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Tag: Michael Jackson (61-70 of 120)

Kanye West posts photos galore of Michael Jackson's glorious stuff

jackson-book-LeutwylerImage Credit: Henry LeutwylerWe’re coming up on a year since Michael Jackson’s untimely death, but the late King of Pop’s stuff lives on. Not just his music, though that’s here to stay, too. I mean Jackson’s actual worldly possessions: the assorted knick-knacks, portraits, and outfits that only he could have collected at Neverland Ranch. Photographer Henry Leutwyler has documented some of this treasure trove for an upcoming book, Neverland Lost. And today, noted MJ fan Kanye West has posted many of Leutwyler’s most striking images on his personal blog.

Leutwyler’s images capture something essential about the bizarrely beautiful palace that Jackson built for himself. There are statues of angels and Disney characters; Wizard of Oz and toy-soldier figurines; even what looks like an original hardcover of Peter Pan. There are all manner of sequined hats, socks, shoes, and of course gloves — so many individual sparkly gloves, in so many hues. There are personalized military uniforms and basketball jerseys. There’s an MTV Artist of the Decade award. I find the shots of thrones and related regalia, like the one (above) of a monogrammed crown sitting alone on a velvet pillow, to be particularly haunting. Jackson surely had that crown commissioned as a celebration of his unparalleled success. Knowing how his story ended, though, it’s hard not to see it as a faintly empty and tragic image.

Click over to KanyeWest.com to peruse the full set. What do you think of these photos? Which are your favorites?

Michael Jackson to get his own Cirque du Soleil shows: Dream? Nightmare? Or BOTH?

Michael-Jackson-240.jpgImage Credit: Tim Whitby/Getty Images According to Reuters, Cirque du Soleil is creating a series of projects honoring Michael Jackson, including an arena touring show starting in 2011 and a Las Vegas nightclub. Proceeds will be split by Jackson’s estate and the Cirque crew — the late King of Pop was apparently a big fan — and according to a statement from Katherine Jackson, the family is “thrilled that Cirque du Soleil will pay tribute to my son in such an important way.”

This isn’t the first time Cirque du Soleil has taken on a pop icon: Both Love (Beatles) and Viva Elvis (uh, Elvis) are up and running in Vegas, and Ka was once featured in a particularly horrifying episode of CSI. All things considered — like Neverland Ranches, affections for monkeys, and the millions of Jackson fans who took to the worldwide streets after his death — a Jacko Jackson [sorry, irate fans; you're right, my bad] Cirque seems like a no-brainer.

What do you think, Mixers? Who’s excited? I for one am not, as these projects will now be added to the list of things I really really want to see but cannot because I am utterly terrified of all things Cirque du Soleil-related. Carny folk! Small hands! I couldn’t even make it through the trailer embedded below! Please tell me I am not alone! READ FULL STORY

Michael Jackson estate signs huge 10-album deal with Sony: Is this a good idea?

Michael-Jackson-singingImage Credit: Kevin MazurLooks like This Is It might have been titled prematurely. Michael Jackson’s estate and Sony Music announced via press release today that they’ve signed a major new deal to continue their decades-long catalog relationship — and to start releasing some of the unheard music that Jackson kept under wraps during his lifetime. A rep for the label confirms reports that the deal includes 10 projects over the next seven years, including special reissues of his classic albums and all those legendary unreleased recordings. Bottom line, we’re looking at a first installment of never-before-heard Michael Jackson music coming this November.

Is this a good idea? The answer, of course, depends on just what’s on those unreleased tapes. Some of the songs in those vaults should no doubt remain there. But Jackson was a notorious perfectionist with extremely high standards for himself — so for every track that he left on the cutting-room floor for good reason, I’m betting there are more than a few that are well worth hearing. There’s probably not another “Billie Jean” out there, but there have to be tons of tunes that will give serious Jackson fans insight into his creative process. Ten albums’ worth? Maybe not, but when you factor in that five to six of those will presumably be revamped versions of his Epic releases (Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad, DangerousInvincible, and maybe HIStory), that doesn’t sound like such a big number.

