Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
The problem was that, according to the New Jersey based promoter, the agreement included a non-competition clause barring Michael from performing prior to or three months after the single day event. AllGood was seeking to stop the singer from performing in his This Is It concert tour, which was due to begin on July 13 and asking for $20 million in damages.
The reunion concert was set to be a 150-minute show in Texas reuniting all nine Jacksons that would be available on pay-per-view. With Michael gone, it remains to be seen whether the concert will go ahead and whether it will become a tribute to the King of Pop.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
In a 1992 story in Rolling Stone, the magazine reported that Michael had recorded about 60 songs for his album Dangerous, working with producers including L.A. Reid and Babyface. Additionally, writer J. Randy Taraborrelli claimed in his 2004 book, The Magic and the Madness, that Michael and Quincy Jones recorded more than 300 tracks for Thriller (only nine ended up on the album).
Michael had battled with Sony over his album Invincible and reportedly owed the label millions, so execs at Sony will no doubt see these unreleased tracks as a way to recoup their losses. I just hope they let Quincy Jones take the helm on the release of these tracks as I'd hate to see Michael's musical legacy tarnished by the release of substandard work.
In addition to the music, we might end up seeing a video of Michael's last performance, filmed the night before he died. Michael was in rehearsals for his tour, This Is It, that was set to begin in London on July 13, and according to TheWrap.com, his rehearsal on Wednesday night was recorded in multi-camera, high-definition video and multi-track audio and could be released as an album and DVD (sadly titled "This Is It").
One exec from concert promoter AEG boasted, “We have a live album in the can.” But I wouldn't be so sure about that. Magician Ed Alonzo, who was working on the tour, and was present at the rehearsal on Wednesday night, told US magazine that Michael had throat problems. "He said, 'I'm not going to sing this full-out because I have this laryngitis.'"
However, Ed said Michael was in a good mood that night, and was dancing in his trademark style and joking around with the crew. "There was a cameraman on stage ... that was a foot away from him that was kind of crouched down and Michael said some kind of funny gesture like, ‘Oh you're very close, look how close you are.' And he reached down and touched the cameraman on the top of the head in a joking manner," Ed told Us magazine. "You could see on the screen how big Michael's image was on these projection screens. He was playful and light-hearted."
Kenny Ortega, who was producing and directing the This Is It concert tour, sent the following message out via Twitter on Saturday: "You are not alone in the desire to see Michael celebrated with a Tribute that honors his final work TII We are working to make that real."
Friday, June 26, 2009
He was referring, of course, to Michael Jackson, but he could have been talking about countless other celebrities, from Elvis Presley to Janis Joplin to Kurt Cobain.
While it will be many weeks until the final results of Michael’s autopsy reveal whether prescription drugs played a part in his death yesterday at the age of 50, Liza Minnelli (who was a close friend of Michael’s) voiced the thoughts of many on the Early Show. “I'm sure when the autopsy comes, all hell's going to break loose," she said. "So thank God we're celebrating him now."
And while I spent today watching video after video on MTV Jams, celebrating the legendary talent that was Michael Jackson’s legacy, it was hard not to think about the darker side of fame.
They say that the brightest stars burn out the quickest. But in the world of entertainment, those who are the brightest and shiniest often end up victims of the dark hangers-on who, like vampires, feed on their talent and suck them dry.
John Mayer alluded to the dark side on Twitter today when he mentioned blues guitarist Robert Johnson, who according to legend sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the ability to sing and play guitar like no one else on earth.
But I believe the devil in Michael Jackson’s life was the specter of a lost childhood—and the ripple effects played a significant role in the rest of his life. We’ve all heard about the abuse that Michael suffered at the hands of his father, Joe. Michael lamented the loss of his innocence and the chance to be a carefree kid in the song “Childhood.”
“No one understands me / They view it as such strange eccentricities / Cause I keep kidding around / Like a child, but pardon me,” Michael wrote. “People say I'm not okay/ Cause I love such elementary things / It's been my fate to compensate / for the childhood / I've never known.”
He sought to make up for those lost years in the company of children, and that led to allegations of child abuse. He paid a multimillion-dollar settlement in 1993 to a 13-year-old boy he allegedly abused (charges were never filed).
The damage was done. Michael turned to prescription drugs like Valium and Xanax to deal with the pressure of the allegations.
