Wednesday June 30th, Michael Jackson left his hotel in Paris in the early afternoon. He went to Rambouillet, a town 75km in the West of Paris. His visit there was cut short by unwelcome paparazzi followers. Michael had to return to his hotel because he couldn't get rid of them and didn't want the purpose of his visit to Rambouillet to be reported.
Later in the afternoon, by 7 p.m., Michael and friends of his went out to see "The Matrix", a movie that's just out in France. They drove to the Champs-Elys es where most theatres are located.
Skipper Nagin, Michael's bodyguard, tried to get tickets for the movie in a theatre down the famous avenue. Unfortunately, the movie had already started there. So they went to another place. Skipper bought tickets first, then Michael and his party walked in the theatre when the lights were out and sat in the last row.
Before the "Matrix" began, Skipper brought Michael and his friends popcorn and cokes.
The King of Pop was disquised in an Arabian fashion with an orange scarf, his mask, a red shirt, black trousers and a pair of sneakers.
When the movie was over, Michael and his guests sneaked out of the theatre through a side exit and got in their car that was waiting there.
It was the second time Michael watched "The Matrix". He already saw the movie in New York a few months ago.
Michael asks fans not to come and see him in Paris as he currently wishes to be left alone.
01/07/1999 Michael's Toy Story
Paris, Thursday July 1st. Michael left his hotel today at 4:45 p.m. and went to Le Forum des Halles, a big shopping mall in the center of Paris. His car entered Le Forum through the deliveries entrance. He spent a few minutes at "L'Escale", a toy store inside the mall, but didn't buy anything there. While he was in the store, he tried to play with a Nintendo 64 system but couldn't as it wasn't turned on. He also watched closely a life-size statue of Lara Croft, the Tomb Raider heroine, and touched her arms and hips to feel the material.
Afterwards, he went to La Samaritaine, a famous department store. He visited the toy department and bought a lot of toys, including "Batman" puppets and the "Toy Story" dinosaure (Michael picked up the one that was on presentation on a shelf instead of a brand new boxed copy).
Michael was followed and bothered by paparazzi during his whole shopping spree. They hid in the stores and took pictures of him constantly.
Michael wasn't disguised. He wore his black trousers, a red shirt, his mask, hat and glasses, and a pair of sneakers (to ease on his slightly sprained ankle).
Michael was accompanied by a big escort on his short escapade. He drove in a BMW car (with Prince, Paris and Skipper) and was followed by a van (with friends, a nurse and bodyguards), a taxi (with more bodyguards), and a motorcycle policeman.
Michael was back at his hotel by 7 p.m..
03/07/1999 A Strange Gift
Today, Friday June 2nd, Michael didn't leave his Parisian hotel. He stayed in-doors the whole day. By 7 p.m., however, a surprising scene happened. The paparazzi that have been following Michael restlessly in Paris for the last few days offered the King of Pop a strange gift. They arranged a box full of bathroom accessories to be brought up to his suite. Among the gifts were a bathrobe and towels embroidered with the names of Prince and Paris. A strange gift...
04/07/1999 Working in Paris
On Saturday July 3rd, Michael spent the afternoon and the evening in a studio near Paris, working on a special project for the new album.
05/07/1999 Another working day in Paris
Sunday July 4th, Michael spent another afternoon and evening working in a studio near Paris.
05/07/1999 Michael moves out
Today, at 2 a.m., Michael left the hotel Plaza Ath n in Paris where he had been staying for the past few days. He went to another hotel.
Although Michael didn't move out in order to escape from his fans or the media, he doesn't wish to reveal his whereabouts for the time being. Therefore, we won't publish the name of his new hotel, although it is already all over the French media.
Today, Michael didn't work; he spent the whole afternoon enjoying himself.
07/07/1999 Another day in Paris
Tuesday July 6th, Michael spent another day in Paris. He had leisure activities in the afternoon with Prince and Paris, and business meetings in the evening.
His whereabouts are still not to be announced as he wishes to enjoy some time away from the public eye.
Michael is expected to go back to New York City by the end of the week-end.
