More than two and a half years after his untimely death, Michael Jackson continues to entertain. Cirque du Soleil’s crowd-pleasing Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour is currently crisscrossing North America, while a recent Jackson-themed episode of Glee earned the show a 16 percent jump in ratings and its highest music sales of the season. Even Madonna’s halftime Super Bowl spectacle harkened back to a trend first initiated by Jackson.But there is another crucial part of Jackson’s legacy that deserves attention: his pioneering role as an African-American artist working in an industry still plagued by segregation, stereotypical representations, or little representation at all.
Jackson never made any qualms about his aspirations. He wanted to be the best. When his highly successful Off the Wall album (in 1981, the best-selling album ever by a black artist) was slighted at the Grammy Awards, it only fueled Jackson’s resolve to create something better. His next album, Thriller, became the best-selling album by any artist of any race in the history of the music industry. It also won a record-setting seven Grammy awards, broke down color barriers on radio and TV, and redefined the possibilities of popular music on a global scale.
Yet among critics (predominantly white), skepticism and suspicion only grew. “He will not swiftly be forgiven for having turned so many tables,” predicted James Baldwin in 1985, “for he damn sure grabbed the brass ring, and the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo has nothing on Michael.”
Baldwin proved prophetic. In addition to a flood of ridicule regarding his intelligence, race, sexuality, appearance, and behavior, even his success and ambition were used by critics as evidence that he lacked artistic seriousness. Reviewsfrequently described his work as “calculating,” “slick,” and “shallow.” Establishment rock critics such as Dave Marsh and Greil Marcus notoriously dismissed Jackson as the first major popular music phenomenon whose impact was more commercial than cultural. Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Bruce Springsteen, they claimed, challenged and re-shaped society. Jackson simply sold records and entertained.
This is just the beginning… the best is yet to come. He has said it many times… BELIEVE!
MARIE-FRANCE BORNAIS, QMI AGENCY
NEW YORK — If people knew everything that Michael experienced growing up, Jermaine Jackson thinks they would have thought about him differently.
“He hated the titles,” Jermaine said in an exclusive interview.
“They were calling him names, ‘Freaking Wacko-Jacko’ and all these kinds of things. That hurt him because here’s someone who’s taking the time, with his fame, to give a message that is so divine and so pure for the world, and for children, and for people. And all they can do is look at things that are not important, like the colour of his skin.
“It’s horrible to be accused of horrible things, false allegations of child molestation which (were) just horrible. They tried so hard to bring him down on so many other things… That’s just horrible because they knew he loved children and they tried to bring him down on the very thing that he loved, which was kids.”
Jermaine said that Michael donated hundreds of millions of dollars to charity, before his tragic death in 2009 at age 50.
“He would go to any hospital, anywhere in the world, and walk down the emergency corridors, and find who needed operations and he would pay for them, and give lung transplants and all kinds of things. And liver transplants. That’s what he did. And people who couldn’t afford burials in our industry, in the music industry, he would bury them (and pay for it).”
Jermaine, 57, recalls his family’s beginnings in a poorly insulated bungalow in Gary, Ind., like it was yesterday. Michael and Jermaine had seven siblings — Jackie, Tito, Marlon, Rebbie, La Toya, Randy and Janet.
“Going back to the Gary days and writing about our childhood was very easy, because it’s something that will never go away in our minds, and the Jackson Five days were some of the most incredible days in our lives.
“It was just the beginning of us wanting to be like the Temptations, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and The Supremes, and all these (artists that) we grew up wanting to be like. And we were on our way, and that’s because the Jackson Five gave us that international fame — and that gave Michael an incredible launching pad to become Michael Jackson.”
When Michael was young, all members of the musical family thought he was something special.
January 2, 2012 | Categories: Interviews/articles/videos (MJ related) | Tags: Arts, Bradley Cooper, Free, Hangover, Limitless, M (New York City Subway service), michael jackson, Television | 6 Comments
Wonderful article on Michael’s humanitarianism!
