive review. This time from USA TODAY. This time we get some more information about the feel of the songs and the producers of the tracks. How do you intend to listen to Xscape for the first time? ~ Qbee

First listen: Michael Jackson's posthumous 'Xscape'

It's easy, and probably healthy, to approach any new release of Michael Jackson music with some skepticism. Nearly five years after his death, the King of Pop remains both an indelible influence on contemporary artists and a source of the kind of prurient and morose fascination that is always as marketable, if not as memorable, as a great tune.

Luckily, the posthumous Xscape, out May 13, offers some reminders of why Jackson entered our collective consciousness to begin with. The eight tracks here showcase songs, culled from the late superstar's vault, originally recorded between 1983 and 1999, after Jackson's early creative peak as a recording artist (with his 1979 solo breakthrough Off the Wall and 1982's Thriller).

Still, executive producer L.A Reid and lead producer Timbaland — with support at the boards from other noted hitmakers such as Stargate, J-Roc and Rodney Jerkins — ensure that Jackson's enduring strengths as a singer are represented, layering in modern electronic textures without overwhelming the distinctly slinky, shivery vocals or overall structure of the tunes.

Love Never Felt So Good — written and initially produced by Jackson and Paul Anka, and co-produced here by John McClain, a co-executor of Jackson's estate, and Giorgio Tuinfort — has an old-school snap and tingle, with warm, leaping strings that recall the melodic and rhythmic punch of Jackson's work with Quincy Jones.

Loving You, crafted by Jackson during sessions for 1987's Bad and revisited here by Timbaland, is similarly blithe and nostalgic, with tinkling piano chords and tickling percussion set against the latter artist's trademark syncopation.

Other tracks are edgier and more aggressive, sonically and in their lyrics. For Jackson, love and anxiety were often inextricably entwined; Do You Know Where Your Children Are (also from the Bad era) documents a parent's nightmare with a thumping groove, while the chilly, Cory Rooney-penned Chicago finds its narrator vexed by a duplicitous woman.

On Slave to the Rhythm, an intriguing 1989 Reid/Babyface creation brought back by Timbaland and Jerome Harmon, it's the girl who suffers, as Jackson croons over a frantically chugging, swirling arrangement about a woman who tries to break the chains that bind her at home and work.

Slave is playful at first, opening with Jackson's trademark yelps and hiccups, but there is clear empathy in his portrait of a trapped person desperate to find "a beat of her own." It seems especially poignant here that for this star, escape, like Xscape, only came posthumously.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

ANTIQUES ROADSHOW - Appraisal of Michael Jackson Drawings

A woman who went to school with Michael Jackson in Encino, salvaged some drawings he threw away in 1972-73.  She brings them in to Antiques Roadshow  for an appraisal. Michael was aprox 14 or 15 years old when he sketched the pictures. She said he would sketch pictures in class and then just ball them up and throw them away. She really like his Chaplin sketch and asked him if she could have it. It wasn't signed so at the urging of her father she took it back the next day and asked him to sign it. We know he had a great respect and felt an affinity with Charlie Chaplin over the years, which James Supp, the appraiser, discusses as well. I believe the tutor they discusses in the 2nd drawing is Michael's tutor Ms. Rose Fine, who he also respected and loved. The appraiser said that after discussing the sketches with his colleagues, he felt they could be worth aprox 8 to 10 Thousand dollars each at auction.

A total value of $16,000.00 to $20,000.00

In Anaheim Hour 1, James Supp appraises these Michael Jackson drawings, ca. 1973.

Anaheim Hour 1 airs Monday, April 21 at 8/7c on PBS!

You can follow ROADSHOW on Twitter & Instagram
@RoadshowPBS, Pinterest, and Facebook!

Visit for more videos and features from the show.

Source: /Roadshow

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Xscape to L.A. - A Special Invite to Hear Michael Jackson's New Album Xscape

I was so excited to receive my Invitation for an all expense paid Xscape to L.A. California by the Estate of Michael Jackson and Epic records. I was invited  along with 10 other fans from various parts of the world that represented their fan clubs.  We were not told what the event we would be attending was, but I had my suspicions.  I was very happy to accept the invite. 