11/07/1999 Michael in Paris - Update
Michael is still in Paris, enjoying time with his family. Debbie arrived Friday 9th and stays with her husband and children at the same hotel. (Michael's whereabouts are still not to be revealed)
The King of Pop was planning on leaving Paris this week-end. However, he's just extended his stay. He's now expected to leave next Wednesday or Thursday. He's enjoying his time in Paris so much that he postponed all of the business meetings he had this week in the USA.
To clear up a rumor, planetjackson.com informs you that Michael didn't shoot any video in Paris last week. His working in a studio was not related to the making of a video for the new album. For the time being, the purpose of his spending two days in a studio is not to be developped. That is Michael's request.
14/07/1999 Michael leaves the Disneyland Hotel
Michael left the Disneyland Hotel Tuesday night, July 13th. He had spent last week there, enjoying time with his children at the Disneyland Paris resort.
15/07/1999 Michael in South Africa
Tuesday night July 13th, Michael left Paris and flew to South Africa. He landed in Johannesburg and went to the Sun City resort where he is currently staying.
Michael is in South Africa with his children on vacation.
18/07/1999 Michael Attends Nelson Mandela's Birthday Party
Sunday July 18th, while in South Africa on a vacation trip, Michael Jackson attended the private party Nelson Mandela (81) held for his family and close friends at his Johannesburg estate.
The King of Pop and his children stayed for lunch. Later in the afternoon, they went back to the Sun City resort where they're staying.
19/07/1999 Slight Change in Schedule - Update
Michael was expected to turn in song samples from the new album by the end of this month. However, due to several delays, Sony Music won't get the expected material on time. Therefore, a slight change in the schedule has been made. Michael is now expected to turn in a sampler of his new album by early August.
This slight change does not affect the planned November 9th commercial release date.
22/07/1999 Back to the USA
Currently in South Africa, Michael is expected to fly back to Los Angeles this week-end.
24/07/1999 Quote from Monica
18 years old American R&B singer Monica recently gave an interview to the Los Angeles Times in which she was quoted as saying:
"One of the turning points in my life was the first concert I attended. It was Michael Jackson. I was 7 years old. After seeing such a good show, I had an entirely different interest in the artist and in music."
26/07/1999 Michael in London
On his way back to the USA from South Africa, Michael stopped in England for a short stay. He arrived in London on Sunday July 25th and attended business meetings on Monday.
27/07/1999 Michael's Note
Monday July 26th, Michael sent out a note to the fans waiting outside the Dorchester, his Londonian hotel.
The note read: "Expect my Millennium album very soon. It will be very exciting! I'm not feeling too well but I'll be better soon".
(wording of this transcription may slightly differ from the original note)
The King of Pop is expected to leave London Tuesday 27th.
27/07/1999 Quotes from Rodney Jerkins
The Los Angeles Times recently published an interview with Rodney Jerkins. About working with the King of Pop, the young R&B producer stated:
Michael Jackson was my biggest wish ever. He's pushed me more than any artist or record company. We had a lot of fun; I'd play the music real loud and we'd go crazy pumpin' fists, clappin', cheerin'. His drive is unbelievable. He would call me at 5 in the morning, in the studio, and I'd be like, What are you doin' up? And he'd say, I just want to make sure everything's goin' right.' There's a lot of pressure, working with a Michael Jackson or a Whitney Houston. There's no two or three pitches if you miss once, you don't get a second chance.
Rodney Jerkins was also recently interwied by Billboard Magazine:
My basic approach as a producer is to really study who I'm working with. I try to know them before they get to the studio. When I worked with Michael, I listened to all his CDs. I studied him so much that when he hears what I'm doing, it's a combination of the old Michael with something new.
28/07/1999 Quote from Phil Collins
English singer and producer Phil Collins was recently interviewed by American newspaper Daily News. Asked about Michael Jackson, he said:
"The people who don't want anything from him are children. Everyone else wants something. They want to flirt with glory... He's a tabloid victim."
29/07/1999 Official Announcement
Today, Sony Music has officially announced that they should get the tapes of Michael's new album by the end of August.
The title of the album should then be revealed...
30/07/1999 Michael's studio session in Paris
Contrary to a press release available on the Sony Music France internet site, Michael Jackson did not record a song while in France in July.
His going to a studio near Paris was not related to the recording of a new track or the shooting of a video.
30/07/1999 Press Conference
On August 29th, Michael Jackson is planning on attending a press conference to announce his Millennium projects.