Latoya recently commented not to believe what was said in the trial, that “it’s all an illusion” and to “read between the lines”. She also made sure to mention we watch the movie “The Illusionist” so we’d understand. So here is the plot for that movie:
The film, which contains both fictional and historical characters, begins in medias res as Chief Inspector Walter Uhl (Paul Giamatti) moves to arrest Herr Eisenheim (Edward Norton) during what appears to be necromancy passed off as a magic show. He then begins to recount the story of Eisenheim for Crown Prince Leopold.
Eisenheim was born the son of a cabinetmaker in Vienna, Austria-Hungary and is seen training for this same trade. One day when he was a teenager, Eisenheim (played as a young man byAaron Johnson) meets a traveling magician along a road. The magician performs several tricks for him and then, according to various accounts, both the magician and the tree he was sitting under vanish. Eisenheim becomes obsessed with magic tricks after this.
He also falls in love with Sophie, the Duchess von Teschen (Jessica Biel, played as a teenager by Eleanor Tomlinson), a noblewoman well above his social class; her parents have hired Eisenheim’s father as a cabinetmaker. Young Eisenheim makes young Sophie a unique marquetry puzzle locket, which if twisted correctly reveals a hidden photograph of Eisenheim. Although the two are forbidden to see each other, they meet in a secret hideout chamber in the woods, where Eisenheim tells of his plans to go to China to learn more magic and Sophie promises to go with him. On the day that they are going to leave, the police come looking for Sophie. The two hide in the secret room and Sophie begs Eisenheim to make them both disappear. He is unable to fulfill this request and the two are separated.
Eisenheim travels the world, perfecting his craft and returns to Vienna years later as a master illusionist. He meets Sophie at one of his performances, when she is volunteered by Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) as a reluctant participant in an illusion, where her reflection in a mirror is “murdered”. He soon learns that Sophie is expected to marry the Crown Prince, who purportedly has a history of abuse towards women. Eisenheim and Sophie, having recognized each other, meet privately, revealing Sophie still has the locket he made for her years ago. After humiliating the Crown Prince during a private show, Eisenheim finds his hit performance shut out of Vienna. When Sophie comes to offer him help, the two consummate their relationship and realize that they are still in love. They plan to flee the Empire together; but first something must be done to stop Leopold, who Sophie reveals is planning a coup d’etat to usurp the Crown of Austria from his aging father, the Emperor Franz Joseph I, while using his engagement to her to win the Hungarian half of the Empire as well. She also knows that the Crown Prince will view her as disposable if she leaves him for another man, and that he will have both her and Eisenheim followed and killed.
Leopold finds out from Uhl, who was following the couple, that Sophie has met with Eisenheim. While drunk, Leopold confronts Sophie and accuses her of being unfaithful. She tells him that she will not marry him or have anything to do with his plan. When she attempts to leave, it appears that he murders her in the stables, with a sword cut across her neck. Unfortunately, Leopold’s royal status makes any accusations against him unthinkable, despite an existing belief among the people that Leopold has murdered a woman in the past. As Eisenheim plunges into despair and the citizens of Vienna begin to suspect Leopold of Sophie’s murder, Uhl observes Eisenheim’s actions more closely on behalf of Leopold.
Wracked with grief, Eisenheim prepares a new kind of magic show, using mysterious equipment and Chinese stagehands. Eisenheim purchases a run-down theater and opens a new performance. During his show, Eisenheim apparently summons spirits, leading many to believe that he possesses supernatural powers.
Leopold decides to attend one of Eisenheim’s shows in disguise. During this show, Eisenheim summons the spirit of Sophie, who says someone in the theater murdered her, panicking Leopold. Uhl pleads with Eisenheim to stop such performances, but Eisenheim refuses. Finally, Leopold orders Eisenheim’s arrest. We then return to the opening scene of the movie, but now we see that when Uhl tries to arrest him during the performance, Eisenheim’s body fades and disappears like his summoned spirits.