I arrived the evening of April 9th at LAX airport and had the privilege to ride to the hotel with 2 fans who arrived near the same time. They were Matt Blank from the UK and Rob ** from Italy.  I was so happy to meet them and we had a very nice chat during our ride, about being fans of Michael, our trip, how excited we were to be there. We discussed how nice it would be if all fan clubs from around the world could put aside their differences and become a united front to support each other to pay homage to Michael.   

The next day at 3:00 pm we were picked up at the hotel and taken to Jim Henson recording studios.  formerly known as A&M Studios.  I was escorted to studio A the very place where Michael recorded “We Are The world" in 1985. It was so surreal to be there.  The other fans were already there when I entered, because I had to be fashionably late LOL.  I was pleasantly surprised to meet some of my Facebook friends and familiar faces from other Fan clubs around the world. Fans were from the UK, Italy Germany, Spain, Japan, the Netherland and USA.  Of course all of us being MJ fans we hit it off right away and had lots to talk about. Our excitement was building as well as we waited.  On the back wall of the studio there was a buffet set up for us with lots of goodies and beverages.  There were rows of chairs near the front for us and huge speakers ahead giving us an indication why we were all there. 

Others present were the MJonline team, Jeff, Alicia and Lindsay, John Branca,  L.A. Reid, Chairman of Epic records, Karen Langford the Estates archivist, Sylvia Rhone president of Epic records and some other executives. There were brief hellos, handshakes and smiles. It was a very casual atmosphere and comfortable meeting them.They all seemed down to earth and friendly. Then we all took our seats. 

It was then that John Branca, Executor of the Michael Jackson Estate, welcomed us all and told us the reason we were there. Which was to listen to the new Xscape Album. He then revealed that L.A Reid Chairman of Epic records and exec producer of Xscape, would be our personal DJ.  Although I had my suspicion that was our reason for being there, it really hit me then and I was so excited as were all the other fans.  I was still skeptical of how good the album could really be but I had hope because of all the reviews we heard recently from the media. They are usually the first to tear anything MJ related down. So I was waiting with great anticipation and even trepidation to finally hear the album. 

While waiting for L.A. Reid, Branca began to explain to us how many of MJs songs didn't always make the albums he recorded them for, for various reasons. They were not songs Michael necessarily discarded as unusable, but just they didn’t fit that particular album or there wasn’t  room for all the songs. He explained that  'Wanna Be Startin Somethin' was recorded for Off The Wall but wasn't released on that album. It was later released on the Thriller Album. Then, 'They Don’t Care About Us' and 'Earth Song' were recorded for the Dangerous Album, but was released on his HIStory Album instead.  Over the years Michael continued to work on and update several songs that he liked and they didn’t always find a spot on his albums.  Branca said L.A. Reid was very passionate about Xscape and worked very hard to make it the best he could as did all the producers who worked on it.  He spent many days, nights and hours, putting his heart into the work. He said L.A. and all of them are fans of Michael as well and wanted to do the best they could on each and every song. 

Then LA Reid entered the room, greeted us all and took a seat in front of us between the speakers. He gave us a brief History about him and Michael and how he came full circle to be able to produce and present the Xscape Album to us. He explained how he and Michael met and became close over the years and that they discussed a desire to work together. But because of unforeseen circumstances that was never meant to be. He was very emotional and sincere when explaining how he always wondered and questioned why he was chosen and made chairman of Epic records. Then when this project came up he knew his purpose was to bring these songs of Michael to the world. He stressed how hard he and all the producers worked on these songs and that they all were fans and loved MJ and it was important to them to do their best by him. 

Reid He said the criteria for the songs he chose was that they had complete vocals, all verses and chorus. Normally MJ would do one verse and chorus to see if he liked the song. If he did he would completed the vocals. Many songs he continued working on over the years.  One song LNFSG 'Love Never felt So Good' although it had complete vocals it had special consideration for the fact , the vocals, snaps and Piano were all on one track. So they had to work with that as they built the song. Then said no one can say for certain what Michael would want for these songs, but he hopes that he would be proud of the work they did.  He feels that he would. He was proud and honored to work on this Album. 