What do you think of this deal? Do you think there’s enough quality unreleased Michael Jackson music out there to justify 10 albums between now and 2017? Sound off in the comments, below.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Vatican newspaper releases list of top ten albums: Fleetwood Mac! Pink Floyd! ... Oasis?

L’ Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Vatican in Italy, has released its official list of all-time top ten albums, and there is nary a children’s choir nor a Pat Boone best-of to be found.

Amongst the papal state’s surprisingly secular picks? The Beatles’ Revolver (holding the no. 1 spot), Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of The Moon, Oasis’ (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller, whose “illuminating simplicity and musical thrust” they hail. Also: U2’s Achtung Baby, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours,  Donald Fagen of Steely Dan fame’s The Nightfly, Carlos Santana’s Supernatural, Paul Simon’s Graceland and David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name.

Even Bob Dylan’s recent Christmas-themed efforts couldn’t get him shortlisted, however; article authors Giuseppe Fiorentino and Gaetano Vallini excluded him on the grounds that generations of less-talented Dylan acolytes have “harshly tested the ears and patience of listeners with their inferior imitations, thinking that their tortured meanderings might interest somebody.” Tough toke, Bobby Zimmerman.

Does 82-tear-old Pope Benedict XVI personally approve? He is nominated alongside Oasis for a Brit music award—he for Classical Brit, they for best album of the last 30 years. Alas, the ceremonies are held separately, so it is unlikely the twain shall physically meet.

What do you think, readers—are the Vatican paper’s picks divinely right, or holy crap? For Santana, we would vote his 1970 classic Abraxas over the Rob Thomas-noodling Supernatural any day; then again, we are but mere heathen mortals. And perhaps the Church does not approve of his Wiccan muse?

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Grammys pay tribute to Michael Jackson with help from his kids: A fitting salute?

Do not adjust your TV sets — you just witnessed a Michael Jackson tribute so big it could not be confined to a mere two dimensions, courtesy of the Grammys. The tune was 1995’s “Earth Song,” with environmentally themed 3-D visuals that looked familiar if you saw This Is It. This performance was something else entirely, though, thanks to guest singers Celine Dion, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Smokey Robinson, and Jennifer Hudson. A slightly random assortment of names on paper, they brought exactly the right level of power and emotion to the song on stage.

Speaking of emotion, Jackson’s children Michael “Prince” Joseph Jr. and Paris-Michael Katherine shared some brief but truly moving words about their late father after the music ended. When Prince stumbled over his lines, it was nearly impossible not to choke up right along with him.

What did you think of the Grammys’ Michael Jackson tribute? Was this a fitting send-off to the King of Pop? Weigh in below.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Grammys pay tribute to Michael Jackson with help from his kids: A fitting salute?
Grammys: the complete list of winners
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Photo credit: Michael Caulfield/WireImage.com

Grammy rehearsals, day three: Bon Jovi (with Jennifer Nettles) and a tribute to Michael Jackson

The final day of Grammy rehearsals is upon us! Oh, it seems only yesterday that I was fighting to get through security in time for Zac Brown’s rehearsal, but no, that was Thursday. Oh, the memories!  (You can read our coverage of previous days here.)

It was a slow Saturday at Staples for me, since only a few acts were scheduled before I had to head home and get gussied up for tonight’s Clive Davis bash. I’ll have full coverage of that star-studded event tomorrow, but for now, read on for the scoop on Bon Jovi (with Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles) and the Michael Jackson tribute from Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, Smokey Robinson, and Usher. Sadly, I was bounced from the room before Beyonce could rehearse, but I’ll say this: She is using the whole stage. READ FULL STORY

Michael Jackson: Lenny Kravitz confirms leaked 'collaboration' is genuine

Lenny Kravitz has just released a video statement confirming that the leaked track “Another Day” is indeed a collaboration between himself and Michael Jackson. “The version that’s out is…not mixed, but it is the track,” says the singer in the video. “The song was recorded by Michael and myself. I produced it for him, I wrote the song, and I played all the instruments on the track. It was one of the most amazing musical experiences that I’ve ever had. It was done by two people who had respect for each other and who loved music.” Kravitz also says he has no knowledge as to the identity of the DJ who can be heard on the song.