Inspector Uhl searches for Eisenheim at his house. There he finds a folio labeled “Orange Tree,” the name of one of Eisenheim’s illusions which had intrigued Uhl. Thinking he will find the solution to one of the magician’s most famous tricks, he opens it to find empty pages except for a scrap of parchment showing how to open the locket Eisenheim had given Sophie when they were young.
Uhl reveals to Leopold that he has found evidence which links the Crown Prince to Sophie’s murder: a jewel from the prince’s sword and Sophie’s locket that Eisenheim gave her when they were children. After ordering, then begging Uhl to keep silent, Leopold discovers that Uhl has already informed the Emperor and the General Staff of Leopold’s conspiracy to usurp the Austro-Hungarianthrone. As the Army arrives at his Palace to arrest him, Leopold shoots himself in despair after angrily justifying his plans to overthrow his father.
In the next scene, Uhl is shown leaving the Imperial Palace. After he takes a few steps, a boy runs up to hand him a folio labeled “Orange Tree”. This time, the “Orange Tree” folio is filled with plans detailing a geared mechanism to make the tree “grow”. Uhl demands to know where the child obtained the folio; the child reveals that Eisenheim had given it to him. Uhl then reaches down into his pocket, to discover the Duchess’ locket is missing. He realises with a jolt that he has been pick-pocketed by a disguised Eisenheim, and gives chase following him to the train station. After the chase, a montage shows Uhl putting the pieces together and discovering how Eisenheim faked Sophie’s death and framed Leopold for the murder. The shot of Uhl closes with him taking his hat off (as if it were in salute), and looking upwards, (as if about to break out in laughter) in realisation of the masterful illusion that has been so successfully planned & implemented. Eisenheim is then seen walking up to a house in the country where Sophie is waiting for him.
November 9, 2011 | Categories: Interviews/articles/videos (MJ related) | Tags: Crown Prince, Edward Norton, Eleanor Tomlinson, Illusionist, Jessica Biel, Leopold, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell, Vienna | Leave a comment
We CAN change the world…
And this last video, although not sung by O-Bee , DOES have interesting lyrics too. I especially like O-Bee’s “ssshhhhhh” at the end— secret…
The lyrics say it all……. RBTL (read between the lines)
Uh Now get down. Hey, let’s start it up. See my phone might leave you in a coroner. But, we aint here to kill. We are here to do what we can .I keep working and do it for my fans. Bang Bang Oh Now let me hit it ladies. Chains hang low. We here to get it baby. They aint gonna try and stop my team. We Gonna roll like bigfoot . Can’t stop, know what I mean? He’s so good, but they can’t see why. I’m in a zone 13 feet high. Wanna Start Something, but they looking sloppy
I’m all over the place boy. You can’t stop me. O-Bee keep bangin like a rifle. Can’t stop, Won’t stop. I’m being like Michael. I can do cool, and missing the action, Don’t talk. Listen to Mr. Jackson.
Yeh, Yo, attitude of a chimp, skowl of a monkey, gorilla flo, I’m crocodile dundee, I’m playing. But, never testing you fool. Run for cover homie, it’s best that you do. I never stop playing, I’m always in the game. And out they came, along with cocaine. I’m evicted. It aint hard to know
Time to step together and give them O-bee oh..you see, I’ve just started something, and stop the bull. Slow Down. We aint stoppin noooooooooo. It’s time to raise the level. Come on ya’ll. Never, I praise the devil. Hell No. East, West, North, South, feel me man. Can’t get enough so they peel a man. We right here. They can’t shake us down. We comin, we comin to break them down.”
November 3, 2011 | Categories: Interviews/articles/videos (MJ related) | Tags: Bellingham Washington, Bhati, Jackson, Janet Jackson, michael jackson, National Enquirer, Original equipment manufacturer, PRWEB | Leave a comment
“You all seen him before….but never like this” uploaded to youtube Nov 1, 2007
“Like you’ve never seen him before…”
I posted this vieo coz I love it. A friend of mine reminded me of it. Thanks Carre!
Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley are but a few of the artists CRYING out to the world to open their eyes , see the truth, and CHANGE things. There are no excuses EVER for war, assassinations (and then gloating about them), hunger, etc… We have the power to change things, through LOVE, pure and simple…
October 21, 2011 | Categories: Interviews/articles/videos (MJ related) | Tags: Bob Marley, Christina Aguilera, Death of Michael Jackson, Los Angeles, Marvin Gaye, michael jackson, Paris, YouTube | 2 Comments
It’s mid-September and Jermaine Jackson is winding up a grueling U.K. book tour, which has seen him spend the last four days making back-to-back television and radio appearances. Securing an interview slot has taken three days of negotiation between Jermaine, his publicist and publishing reps on both sides of the Atlantic. When his car picks me up in Wood Lane, London and drives us into the BBC Studios, he has just appeared on Loose Women — Britain’s answer to The View — and is on his way to be interviewed by BBC Radio Five’s Richard Bacon.
As we’re led inside, several dozen students on a BBC walkabout lose all interest in their tour guide as they spot Michael Jackson’s brother passing through the building. I feel self-conscious as their stares follow us through the foyer but Jermaine appears not to notice. It comes with the territory. As one of the figureheads of America‘s most famous family, he’s become accustomed to outsiders constantly looking in. The problem, though, is that what they see is often warped; a fragmented simulacrum presented by the media. This, he says, is why he has written his new book, You Are Not Alone: Michael Through A Brother’s Eyes.
“How was Loose Women?” I ask him, as we wait for an elevator.
“Well…” He half-grins and exhales loudly. “They were loose.”
The Loose Women interview, like many Jermaine has conducted in recent weeks, was somewhat combative. As Jermaine attempted to speak about his brother from a firsthand perspective he was repeatedly interrupted by the hosts. ‘But Jermaine, I think it’s fair to say he was quite a complex character…’ ‘But… there must have been something going on with Michael. He must have been a sick person.’
The assumption by many that they know more about Michael Jackson than his own family is a bug-bear of Jermaine’s. This attitude, he says, is the result of a decades-long battle against inaccurate media coverage. “This would become a recurring theme for the family,” he writes in the book, “a showdown of fact versus perception — and fact would always be the underdog.”
According to Jermaine, even his initial attempt to write a book, all the way back in 2003, fell flat because publishers were unwilling to print a factual account of his brother’s life.
“I had tried to write something with Judith Regan with Harper Collins in New York and they weren’t interested in the truth then,” he tells me as we sit down in an empty radio studio. “They were interested in the gossip and all the things that were not true. They wanted dirt and I said, ‘I have no dirt’, so they turned me down.”
Eight years later, Harper Collins has come around to Jermaine’s way of thinking. His book is described by the publisher as “an intimate, loving portrait of Michael Jackson.” But Jermaine hasn’t forgotten the 2003 debacle entirely. “They tried to put me on the Judith Regan show on this book tour,” he says. “I said, ‘No way.'”
In 2006 a document purporting to be Jermaine’s 2003 book proposal was leaked to the media and caused a furor. In it Jermaine allegedly branded his brother a ‘stubborn’, ‘harsh’, ‘cold’, ‘calculating’ and ‘devious’ drug addict who “purchased children like a sanctioned black market,” and “changed his skin color.”
For this, Jermaine blames his co-writer Stacy Brown, who he says changed the rejected manuscript to make it more saleable and then circulated it — all without Jermaine’s permission.
“That wasn’t my manuscript,” says Jermaine. “It was just horrible. My manuscript was registered with lawyers and we had proof. I said, ‘My manuscript is totally different from what this guy’s saying’.
“Because of that, publishers for this book, for verification purposes, wanted to see that proposal beforehand. I showed them my original proposal about what I wanted to do and it’s completely in line with the proposal for this book. So that was completely hijacked by somebody else.”
