01/09/1999 Michael Jackson Honored in South Africa
Michael Jackson will be in South Africa by the end of this week to meet Nelson Mandela, receive an award and make a donation to the Nelson Mandela Fund for Children.
Michael is currently in London on his way to Africa.
The King of Pop will be back to the USA by next week to resume work on his new album.
04/09/1999 A Secret Admirer
Artist Keith Haring began his career in the subways, drawing simple outlines on unused advertising space. Later, as his career took off, he became an icon of the modern art world. By the time he died of AIDS in 1990, his works could be seen about everywhere, from museums to MTV set decorations. Haring's works have appealed to children as well as grown-ups. The artist himself had a special affinity for children and supported their cause.
Keith Haring was also a great admirer of the King of Pop and got to meet him. Michael Jackson was very interested in the artist's works and bought several of his creations.
A little souvenir of Michael and Keith can be seen on the website Haring's Foundation recently opened (www.haringkids.com).
Check it out at: www.haringkids.com/keith/snap/people.htm
05/09/1999 Punch Line
American humorist Bob Mills wrote the following joke for the Los Angeles Times in February of 1997:
"Michael Jackson is a dad. Characteristic of first-time fathers of sons, he rushed out and bought the baby a sequined baseball glove."
05/09/1999 Kora All-Africa Music Awards
On Saturday September 4th, Michael Jackson attended the fourth Kora All-Africa Music Awards in Sun City, South Africa. He was given a Lifetime Achievement award and donated one million rand ($166,400) to the Nelson Mandela's Children Fund, which represent a portion of the proceeds from the "Michael Jackson & Friends" concerts.
Michael should be back in the USA on Tuesday to resume work on his new album.
06/09/1999 Quote from Julio Iglesias, Jr.
When recently asked about his musical influence by Interview magazine, Spanish singer Julio Iglesias, Jr. answered:
07/09/1999 Quote from Matt Groening
Michael Jackson contributed his voice to an episode of "The Simpsons" entitled "Stark Raving Dad". Although he's dubbing one of the episode's characters (Leon Kopovski), he's not singing in the show. Impersonator John Jay Smith is performing "Happy Birthday, Lisa", the episode theme song, instead of him.
Michael's recording deal with Sony Music usually prevents him from performing for other record companies.
"Happy Birthday, Lisa" was composed and produced by Michael Jackson and was released in 1997 on the Simpsons CD: Songs In The Key Of Springfield.
During a recent fan convention in Pasadena, California, Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons, stated the following: "It was always amazing to me that no one ever found out that Michael Jackson wrote that song. He was a big fan of the show."
Besides, Michael can be heard singing on another Simpsons song: "Do The Bartman". He's doing background vocals on that track together with Bryan Loren, the song producer. "Do The Bartman" can be found on the CD: The Simpsons Sing The Blues, released in 1990. Michael's contribution to the song was officially confirmed by Bryan Loren during an interview with Black & White Magazine in 1997.
08/09/1999 Quote from Kevin Bacon
American actor and singer Kevin Bacon was recently the subject of an article in Billboard magazine. Here is an excerpt of that article:
Kevin Bacon remembers the first song he wrote as a young teen in the early 70's. "It was called 'All The World.' I wrote it for Michael Jackson. Of course he never heard it," he says, laughing.
Talking about influence.
Ricky Martin was honored at the 1999 MTV Music Awards. In his award acceptance speech, the latin singer gave tribute to Michael Jackson as one of the pioneers in Pop music.
The evening was paved with so many references to the King of Pop's art (including shameless copycat performances by Britney Spears and N'Sync) that Ricky Martin's words felt like fresh air.
10/09/1999 Quote from Lavelle Smith
During an interview with Black & White Magazine in August of 1997, dancer and choreographer Lavelle Smith spoke about the influence of his works with Michael on today's dance world.
"It's not nice to see people copying your work. They say imitation is a form of flattery. I don't agree. In this case, imitation is just stealing. Each time I see people doing our moves in videos, commercials or live performances, I just feel they're stealing from us."
Lavelle Smith has been Michael's assistant choreographer since 1991.
13/09/1999 Quote from Gotham Chopra
Michael's friend Dr. Deepak Chopra has a son named Gotham. In a recent article published in the New York Times, journalist Rick Marin interviewed Gotham Chopra and got a surprising phone call... Here is an excerpt from that article.
"Gotham Chopra and Michael Jackson are sufficiently tight that the notoriously inaccessible pop star got on the phone to comment on the young Chopra.
I knew when I first met Gotham that he was a spiritual godsend capable of inspiring and empowering the youth of this generation, Mr. Jackson said in his thin, high voice. He's a gift to the world.
Gotham Chopra was 15 when his father first took him to Mr. Jackson's Neverland ranch, where he became one of the many kids who hung out with Mr. Jackson and, on occasion, slept in the same bed.
We would play video games, Mr. Chopra said. We'd order pizza. We'd eat candy, and we'd just act nuts until 5 in the morning, and you'd fall asleep on the floor or the bed, whatever.
Mr. Chopra said he didn't witness any sexuallly inappropriate activity. I never ever saw anything, felt awkward or anything, he said."
14/09/1999 Michael Leaves Europe
This morning, Michael left Paris and flew back to New York. This private trip to Europe was not reported on Michael's request.
15/09/1999 Quote from Nate Morris
Boyz II Men member Nate Morris was interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine earlier this month. Here is what he had to say about Michael Jackson:
"He called us the Kings of Vocals. That was exciting. Mike is cool. He's different. He's been onstage since he was five. He never got to be a child himself. I know people say all kinds of things about his Ferris wheel and all that, but he's just trying to relive his childhood. Being around Mike shows you how much further you have to go."