We then listened to the songs one by one with LA Reid before us looking like he was conduction a great orchestra. He was very animated to say the least and really getting into the music. It was fun to watch him. You could tell he was happy and proud and really enjoying Michael and the music as we all were.  From the very first song to the last my ears were tickled with Michael awesome vocals front and center, great beats and instrumentation. They sounded like  current music of today but yet very different and unique from anything out there. To me it was like something Michael himself would do today. 

Xscape Album covers - Gold deluxe edition and Silver standard edition. 

These are the 8 songs he played for us:

Love Never Felt So Good


Lovin’ You

A Place With No Name

Slave To The Rhythm

Do You Know Where Your Children Are

Blue Gangsta


After the last song played every one clapped cheered and whistled. We were all giddy with excitement and pleasantly surprised by how good all the tracks were. You could hear a rumble in the room and voices saying "OMG" "Unbelievable" "Michael" "Amazing" 

Then L.A. Reid asked if he should play them "AGAIN" We all said yes of course.  This time we could listen closer and take in things we may have missed the first time.  L.A.  started the music and then got out of his chair moved to the floor and started dancing. As the music continued one by one the fans got up and started dancing as well. We just couldn't help ourselves.  We were slaves to the rhythm of Michael.  Then as I looked around, I was surprised to see the Sony execs were dancing, the MJonlinteam was dancing, John Branca was dancing and it seemed everyone was grinning ear to ear. It was clear we had one thing in common in those moments. We were all fans of Michael Jackson. Honestly I felt he was smiling down on all of us in that room, watching us dancing, celebrating and enjoying his music in such a special way. 

Now and then I had a tear because I was thinking Michael should be here. It was bitter sweet knowing he was not here to see this and joyful at the same time thinking that the whole world will once again hear him in such a special way.  It was one of those moments when John Branca walked up and asked what I thought of the songs and then put his hand on my shoulder and promised to always try to do his best by Michael. ( Now I can’t remember his exact words, but just the essence of them)  He went around the room chatting with many of the fans and looked very happy to see and hear the response to the music playing.

MJ fans, John Branca, Karen Langford and L.A. Reid at Jim Henson Studio April 10, 2014

I think approval from the fans  meant so much more than the media response, Because the music is for Michael's fans that he loved so much and it is us who have to give the final thumbs up and approval. Not the media.  We then had some time to chat, discuss the album, and take pictures. We left the studio and were treated to a very nice dinner compliments of L.A Reid a few blocks away.

The following morning we were invited to the Sony Music offices in Beverly Hills.  We were escorted to a board room and seated with John Branca, the MJonline team, Karen Langford,  Epic President Sylvia Rhone and other sony executives, some by video conference. While there we were treated to a breakfast  buffet with snacks and beverages. We  were asked our opinions on the songs. Which ones stood out, which ones were our favs, which ones would make good singles, which songs would be club favorites etc. They explained how they would roll it all out. The extensive promotions they are planning and their network and connections all over the world to help them do just that. They were very dedicated to put 100 % into the Xscape Album and that was very assuring.  They did give us the date and name of the first single release, which is before the Xscape album is officially released on the 13th.  But I'm sworn to secrecy as every thing is going to be a surprise for the fans as it should be.  It will get extensive radio/air play around the world and will be released on iTunes I believe at that time. They stated they would also support the fans with their events and endeavors and would help them promote their Release parties and Xscape flash mobs using the new songs. (Branca loves flash mobs :))  Fan clubs should contact MJonline team in advance to see if arraignments can be made