A portion of “Another Day” leaked to the net over the weekend, and it was widely reported that the track was a collaboration between Jackson and Kravitz. Following Jackson’s death, Kravitz told an interviewer that he “got to work with Michael on a track that has not been released.”

So what happens to the song now? TMZ is reporting the track was “never meant to see the light of day” and that Jackson’s label Sony wants to have the song pulled from the Internet. In Kravitz’s video statement, meanwhile, the rocker says that he would “like to see this thing straightened out as soon as possible” so that fans can “hear the track in its entirety, the way it was meant to be.” You can see the video in full below.

What do you think of Kravitz’s statement and of “Another Day” itself? Is it deserving of a proper release?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Photo credit: Jackson: Kevin Mazur; Kravitz: Radim Rotek/PR Photos

Michael Jackson's Spike Lee-directed 'This Is It' video: Watch it here

Michael Jackson’s posthumous single “This Is It” finally has a music video. Not just any video, either, but one helmed by acclaimed director Spike Lee. Check it out below.

Lee’s clip is a heartfelt tribute to the late megastar, with whom he previously collaborated on 1995’s “They Don’t Care About Us” video. The new video opens with shots of Jackson as a small child — is there anything more heartbreaking? — interspersed with vintage and contemporary images of his hometown of Gary, Indiana. Soon it’s whirling through Jackson’s peak years, with well-chosen performance and candid footage illustrating his worldwide fame. Jackson’s countless fans serve as the clip’s co-star, mourning his loss and celebrating his life. At last, the camera comes to rest on Jackson’s iconic hat and sparkling glove, resting alone on a stool.

Given that he likely had no footage of Jackson performing the song “This Is It” to work with, I’d say Lee’s done a very nice job with this video. How about you? Let us know what you think of the video in the comments below.



(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Michael Jackson tops 2009 Google and Yahoo search; beats Gaga, unseats Britney

Top engines Google, Yahoo, and Bing have revealed their most popular search terms this year, crowning the late King of Pop the king of online inquiries in 2009.

According to cnet, web traffic worldwide surged 11 percent immediately after his death in June—so much so that Google initially thought it was an attack on its service—and continued for weeks, making him only one of two individual entertainers on their Fastest Rising global searches (Facebook, Spanish social network Tuenti, Twitter and New Moon all came ahead of Lady Gaga in the top 10, though she beat Windows 7).

On Google Zeitgeist’s strictly-entertainment list, Eminem took the no. 3 position, Beyonce no. 5, and Gaga’s “Poker Face” lyrics landed at no. 10, while Amy Winehouse grabbed the booby prize (pun!), taking no. 5 on the Fastest Falling global searches.

Jackson also unseated four-years-running champ turned fifth-place finisher Britney Spears on Yahoo, and helped bump Miley Cyrus out of the top 10 altogether, though she still took the highest spot for most-searched Twitter, thanks to her now-famously-defunct account (Taylor Swift’s tweets grabbed third, behind Lance Armstrong).

What do you think these results say about the Year That Was, readers? Who will storm the list in 2010 (Justin Bieber? Ke$ha? Unknown Idol idols to come?), and who will fall off entirely?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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'This Is It': Michael Jackson soundtrack tops the albums chart in a busy week

Michael Jackson’s This Is It won the box office easily last weekend, so it should come as little surprise to find the concert film’s soundtrack topping the Billboard 200, too. The King of Pop’s latest posthumous release sold a strong 373,000 copies in its first week on shelves, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That’s comparable to the big sales his greatest-hits set Number Ones was putting up in the weeks immediately following his untimely death — and since This Is It is categorized as a new release, Jackson finally gets to take the No. 1 Billboard 200 spot that a technicality robbed him of for much of this past summer.

A busy pack of other new releases crowded into the shadow of This Is It. Creed came Full Circle to No. 2 with a respectable 110,000 copies sold, answering the question of how many people still consider themselves Creed fans in 2009. The public’s appetite for Rod Stewart covers albums remained unwhetted as his latest such set, Soulbook, bowed at No. 4 with 84,000. Trans-Siberian Orchestra‘s Night Castle checked in at No. 5 with 83,000. Sting‘s If on a Winter’s Night… traveled to No. 6 with 80,000.

READ FULL STORY

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