Jermaine isn’t the only person to accuse Stacy Brown of such behavior. In 2005 Brown co-wrote a book with disgruntled Jackson employee Bob Jones. When Jones was asked about the book under oath in Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial, he admitted that it was only “factual to a degree.” Of Brown’s work he said, “My co-writer also has included things that I didn’t approve of,” and added, “I’ve changed millions of things that were inaccurate that I didn’t say.”
Photographer: Harrison Funk – Picture used with written permission from Harper Collins
Even the new book has been mired in controversy. As Jermaine flew to London to begin promotion, a storm was brewing over a story he tells in his prologue. Speaking about his brother’s 2005 child molestation trial, Jermaine recalls how he was so paranoid that Michael could fall victim to a terrible injustice that he hatched a secret escape plan in case it looked like a guilty verdict could be on the cards. He arranged for a private jet to be on standby at the nearest airport, ready to whisk his brother to Bahrain, where he couldn’t be extradited.
However, many journalists — apparently too lazy even to read Jermaine’s eight-and-a-half page prologue in full — got it monumentally wrong. Stories wrongly stated that the Jackson family had planned to spirit Jackson away to the Middle East after he was convicted; a clearly nonsensical claim.
Nevertheless, copy and paste journalism took hold and the story was replicated hundreds of times by newspapers including the New York Post, NY Daily News, Denver Post and Washington Times. Among the more brainless headlines was this honker, which comes courtesy of Britain’s Daily Mail: ‘How Michael Jackson’s family planned to fly singer out of U.S. to Bahrain if he was jailed for child molestation’. Even the Press Association ran with the inaccurate version.
The nonsensical story made Jermaine’s book look like a work of fiction, a situation worsened when the subsequent controversy prompted Michael’s 2005 defense attorney Thomas Mesereau to speak out against the misquoted claims.
“One of the reasons I wrote the book was so that my words would stand for themselves, in context,” says Jermaine. “But even in the newspapers’ coverage of my book, my words were misreported. There was never a plan to get Michael out of the country ‘if convicted’. Thomas Mesereau had to issue a denial based on something that wasn’t true in the first place. That one change of context showed how one inaccuracy can snowball and how myths are made. I sat back and thought ‘This is what Michael faced all the time’.”
Update: Stacy Brown denies changing Jermaine Jackson’s 2003 manuscript. Responding to this article, he said, “Jermaine did indeed want to write a positive book and it was indeed sabotaged – but he knows it wasn’t me who sabotaged it. Jermaine’s money-hungry girlfriend changed the manuscript and he and I were left holding the bag.”
October 21, 2011 | Categories: Interviews/articles/videos (MJ related) | Tags: Bahrain, Jermaine, Jermaine Jackson, Judith Regan, Loose Women, Michael, michael jackson, Thomas Mesereau | Leave a comment
Un des dix chorégraphes du spectacle, Rich Talauega (vidéo des danseurs à l’oeuvre)
Kevin Antunes, concepteur musical (gauche) et Greg Phillinganes, directeur musical (droite)
Michael Jackson à six ans
Blanket, le plus jeune fils de Michael, sur le tapis rouge lors de la première de Immortal Tour au Centre Bell
Entrevue donnée par la mère de Michael Jackson à propos du spectacle hommage du Cirque du Soleil
Copied from : http://blogues.canoe.ca/surleterrain/
Although I’ve already posted this interview over a year ago, I keep coming back to it because I believe ALL truth is right here. From his relationship to his family to using “art” in life. Listen deeply to this whole interview, and the answers are all there…
October 3, 2011 | Categories: Interviews/articles/videos (MJ related) | Tags: ABC News, Alabama, Arianna Huffington, Coming out, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Gay, Gay Lesbian and Bisexual, YouTube | 1 Comment
How do you stage a Michael Jackson show without Michael Jackson? With high energy dancing and acrobatics, plenty of razzle dazzle, tons of ingenuity and lots of carefully selected video clips of Jackson himself.