When asked about his relationships with children in an interview with journalist Martin Bashir in 2003, Michael said he sometimes slept on the floor while giving the children his bed, which he said was “not sexual, we’re going to sleep. I tuck them in...it’s very charming, it’s very sweet.”
"Why can't you share your bed?” he asked. “That's the most loving thing to do, to share your bed with someone.”
The interview opened the door to another investigation; this time it went to trial. Michael was found not guilty, but people seem to forget that.
Deepak Chopra described his friend as “pure” and “childlike” but the tabloids called him Wacko Jacko.
Sure, it was hard to look at Michael’s changing face over the years and not notice his lighter skin color and diminishing nose, but is what he did any different to countless other celebrities who had plastic surgery?
Lisa Marie Presley, who was married to Michael for two years, said today that Michael had told her he was afraid he’d end up like her father.
Like the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the King of Pop found himself isolated by his talent. Elvis resorted to booking out whole cinemas in order to go to the movies. But Michael didn’t.
His friend Gotham Chopra (son of Deepak) wrote today, “Michael was always envious when I told him about my adventures with my friends. More than a few times, he'd get dressed up—donning some sort of quasi-disguise—preparing to go with me, only to back down at the last minute or be held back by his security who would shake their heads and plainly say no to his misguided ambitions. Instead, he'd pour himself a tall glass of orange juice and settle in for the night to watch an old movie on TV.”
While TMZ talks about injections of Demerol, lawyer Brian Oxman speaks to anyone with a microphone about “enablers,” and people who hadn’t seen Michael Jackson in 15 years tell CNN that his death has left a hole in their heart, I am still trying to Moonwalk in my living room and hoping that up in heaven Michael Jackson is teaching everyone the steps to "Thriller" and smiling.
RIP Farrah. I spent a lot of time in the 1970s trying to copy your iconic hairstyle, now it will be your determination to live and enjoy your life that will be my inspiration.
"@PaulaAbdul along with@adammshankman I follow you too. Will you choreograph an MJ tribute for us this week?"
No!!!! It should be Wade Robson, who grew up idolizing MJ and knew him.
UPDATE: Paula has sent the following Tweet to Nigel: "Have your people call my people Nigel and let's do it! lol"
She also made clear to her Twitter followers that she had a close working relationship with Michael and the Jackson clan: "I started my career doing choreography for the Jackson family! I was honored and blessed to get to work with them.
"I was mesmerized every time I watched Michael rehearse& then transform on stage- he was a magical genius and his legend will live on forever.
"I worked w/ the whole family when they got ready for the Reunion tour,1st video was 'Torture' & did the Victory tour."
I sent her a Tweet asking her to work with Wade on the tribute.
When I was a kid I so wanted to be Lisa Marie, but now, not so much. And today, not at all. Heartbreaking.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Years ago Michael and I were having a deep conversation about life in general.
I can't recall the exact subject matter but he may have been questioning me about the circumstances of my Fathers Death.
At some point he paused, he stared at me very intensely and he stated with an almost calm certainty, "I am afraid that I am going to end up like him, the way he did."
I promptly tried to deter him from the idea, at which point he just shrugged his shoulders and nodded almost matter of fact as if to let me know, he knew what he knew and that was kind of that.
14 years later I am sitting here watching on the news an ambulance leaves the driveway of his home, the big gates, the crowds outside the gates, the coverage, the crowds outside the hospital, the Cause of death and what may have led up to it and the memory of this conversation hit me, as did the unstoppable tears.
A predicted ending by him, by loved ones and by me, but what I didn't predict was how much it was going to hurt when it finally happened. The person I failed to help is being transferred right now to the LA County Coroners office for his Autopsy.
All of my indifference and detachment that I worked so hard to achieve over the years has just gone into the bowels of hell and right now I am gutted.
I am going to say now what I have never said before because I want the truth out there for once.
Our relationship was not "a sham" as is being reported in the press. It was an unusual relationship yes, where two unusual people who did not live or know a "Normal life" found a connection, perhaps with some suspect timing on his part. Nonetheless, I do believe he loved me as much as he could love anyone and I loved him very much.
I wanted to "save him" I wanted to save him from the inevitable which is what has just happened.
His family and his loved ones also wanted to save him from this as well but didn't know how and this was 14 years ago.
We all worried that this would be the outcome then. At that time, In trying to save him, I almost lost myself.
He was an incredibly dynamic force and power that was not to be underestimated. When he used it for something good, It was the best and when he used it for something bad, It was really, REALLY bad.