Sony Music office building Beverly Hills CA
Sony Music board - conference room 

MJ fans outside Sony Music Office building Beverly Hills CA. April 11, 2014

I can't wait for all of you to hear the songs and I hope you feel the same joy and excitement that I and the other fans did when we first heard them. I know everyone has their own taste and will favor some songs over others or may not even care for some of the songs. Two of my favorites were 'Love Never Felt So Good' and 'Do you Know Where Your Children Are." Now I may have more favs as I continue to listen, but those stood out for me.  There was one song that I liked the demo better, but I think it's because I am so familiar and attached to it.  So I'm happy I will get that song as well on the deluxe edition.  But over all I really liked every one of the new songs. Some were even GREAT in my opinion. I'm not saying the songs are better than when MJ was here with us, but they are comparable in many ways and Michael's soul, that he placed in all his work, still shines through in these songs for me.  I can honestly say I was excited as I've ever have been with listening to any past albums from Michael for the first time and this album didn’t let me down.  Please make sure to listen to the album twice as MJ himself asked us to do.  It really does make a difference when hearing songs for the first time.  The second time is a charm and I think the third time you will be over the moon :)

John Branca and Mickie (Qbee)  Jim Henson studios April 11, 2014

In closing, I would like to thank the Michael Jackson Estate, John Branca, the MJonline team - Jeff, Alicia and Lindsay, L.A Reid and Sylvia Rhone of  Epic records for this wonderful opportunity and their great hospitality.  ~ Mickie (Qbee) 

Monday, April 14, 2014

When Michael Jackson Loved Matzo Ball Soup + Recipe

This is a cute story I want to share  from / Jew and the Carrot blog as posted on MJJCommunity. One of Michael Jackson's personal chef's relays a story to Devra Ferst about her time cooking for Michael and his favorite Matzo ball soup recipe ~ Qbee

When Michael Jackson Loved Matzo Ball Soup.

Musicians’s food cravings are legendary. Elvis famously flew from Graceland to Denver for his favorite sandwich: An entire loaf of bread stuffed with a jar of peanut butter, another of jelly and a pound of bacon.

Michael Jackson never hopped on a plane for his cravings. He had his personal chef Akasha Richmond to whip up his favorites: Spicy enchiladas, fresh tortillas and matzo ball soup.

In the mid-90’s MJ was living in the penthouse of the Manhattan Trump tower, sharing a floor with Donald Trump. He was in town finishing up his epic HIStory album.

Richmond was living a few blocks south at what was then the glamorous Helmsley Palace (now the New York Palace), often picking up bagels on her short walk up to Jackson’s apartment.

MJ with Akasha Richmond and her daughter
“One day Michael asked for lox and bagel for breakfast,” Richmond told me. She was a bit surprised by the request but went with it. A few days later, he asked her to make matzo ball soup.

“What do you know from matzo ball soup?” Richmond recalls retorting. “I grew up with a Jewish nanny. I love matzo ball soup,” Jackson replied.

Richmond met Jackson back in the 1980’s when she was cooking at The Golden Temple, one of L.A.’s first vegetarian spots known for playing host to celebrities like Bob Dylan and Demi Moore. 

“He used to come there everyday. He was really sweet and I used to take care of him,” Richmond recalls.

Soon she and another chef from The Golden Temple started cooking at Jackson’s house. “He would have these epic dinner parties. He loved old Hollywood so Elizabeth Taylor, Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren might be there. You never knew who would come over,” she says.

Richmond never had a family matzo ball recipe so “I would make chicken stock and then follow the recipe on the package…and add a good pinch of cayenne pepper or minced jalapeño — he loved spicy food,” she said. “I used to joke that I was Michael’s Jewish mother. I was supposed to keep him healthy. When your on those tours it’s really grueling. I did whatever it took: matzo ball soup, green juice, chai tea.”

A decade or so later, Richmond left the tour life to spend more time with her daughter, but on the weekends she would trek out to Neverland Ranch to cook for Jackson. “My daughter had her bat mitzvah party on the ranch… It was about the best bat mitzvah you could have.”

Michael Jackson’s Favorite Matzo Ball Soup Recipe.

2½ quarts homemade chicken stock
1 leek, white part only, cleaned, and cut into thin matchsticks
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup matzo meal
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons seltzer water
2 tablespoons olive oil or chicken fat
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Fresh chopped parsley and dill

Optional: A dash of cayenne pepper or minced jalepeno pepper

1) Add leeks and carrots to broth and simmer for 10 minutes (or until tender) and turn off heat.

2) Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, olive oil, nutmeg, salt and black pepper (and spice, if adding). Fold in the matzo meal and seltzer water. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3) Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil. Wet your hands with cold water and form the matzo mixture into 12 balls. Drop the matzo balls into boiling water. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover tightly,
and cook for 30 minutes - don’t open the lid. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve with the hot chicken stock and vegetables. Garnish with lots of chopped parsley and dill. 

Makes 6-8 servings.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Xscape - You think you’ve heard some of these songs before… but you haven’t. Not like this!

Matt Blank from MJWN (MJWorld.Net ) and Sjoerd Roijenga from LJM (Legendary Michael Jackson Fan Club) were part of the lucky few who were invited and able to attend the Xscape listening session in Los Angeles CA. Meeting with L.A. Reid, John Branca  his team and Sony officials on April 10th and 11th 2014. Fans from all over the world were invited to represent their clubs, to listen to the album and voice their opinions and concerns. So far nothing but favorable reviews from the fans who attended. They all seem to reflect Matts experience below. Get ready - You ain't seen (Heard) Nothing Yet !! ~ Qbee

Xscape – An Album Listening Like No Other


MJWN’s Matt Blank has listened to the ‘Xscape’ album, and there’s a lot of excitement he wants to share with you:

The experience I had on Thursday was like no other. Myself, along with around 10 other fans who represent fantastic Fan Clubs all over the world, were invited to LA in California by the Estate of Michael Jackson and Epic Records. We all attended somewhat blindly, without any knowledge of what we were going for. However, with the new album ‘Xscape’ already announced, it was a fairly safe bet that we were going to get a chance to listen to the album. Excitement was running through all of us as we met that morning, though it reached a new level when our car arrived at the Jim Henson Recording Studios.

This studio used to be known as the A&M Studios and it was where Michael co-wrote ‘We Are The World’ and recorded it with many other high profile artists. There wasn’t a more fitting location to listen to Michael’s voice again than in that room. Little has changed to the studio in nearly 30 years. With the wooden floor and ceiling, it was instantly recognisable from what we’ve seen in the video of the hit charity single of 1985.

As I looked around, reflecting on the history that was made in the room, we sat down in a semi-circle and John Branca, co-executor of Michael’s Estate, greeted us all and explained why we were there. Then L.A. Reid, Chairman of Epic Records and Executive Producer of the ‘Xscape’ album walked in. He was ready to personally play us the eight new tracks on the album. He explained that in line with his style of production work, the eight tracks selected are the best tracks he could have found in the vault of Michael’s archives. He said he disregarded any recordings that didn’t have full vocals, noting that if Michael recorded a whole song (compared to just a chorus for example) then it meant that Michael liked it. And true to form this is something we can see as we look back on Michael’s career. John Branca pointed out that ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin” was originally recorded for ‘Off The Wall’ but used three years later on ‘Thriller’. ‘Earth Song’ and ‘They Don’t Care About Us’ was originally recorded for ‘Dangerous’, but eventually used four years later on ‘HIStory’. The songs left over, recorded in full, aren’t finished articles. But nor are they necessarily songs Michael had disregarded and thrown into the trash. Also interestingly, Reid told us later on that he was unaware that six out of the eight tracks had previously been leaked, and that the song list had already been chosen when this information was brought to his attention.

Before hitting play, Reid delighted us with stories from his past; the moment he met Michael, the moment he had an official meeting with Michael, and other stories including touching moments he witnessed between Michael and his children. The stories spanned two decades, as Michael and Reid grew close and desired to work together. Unfortunately this was never meant to be during Michael’s lifetime, nevertheless Reid’s appreciation, love and respect for Michael is evident.