That seems to be more or less the recipe adhered to by the Cirque du Soleil in creating Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour which had its world premiere at the Belle Centre last night (Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011). It plays here again tonight before moving on to Ottawa, then to about 60 other North American cities.
This $60 million arena show that sold $40 million worth of tickets within 24 hours when it was first announced, is not like anything the Cirque has done before, although its genre is similar to that of Viva ELVIS and LOVE (the Beatles show) in Las Vegas.
This MJ show has circus acts, but it’s not a circus. Nor is it a rock concert or dance show, exactly, either. Insofar as people are expecting any one of the above, they may feel a bit shortchanged. But if they go with the performance art flow of it all, they are not likely to be bored.
This is a dazzling, fast-pace spectacle for people with short attention spans, flitting from one song to the next, seldom settling down with one for a whole number. All is deftly rearranged, using live music and Jackson’s recorded voice. The audience is overwhelmed with images, some of them on screens, others created through maniupulation of quirky props, like a mega-sized white glove, a huge Jackson hat that conceals several dancers or a pair of giant shoes and socks, with dancers inside.
There’s no real attempt to tell Jackson’s life story, but it does begin with a five-clown band, evoking the Jackson Five. (Not the most successful idea in the show, given their moves aren’t nearly as slick as the originals and their bad afro wigs don’t become them well.)
The show offers a fairly comprehensive sampling of Jackson’s better-known songs. Early on, there’s a poignant rendition of Have You Seen My Childhood? Some songs, like Dancing Machine and Black or White, get more of a workout than others. Fantasies of Neverland come alive, one after another, sometimes at very high volume. There’s quiet time, too, with Jackson speaking his own lyrics.
A solo dancer/acrobat in sparkling white does mime shtick that reminds us where the moonwalk came from. He returns again and again throughout the show, at one point doing a series of startling backwards cartwheels. (Do not try this at home.) Aerial acts are used frequently to conquerthe cavernous space of the Bell Centre. A single contortionist worms her way out of a giant book, in one clevelry staged scene.
Unlike most Cirque shows, this one, directed by Jamie King, is prepared to do a couple of encores. And on Sunday night it was clear that 15,000 people wanted more. And more.
Massive Michael Jackson Immortal tour kicks off in Montreal
Updated: Mon Oct. 03 2011 9:28:52 AM
MONTREAL — Michael Jackson’s mother, his siblings, and his children were among those attending the premiere of Michael Jackson: The Immortal World tour, produced by the Cirque du Soleil at the Bell Centre Sunday evening.
Daniel Lamarre President of the Cirque du Soleil, was particularly excited that the late king of pop’s mother Katherine Jackson was at the show.
“She played a deciding role choosing the Cirque du Soleil for this project and disappointing her is out of the question,” he said.
Jackson’s two brothers, Jackie and Tito were also at the show.
Fans watched dancers and acrobats pay tribute to about 60 songs from the vast Michael Jackson songbook, ranging from his earliest material with the Jackson 5 to songs from his final studio album.
Plenty of video, including never-before-seen video from the This Is Ittour, was presented.
The organizers ruled out hiring an imitator for the show.
“We refused to do that, and were very clear, as was the family. There’s only one Michael Jackson and we’re going to see him plenty on the video,” said Daniel Lamarre.
The show will stop at about 50 Canadian and American cities by July 2012 and will travel with a $60 million budget.
Altogether, 38 trucks — three devoted entirely to costumes — will roll throughout North America as 76 artists, including 15 musicians will participate in the show.
Fans who missed opening night in Montreal will have plenty of other opportunities to catch the show: the tour is scheduled to return to Montreal in March and July of 2012.
With files from The Canadian Press
Michael Jackson, The Immortal World Tour en images
Critique from Radio Canada:
When I think of Michael Jackson, this is what I see… a passionate human being who truly wanted the world to be a better place…
With all the circus going on (trial), remember Michael’s message:
The ONE and ONLY… A truly passionate Being who wanted nothing more then peace and a better world. Michael, wherever you are, we LOVE YOU!