Entertainment behind the scenes
August 29th = Jackson Squared
August 29 is a notable day in U.S. history — it’s the birthday of the late pop icon Michael Jackson (in 1958) and the day that Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, flooding 80 percent of the city and killing 1,500 people (in 1995).
A group of musicians who think the King of Pop has stolen the Crescent City’s thunder are seeking to combine the two through an art campaign called “Jackson Squared.”
The New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund group has commissioned pop artist L. Steve Williams Jr. to paint “Jackson Squared,” which shows Jackson, with his signature white glove and epaulettes, astride the statue of Andrew Jackson in the city’s Jackson Square. In the background, a red hurricane warning flag flaps in the breeze.
“He’s probably going to get more press on his birthday than one of the worst disasters in U.S. history,” said musician Jeff Beninato, chairman of the group. “This is a way to forever tie the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, with the City of New Orleans, the cradle of rock and roll.”
It’s not the only Jackson-related event. Actor Spike Lee is promoting an event in Prospect Park in Brooklyn to commemorate the “Thriller” singer’s birthday.
Fossett Entertainment Group will also throw a block party to commemorate Jackson’s birthday near his childhood home in Gary, Indiana, according to local media reports.
The “Thriller” singer suffered cardiac arrest and died on June 25 at age 50 in Los Angeles, where he was preparing for a string of concerts in London.
He died from a lethal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol given in a cocktail of drugs, leading authorities to suspect his doctor of manslaughter, court documents show.
So what does 8/29 mean to you? Has U.S. media given just coverage to the horrible destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina? How will you mark Michael Jackson’s 51st birthday?