My original intention was to review each song and scribble down notes to report what each track sounded like. However, with every song that passed, my pen was used less and less. As the album continued, we were getting up, starting to dance, move, feel the music and experience Michael in a new way. I stared around the historic ‘We Are The World’ room, with L.A. Reid jumping around to the grooves, John Branca and the rest of the Estate team dancing and Michael’s vocals ringing through my ears, and writing notes on every song was not what I wanted to do. It wasn’t a place to write. It was a place to listen. The music dictated this more than being a conscious decision. I was overwhelmed by the music and soon enough you will find out why when it’s released. It’s not for me to ruin that experience and surprise for you. So instead, let me give you the quickest of overviews:


Love Never Felt So Good
Lovin’ You
A Place With No Name
Slave To The Rhythm
Do You Know Where Your Children Are
Blue Gangsta

Each song could be a dance floor filler. They all have very strong beats that rumble through your body. The opening song put an immediate smile on my face and raised the hair on my arms. With powerful vocals delivered by Michael throughout, his passion, his anger and his love is constantly there.

The album was played twice back-to-back. Smiles all around, the excitement was so different to anything I’ve experienced before. Branca would go and talk to different people in the room. He said to me “this will fill dance floors across the world”. And it just might!

The next month will prove to have lots of surprises for the fans and public alike. I’m not going to tell you what they are, but what I will say is that as I walked out of the studio, I was left with the knowledge that Michael’s legacy is in great hands. Michael worked harder than any other artist throughout his career. He would want that legacy continued. Creating the record breaking Cirque Du Soleil tour, releasing a movie, producing a video game among other things such as anniversary albums and DVD releases, is just part of what the Estate have done to help further and retain Michael’s legacy. Bringing together producers to release unheard material; producers that knew Michael or worked with Michael or it was a known fact that Michael admired, is just right. The album feels contemporary in every way and it’s thrilling to hear Michael again. You think you’ve heard some of these songs before…but you haven’t. Not like this!

It is a delicate situation, but the Estate have continued Michael’s legacy with dignity and introduced millions of new people to Michael’s unique talents.

For pictures and more info visit MJWN

EXCLUSIVE : LMJ listening to XSCAPE with the MJ Estate in Los Angeles

On behalf of the Legendary Michael Jackson Fan Club (LMJ), Sjoerd Roijenga (LMJ’s USA Representative and member of the Board) attended a very special and exclusive event.

Read article

Friday, April 04, 2014

Interview with Xscape Album Artwork Designer, Mat Maitland

This is an Exclusive Interview from  With Xscape Artwork Designer Mat Maitland, who is also  a huge MJ Fan.  Matt  gives a little background and discusses his inspiration used for the Artwork.. I think his artistic  vision for this cover is perfect. I see Michael's head masked inside a speaker membrane, Xscaping into a  black hole universe of his Music. ~ Qbee

MJWN  had the opportunity to speak with the 42 year old London designer Mat Maitland, the creator of the brand new artwork for the upcoming Michael Jackson album ‘Xscape’ and the Creative Director for Big Active Design. He tells us the background to the project, his inspirations and how it was made.

How did it come about that you worked on the ‘Xscape’ album?
Word must have got out that I was a huge MJ fan! We (Big Active, design co) were approached by Sony.

How many designs did you create for ‘Xscape’?
I created about 10 cover ideas.

How was the artwork made? Was it based on a photo?
It’s based on a photograph given to me by The Michael Jackson Estate; it’s a fairly recent image of Michael but like I say, it’s based on that image and uses parts of it.

Was there anything in the design process that you particularly wanted to achieve?
It was really important to everyone (including myself) that the cover felt like a new Michael album, something he might have done today, rather than a retrospective image that may have looked like a best of. I really wanted to capture the magic and power of MJ but also his vulnerability.

Where did you draw inspiration from for the ‘Xscape’ artwork?
I wanted to evoke a contemporary and quintessential incarnation of Michael as an artist who constantly injected new blood into his music and also to focus on both the intriguing and futuristic aspects of MJ. As well as being a tribute, I hope that it will inspire reflection on a man who continues to stimulate and offer unique creative musical possibilities to so many today. I also tried to say that Michael is all around us, in our universe and beyond, on earth and in outer space.

 Deluxe Album Cover                      Standard Album cover                    Mat Maitland

How long have you been an MJ fan for?
30 years.

