Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Jackson’s Neverland fans: They came, they waited, now they can Beat It

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neverland-ranch1When the family of Michael Jackson on Wednesday told the world to expect no public memorial at Neverland Valley Ranch, it came too late for the many fans and journalists who, in the hopes of seeing the King of Pop one last time, rushed to take up residence near his former retreat in central California.

Hotels in the area quickly booked up after media reports on Tuesday that said Jackson’s body would come to Neverland. A representative from one inn told celebrity website TMZ that it sold out in 20 minutes when the news broke. Authorities in the area braced for a crowd of mourners, and the inevitable overload of the rural area’s small road network.

Fans bearing flowers and wreaths gathered outside the gates of Neverland Ranch. Tim Brown told Reuters that Jackson’s death compares to Elvis Presley’s sudden demise in 1977. “No matter how you feel about him personal life, his music, really told a story that touched so many people,” Brown said.

The fans expected to see Jackson in a public viewing on Friday, but now that his family has said not to expect any memorial service at Neverland, all those fans will have to go home, or await official word on where the memorial will happen and rush over there. Of course, it’s not just fans who are left in the lurch. A representative at the Marriott Hotel in nearby Buellton  told Reuters that his establishment was mainly full of journalists.

The King of Pop’s last testament

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A memorial is seen as people wait in line to enter the Michael Jackson public memorial at Apollo Theater in New York June 30, 2009.  REUTERS/Shannon StapletonDetails of Michael Jackson’s will began to emerge on Wednesday with all of his multimillion-dollar estate being placed in a family trust, even as plans for his highly anticipated funeral remained sketchy.

The will, signed in 2002, estimates his estate at that time to be worth in excess of $500 million and was filed with a Los Angeles Court. In it, Jackson leaves his entire estate to the Michael Jackson Family Trust, which ultimately benefits his three children, mother and unnamed charities.

Michael Jackson’s dad in spotlight, despite son’s “strong hate”

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In a cruel twist of fate, the man for whom Michael Jackson once said he felt “strong hate” is taking a central role in his final memorial. Joseph Jackson, the 79-year-old family patriarch who, according to Michael, dished out regular beatings to his children, has also raised eyebrows in the past few days, rarely missing the opportunity to promote his new record company.
    
joe3“Joe Jackson is like the ultimate evil stage mom,” British music author Barney Hoskyns told Reuters, comparing him to the abusive father of the Wilson brothers in the Beach Boys. “You ask what ultimately killed Michael Jackson: It was the self-hatred that was cultivated in him by an extremely abusive — both physically and mentally abusive — man.”
    
Michael Jackson, the third-youngest child in the Jackson clan, made no secret of his father’s harsh methods.
    
“He was very strict, very hard, very stern,” Jackson told Oprah Winfrey in 1993. “Just a look would scare you … There’s been times when he would come to see me and I would get sick. I would start to regurgitate (as both a child and adult).”
    
In an interview with British broadcaster Martin Bashir that aired in 2003, Michael said he got off lightly compared to his older siblings. He tearfully recalled that his father would “tear you up” with a belt or some other convenient cord, and “would throw you up against the wall.” At such times, he said he felt “strong hate” for his father.
    
In the 1994 book “Michael Jackson Unauthorized,” author Christopher Andersen wrote: “Beatings were administered with razor straps, belts, wire coat hangers, rulers, switches, and fists. Bloody noses were not uncommon, and more than once one of the boys was knocked senseless.”
    
But Michael Jackson said he still loved and forgave his father. Billy Wilson, head of the Motown Alumni Association, said spankings were common with black families before “we started moving into mainstream America.”
    
“Without his father, Michael would have taken a different path,” Wilson wrote in an email. “Michael was brave on stage because his father instilled that toughness needed. The only person Michael was afraid of was his father! Which meant … he was fearless with anyone else and on stage.”

AEG Live tap dances through Michael Jackson woes

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After Michael Jackson died on Thursday, concert promoter AEG Live found itself on shaky ground, with 50 shows in London scrapped and ticket buyers clamoring for refunds. The company in recent days has been forced to consider how much it could lose on the cancelemichael-jackson1d shows, amid reports that it spent up to $30 million in production costs and as questions emerged about Dr. Conrad Murray. He is the physician AEG Live hired to care for Jackson and the one who was there when the singer died. He performed CPR on a bed, instead of the preferred method of placing him on a hard surface, like a floor.