Mediocrity was not a concept that would even for a second enter Michael Jackson's being or actions.
I became very ill and emotionally/ spiritually exhausted in my quest to save him from certain self-destructive behavior and from the awful vampires and leeches he would always manage to magnetize around him.
I was in over my head while trying. I had my children to care for, I had to make a decision.
The hardest decision I have ever had to make, which was to walk away and let his fate have him, even though I desperately loved him and tried to stop or reverse it somehow.
After the Divorce, I spent a few years obsessing about him and what I could have done different, in regret. Then I spent some angry years at the whole situation.
At some point, I truly became Indifferent, until now.
As I sit here overwhelmed with sadness, reflection and confusion at what was my biggest failure to date, watching on the news almost play by play The exact Scenario I saw happen on August 16th, 1977 happening again right now with Michael (A sight I never wanted to see again) just as he predicted, I am truly, truly gutted.
Any ill experience or words I have felt towards him in the past has just died inside of me along with him.
He was an amazing person and I am lucky to have gotten as close to him as I did and to have had the many experiences and years that we had together.
I desperately hope that he can be relieved from his pain, pressure and turmoil now.
He deserves to be free from all of that and I hope he is in a better place or will be.
I also hope that anyone else who feels they have failed to help him can be set free because he hopefully finally is.
The World is in shock but somehow he knew exactly how his fate would be played out some day more than anyone else knew, and he was right.
I really needed to say this right now, thanks for listening.
"I'm still in shock about Michael. My mom grew up with him since they were teenagers and I've known him all my life. He was amazing, so sad," Paris said in a Tweet.
"Michael and his kids were just at my house a few months ago, I can't believe I will never see him again. He was such a kind and gentle soul."
She posted the pic above and the one below of her, her sister, Nicky, Nicole Richie and Michael.
I am not a Paris Hilton fan, but agree with her sentiment here: "Life is short and precious. Be good and true. Enjoy every moment like it's your last. You never know when it might be your time to go. Peace."
Thursday, June 25, 2009
In truth, I can't remember a time when I didn't know who he was. From watching the Jackson 5ive cartoon on Saturday mornings, to trying to copy his Moonwalk (and failing), to seeing him in concert twice, to wearing out my copy of Thriller, Michael Jackson was always there.
The first time he toured Australia, I had a friend whose sister was working as a maid at Michael’s hotel. She and some of her co-workers went to clean Michael’s suite and found the carpet had been pulled up and Michael in the center of the room working up a sweat, dancing. “Come and dance with me,” he said softly, smiling, “Come on.” They giggled and shook their heads, worried they would get into trouble if they did, but a voice in their heads was also saying, “Only a fool would try to dance with Michael Jackson.” It would have been like trying to take on Michael Phelps in the pool. But that image is one that has always stayed with me. A lonely guy isolated by his awe-inspiring talent.
He was a man who brought so much happiness to the world, and exhibited such exuberance and joy, but I don’t think Michael Jackson was a happy person. Robbed of his childhood and subjected to abuse by his father, it’s not surprising to me that when Michael grew up, he loved to spend time in the company of children. But that came at a cost. He paid a multimillion-dollar settlement in 1993 to a 13-year-old boy he allegedly abused (charged were never filed), but was acquitted of similar accusations in 2003. I think people tend to forget that he was found not guilty.
Michael began taking painkillers and sedatives like Valium and Xanax in the wake of the child abuse charges. And while he is said to have died of a cardiac arrest today, I fear that (like Elvis Presley) an autopsy will find that Michael died of complications from prescription drug abuse.
It’s hard not to draw comparisons between Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. The King of Pop and King of Rock and Roll had so many similarities beyond their talent. And their connections were solidified when Michael married Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie, in 1994, when Michael was reeling from the child abuse allegations and turning to drugs. “I didn’t believe he did it,” Lisa Marie said. “I wanted to save him. I felt like I could do it.”
But two years later they split and Michael Jackson’s downhill spiral continued. The following years saw the man who broke a record as “the first entertainer to earn 100 million dollars in one year” teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. (Coincidentally, Elvis reportedly had less than $1,000,000 when he died.)
In the same way that people of a certain age can tell you where they were when John F. Kennedy and Elvis died, in years to come, we’ll all remember where we were when Michael Jackson died. But rather than recall June 25, 2009, I will remember the music, the dancing, the man. Thanks for the memories, Michael Jackson.
The following story showed up on TMZ's website at 5:20 p.m. today.