What’s your favourite album cover from Michael’s back catalogue?
‘Dangerous’ because it was such a knowing image that acknowledged and commented on the world Michael had created for himself, good and bad. It kind of carried on the theme of the ‘Leave Me Alone’ video as that was the last track on ‘Bad’ and then this was the album after that. It has so much detail in it which was unusual in the times of simple CD covers (although the eyes held your attention). Also, I like that it was true to Michael’s vision whereas on ‘Bad’ (and ‘Invincible’) the label stopped him from using the images he wanted. Actually, coming back to the eyes, this was a big influence on the cover I created for ‘Xscape’ – the magnetic stare, always looking at us.

How does it feel that your artwork is about to be owned by millions of people around the world and will be a part of iconic pop history for years to come?

It’s been a lifelong dream to create a sleeve for Michael Jackson and I feel honoured to be asked to do it. Even if I wasn’t a fan it would have been amazing but as a huge fan it makes it even more special. I hope that the fans like the cover. I’ve heard the album and it’s really amazing!

Source: MJWN with special thanks to Mat Maitland

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Michael Jackson's Xscape: Lovingly restored material brings back the King Of Pop

I'm really so excited over the New Michael Jackson Album and happy to see the positive reviews by those who attended the private listening session in the UK.  We also have found out the track list from different tweets and FB posts, by Kevin Hughes from FM showbiz. He seems to really like all the songs from just one time listening. As Michael said it takes 2,3 or more times listening before for a song to grow on you. So that fact he liked them right off the bat is exciting to me. I posted one of his reviews below as well as the track list to the 8 songs on the Xscape Album. ~ Qbee

Michael Jackson (Speculated)  XSCAPE Track list

1. Love Never Felt So Good
2. A Place With No Name
3. Slave To The Rhythm
4. She Was Lovin' Me
5. Chicago
6. Blue Gangster
7. Do You Know Where Your Children Are
8. Xscape

Heart FM's showbiz reporter Kevin Hughes reviews Michael Jackson's Xscape

Michael Jackson's Xscape:
Lovingly restored material brings back the King Of Pop
Michael Jackson. Front cover of new album Xscape.

Largely comprised of songs recorded in the 90s and early 2000s, Xscape is a more cohesive album in comparison to 2010 offering "Michael."

Eight previously unreleased songs have been (in the words of Executive Producer L.A Reid) 'contemporized' by the likes of Timbaland, Stargate and Rodney Jerkins.

And whilst the fresh 2014 production enhances that trademark MJ vocal, it doesn't detract from the original song and the genius of Michael's songwriting vision. As the album begins, you're immediately transported back to the Thriller era, thanks to an amazing 1983 disco groove called "Love Never Felt So Good."

With its soulful vocal, infectious baseline and orchestral strings, it's a song that screams 'Jackson classic' and it says a lot about influence when you consider that it wouldn't sound out of place on the latest Pharrell album.

I challenge anyone not to experience goosebumps after hearing "A Place With No Name" a song layered with lush harmonies believed to have been recorded in 1998 and a song that deserves to played by radio stations worldwide.

Potential single "Slave To The Rhythm" is a floor-filler for a new generation whilst 1999's RnB soaked "She Was Lovin' Me" (originally considered for the 2001 Invincible album) has echoes of "The Way You Make Me Feel."

Two other songs, "Chicago" and "Blue Gangster" will also remind you of previous Jackson offerings but both tracks benefit from newly enhanced production and remind us of the fact that Michael was keen to remain relevant to the emerging hip-hop generation.

But one of the outstanding cuts on the "Xscape" album is a song called "12 O'Clock" or "Do You Know Where Your Children Are" in which an emphatic Jackson discusses family values and child abuse over a pulsating bass line and guitar riff.

Whilst I'm not convinced the new production has added anything to the original, it's still a song that will get everyone talking. And as the album concludes with title track "Xscape" a sonic slice of noughties electro-pop, I'm left satisfied that Michael's legacy will endure thanks to a collection of carefully selected material, lovingly re-engineered for millions of fans and new fans alike. There's a reason he was called The King of Pop after all.

Source: kevin  Hughes /