Would AEG be the target of lawsuits? Will its insurors decline to pay out if they make a claim? Time will tell, but one outside observer is giving AEG, which is owned by companies controlled by Colorado-based billionaire Philip Anschutz, credit for the way it has controlled the damage that could’ve been caused — or may still be caused — by Jackson’s death.

Michael Jackson fans celebrate his life in New York City

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Michael Jackson fans danced in the aisles of Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater on Tuesday to celebrate his life, cheering and placing tributes on the stage where the “King of Pop” performed as a child.

A line stretched across several city blocks from the theater with fans chanting Jackson’s name to passing tourist buses and singing his songs as they waited to see a 45-minute music and video tribute being repeated throughout the day.

Michael Jackson’s dad — Back in business?

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joe2Michael Jackson’s fans are still in a state of shock over the King of Pop’s sudden death on Thursday.

So some were a little rankled when Michael’s father, Joe, turned up at the BET awards in Los Angeles on Sunday night and worked the red carpet, speaking of his late son AND plugging his latest business venture: a record label.

Joe Jackson speaks about son at BET Awards

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janetThe family of Michael Jackson began to appear in public Sunday night at the BET Awards. Father Joe Jackson and sister Janet Jackson turned up at the Los Angeles awards show, sponsored by the BET television network, that annually gives out honors to African American singers, actors, actresses and athletes.

Janet Jackson did not answer any media questions or even approach the media. She appeared on stage, thanking the audience for turning out and showing their love for her brother. You can read about that here.

from FaithWorld:

Funeral may show if Michael Jackson converted to Islam

jackson-niqab

One of the many rumours that swirled around Michael Jackson in the final years of his life was that he had secretly converted to Islam and taken the name Mikaeel. The "King of Pop" does not seem to have spoken about this publicly himself, and that scene in Bahrain when he went shopping badly disguised in an Arab woman's abaya could be put down to his well-known penchant for dressing up. So unless there is some statement in his will or documentary evidence in his estate, his funeral expected this week may be the last time to test whether this rumour has any basis in fact. (Photo: Veiled Jackson greets security guard as he enters shopping mall in Manama, Bahrain with veiled child, 25 Jan 2006/Hamad Mohammed)

The Jacksons are Jehovah's Witnesses and could be expected to bury Michael in the tradition of that faith. When he announced the death, his brother Jermaine -- a Muslim -- ended with the words: “May Allah be with you, Michael, always.” Jermaine said in 2007 he was trying to convince Michael to convert.

Where were you when Michael Jackson died?

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The events of Michael Jackson’s death, the fan outpouring of emotion, and autopsy results all have played out in rapid succession since Thursday. But by late Friday, the day after he died, some people began saying they knew they would remember where they were the day he died.

Since then the question seems to linger, will the King of Pop’s death be remembered like the King of Rock, Elvis? Will it resonate like Princess Di’s, like Kurt Cobain’s, John Lennon’s or James Dean’s.