Then a few minutes later, they backtimed the story to 4:00 p.m.
Realizing they might be in trouble for doing that (as we learned later from Jermaine Jackson that Michael only arrived at UCLA Medical Center at 3:14 and was worked on for an hour), they quickly switched back to 5:20 p.m. again.
Click on the pics to see enlarged versions of the page that clearly show the times.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
"They had a few producer-type folks with them. It looked like some sort of business," a diner told the Daily Express.
OK, so here's my guess on what they were meeting about. Hugh is set to star in a film called Personal Security, playing a tough New York City cop who is forced to be a bodyguard for a spoiled heiress.
Miley as a spoiled heiress? Not much of a stretch is you ask me.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
He said on Twitter today: "Off the record I'm running lines so I don't have to eat blended dung beatles in the jungle for cash and prizes..."
Must be suffering from mercury-inspired short-term memory loss—he's obviously forgotten about the atomic fallout over his early departure from Speed the Plow on Broadway.
Jeremy, if you ask me, you are about one plate of sushi away from it. Entourage won't last forever, ya know.
And I'd avoid running into Lou Diamond Phillips in the future. He's looking lean and mean after eating all those dung beetles in the jungle. He could take you.
And I don't think he'll take you up on your offer to hug it out.
A former high school theater geek on a show about high school theater geeks.
And the first thing I would start on is that heinous hair.
Thanks to ivillage.com, I can show Kate how much better she'd look if she tried on a celeb hairstyle.
She's about as well-liked as Sarah Palin.
Maybe she wants to take the style of a similarly named star, like Katie Holmes.
While, it wouldn't be much of a difference from her current hairstyle, there is nothing very Posh about Kate.
Somehow, I don't think Michelle Obama would be flattered.
Alas Kate is not a cool mom like Gwen Stefani.
Funnily enough, I think Paris Hilton's hairstyle suits her.
Hasn't Jennifer Aniston been through enough???
Monday, June 22, 2009
When it came to other categories, those three airlines didn't fare any better, also being voted as having the most uncomfortable economy and business class seats and the rudest flight attendants.
Now I know why I find the flights from the US to Australia so hellish!
When asked which celebrity couple they would most like to sit between, the respondents overwhelmingly said they didn't want to sit next to anyone (56%). Out of those who don't mind getting up close and personal with a star, the most popular choices were President Obama and the First Lady, followed by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, the Beckhams, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, and Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen.
I'd rather sit next to Mini-Me. He wouldn't take up any room at all, I could easily climb over him to get to the bathroom and he'd probably get drunk straight away, fall asleep and not bother me for the rest of the flight.
We initially met Emma when she was 9 years old in the first Harry Potter film; now she's 19! Boy, that makes me feel really old.
Emma plans to juggle filming the last Harry Potter movie with university, where is set to study
English literature and art and live in the freshman dorms with a roommate (which her co-star Daniel Radcliffe told her was crazy). But Emma claims, "I really want anonymity."
She says she's not sure about continuing her career in acting: "There's not, like, a burning passion in me that I have to act and I don't care what I do. Until something comes along that I feel as strongly about as I did Hermione—like, I felt that it was life or death—I don't want to act again."
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The couple was photographed at Milan Fashion Week with matching peroxided 'dos.
What is it about celeb couples that they feel the need to look like each other?
Is is the inner actor that feels they need to mirror their partner?
Kelly isn't the first one to do it and she won't be the last. Take a look at these celeb look-alike couples.
Brad Pitt is a serial look-alike offender.
It began with Gwyneth Paltrow, moved on to Jennifer Aniston (they got matching highlights for their wedding day) and then Angelina Jolie.
I find it cheesy. Kind of like dressing twins in matching outfits.
Tom Cruise couldn't pull it off with Nicole Kidman (her curly red hair probably got in the way), but he's managed to transform current wife Katie Holmes into a not-so-mini me.
Then Katie did played the look-alike card with their daughter, Suri.
But it didn't work out quite so successfully for J.Lo when she went ghetto for Diddy.
And Jessica Simpson really showed that she was a dumb blonde when she dyed her hair brown to match then-beau John Mayer's.
As if that was the key to a lasting relationship with that love rat.
Ashlee Simpson is following in her big sister's footsteps in more ways than one. She's sporting the same sideswept bangs as her rocker husband, Pete Wentz.
Does the couple that straightens together stay together? Maybe. As long as they don't fight over custody of the eyeliner.