“SYTYCD” pays tribute to Michael Jackson; Asuka, Jonathan go home

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Thursday’s elimination show of “So You Think You Can Dance” began on a somber note as executive producer Nigel Lythgoe paid tribute to Ed McMahon, Farrah FawcettandMichael Jackson, all of whom passed away this week. Nigel paid special recognition to the enormous contribution Jackson made to music and dance. “We will not see his like again. He changed the face of music and dance in the world — not just in this country.” He called Jackson’s 1991 “Black or White” music video — which incorporated a number of international dance styles — an inspiration for the show. “This is a life to celebrate. This is a life that remains inspirational for anybody who listens to music, anybody who wants to dance,” Nigel said, noting that many dancers auditioning for the show over the years cited Jackson as the reason why they started dancing. (Last week, contestant Jason Glover was shown doing an impressive Jackson impression when he was four years old.) Of Jackson’s iconic 1982 “Thriller” video, directed by John Landis, Nigel said, “After this, there was nothing ever again that would be the same.” THE SHOW MUST GO ON After the tribute, the voting results were unveiled. It was not a good night for ballroom dancers as Asuka KondohandJonathan Platero were the unlucky ones sent home by judges Nigel, Mary Murphy and guest Toni Basil. Asuka, who performed a Mandy Moore thrash-jazz routine with partnerVitolio Jeune, was the first to go home in an unanimous decision. The judges called her a beautiful and “exciting performer,” but it wasn’t good enough. “You give a little something of yourself with everything that you do, but we do feel that you are not growing in the competition,” Nigel said. The boyish Jonathan was the third male to leave the show. Despite an “outstanding” solo, the judges said his hip-hop performance (choreographed by Dave Scott) was “like a Sunday school picnic outing” despite its “gangsta” theme. “I don’t believe you’ve brought the dancing that is required to be America’s best dancer,” Nigel concluded. The four contestants who escaped the chopping block were Jonathan’s partner, Karla Garcia (despite what the judges called a “desperate” solo), Vitolio, and Caitlin Kinney and Jason, who performed a paso doble by choreographer Jean Marc Genereaux. Randi Evans and Evan Kasprzak lived up to the personality and originality of Mia Michael’s charming “butt” routine. And speaking of butts, Phillip Chbeeb ripped his pants during his Tyce Diorio jazz number with Jeanine Mason, sending Mary into hysterics. Nigel felt Phillip still needed to grow, despite his popularity with voters: “I need more than your ass sticking out of your trousers.” The only couple to make it onto Mary’s “hot tomale train” this week was Kupono Aweau and his new partner Kayla Radomski with their performance of a waltz by Genereaux. “I never yell for a Viennese waltz,” said Mary, who preceded to give her signature scream. But Nigel, in a particularly crusty and critical mood on Wednesday, said they weren’t going to make anyone stand up and cheer, even though it was beautifully danced. Voters disagreed. With seven couples left, dancers will face increasing pressure to exceed expectations every week. Who will survive the heat and who will wilt under the glare of the spotlight? PEOPLE-JACKSON/Thursday’s elimination show of “So You Think You Can Dance” began on a somber note as executive producer Nigel Lythgoe paid tribute toEd McMahonFarrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, all of whom passed away this week. Nigel paid special recognition to the enormous contribution Jackson made to music and dance. “We will not see his like again. He changed the face of music and dance in the world — not just in this country.” He called Jackson’s 1991 “Black or White” music video — which incorporated a number of international dance styles — an inspiration for the show. “This is a life to celebrate. This is a life that remains inspirational for anybody who listens to music, anybody who wants to dance,” Nigel said, noting that many dancers auditioning for the show over the years cited Jackson as the reason why they started dancing. (Last week, contestant Jason Glover was shown doing an impressive Jackson impression when he was four years old.) Of Jackson’s iconic 1982 “Thriller” video, directed by John Landis, Nigel said, “After this, there was nothing ever again that would be the same.” THE SHOW MUST GO ON After the tribute, the voting results were unveiled. It was not a good night for ballroom dancers as Asuka Kondoh andJonathan Platero were the unlucky ones sent home by judges Nigel, Mary Murphy and guest Toni Basil. Asuka, who performed a Mandy Moore thrash-jazz routine with partner Vitolio Jeune, was the first to go home in an unanimous decision. The judges called her a beautiful and “exciting performer,” but it wasn’t good enough. “You give a little something of yourself with everything that you do, but we do feel that you are not growing in the competition,” Nigel said. TELEVISION-AMERICANIDOL/ The boyish Jonathan was the third male to leave the show. Despite an “outstanding” solo, the judges said his hip-hop performance (choreographed by Dave Scott) was “like a Sunday school picnic outing” despite its “gangsta” theme. “I don’t believe you’ve brought the dancing that is required to be America’s best dancer,” Nigel concluded. The four contestants who escaped the chopping block were Jonathan’s partner, Karla Garcia (despite what the judges called a “desperate” solo), Vitolio, and Caitlin Kinney and Jason, who performed a paso doble by choreographer Jean Marc Genereaux. Randi Evans and Evan Kasprzak lived up to the personality and originality of Mia Michael’s charming “butt” routine. And speaking of butts, Phillip Chbeeb ripped his pants during his Tyce Diorio jazz number with Jeanine Mason, sending Mary into hysterics. Nigel felt Phillip still needed to grow, despite his popularity with voters: “I need more than your ass sticking out of your trousers.” The only couple to make it onto Mary’s “hot tomale train” this week was Kupono Aweau and his new partner Kayla Radomski with their performance of a waltz by Genereaux. “I never yell for a Viennese waltz,” said Mary, who preceded to give her signature scream. But Nigel, in a particularly crusty and critical mood on Wednesday, said they weren’t going to make anyone stand up and cheer, even though it was beautifully danced. Voters disagreed. With seven couples left, dancers will face increasing pressure to exceed expectations every week. Who will survive the heat and who will wilt under the glare of the spotlight?

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