16/09/1999 Quote from Rodney Jerkins
The latest issue of Vibe Magazine features an interview with producer Rodney Jerkins. About his sessions with the King of Pop, Jerkins says:
"We're trying to do something that's never been done before. Michael just wants what we do to sound totally different from whatever he hears on the radio. Hopefully when it comes out and it's done, people will just say, That's just Michael Jackson's sound. A lot of people don't know it, but he's very much in tune with what's going on musically. He called me and told me how he loved the Eminem record and asked me what I thought about it."
17/09/1999 Quote from Kobe Bryant
L.A. Lakers famous basketball player Kobe Bryant was asked by Teen People magazine about his all-time favorite album. His answer:
"Michael Jackson's Thriller. You're able to relax to it, and it has kind of a smooth feel, but it's really energetic, and I like a lot of energy. I listen to it about once a day. It gets me pumped up."
18/09/1999 Ground-Breaking New Release
Sony Music is going to release a new format soon.
It has been highly anticipated by music lovers and it is finally coming out.
The DVD revolution is going to change music: here comes the DVD Audio format.
DVD Audio is a new technology that delivers music in a new extraordinary way. To enjoy DVD Audio to its extended capacities, one must be equipped with a "home theatre" sound system. DVD Audio technology reproduces music as if the listener was actually listening to a live performance, right in the middle of their living-room. A never-before-heard experience.
Sony Music will be the first record company to widely launch this new format. The first DVD Album is currently being remastered with DVD Audio technology. It is the greatest pop album of all time: Thriller.
The King of Pop will be the first artist to have a record released in DVD Audio format.
A single will also be released at the same time to showcase the amazing DVD Audio technology. This special single format will be called: CD Super Audio.
The first CD Super Audio will contain two songs from the Thriller album.
Once again, Michael Jackson is exploring new grounds in music and technology with this DVD Audio product, tentatively scheduled for a late fall release.
HIStory in the making...
19/09/1999 Quote from Stevie Wonder
When Michael recorded "Just Good Friends" with Stevie Wonder for the Bad album, he promised his long-time friend he'd return the favor by recording another duet with him.
In September of 1987, a few days after the release of Bad, Stevie Wonder send a demo version of a song called "Get It" to Michael. They were supposed to sing that track together for Stevie's new album, Characters.
However, when time came to record the song, Michael and Stevie could not get together. Stevie was on tour in Europe, and Michael was in Los Angeles, getting ready to leave for the kick off of the Bad Tour in Japan. The timing was difficult.
In an interview with French magazine Top 50, Stevie Wonder told the incredible story behind the recording of "Get It".
"I was on tour in England by that time. And I had recorded my vocals for that song in a studio, in London. Quincy and Michael needed those tapes urgently or we wouldn't meet the deadline. But when I came out of the studio that day, it was too late to send the tapes with those express carriers. That same night, I was doing a show in London and I asked the audience if someone was willing to go to Los Angeles right away, all expenses paid, to deliver the tapes. There was one guy that was ready to do it and he left right away, took the plane and gave the tapes to Michael and Quincy. That's how they got them on time. Finally, Michael finished the song in Tokyo a few days later; he recorded his vocals there and we got the track on time to put it on the album."
21/09/1999 Kid Rock
White hip-hop artist Kid Rock, whose "Cowboy" song is currently a hit, has been a Michael Jackson fan for years. In a recent issue of Rolling Stone magazine, his sister-manager Carol Ritchie remembers the days when her young brother was a teenager:
"How can I say it? He was original. He always did what he wanted to do. When Michael Jackson was on TV with the white socks up to here, Bob [Kid Rock] was upstairs the next day, having my mom hem his pants. Music was all he cared about."
22/09/1999 Jar Jar Binks
Ahmed Best is the young actor that portrays Jar Jar Binks in "Star Wars - The Phantom Menace". Last June, Ahmed was the cover story of Rolling Stone Magazine. Here is an excerpt from that very interesting article.
On the wall of Ahmed Best's apartment hangs a collage of well-known inspirations. All of these people push me to get up and do something, he explains. There is Michael Jackson and Best's hero Bruce Lee and Lauryn Hill. [...] Best pulls out an album of photos that he took on the Phantom Menace set. Here's Natalie Portman, he says. Once, in London, Portman, Lucas and Best went to a Michael Jackson concert. Backstage, George introduced me. He goes, This is Ahmed, also known as Jar Jar Binks. I thought, I wonder why he said that. Come to find out, Michael was campaigning for the part. George said to cast him would compromise the movie because he's such a big star.
So the Jar Jar Binks part is one of these roles that Michael Jackson auditioned for. Sure enough, it would have been a wonderful part for him.
23/09/1999 Quote from Tatyana Ali
Tatiana Ali, currently the most successful act on Michael Jackson's MJJ Music, spent last spring and summer on the road with 'N Sync.
As she was embarking on the tour, she told BET:
"The rumor is that some time during the tour Michael Jackson is going to come and see me. I have told everyone not to tell me when he is coming until the show is over. I'm scared to meet him. On the opening night of the tour, he sent me a huge gift basket with everything that you could possibly want in it. On top of it was a huge stuffed monkey and a card that said Love, Michael Jackson on it. Who has a card that says Love, Michael Jackson on it?!"
24/09/1999 Motown 25th Anniversary TV Special
In their February 19th 1999 issue, Entertainment Weekly published an article titled "The 100 Greatest Moments in TV".
Ranked 79 was Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" performance during the "Motown 25" TV special. Here is the accompanying text:
One small step for man, one giant glide for pop culture: Michael Jackson unveils his physics-defying moonwalk during the song Billie Jean and leaves even rocket scientists scratching their heads. We spent hours in the editing room discussing every shot, says Don Mischer, producer-director of the NBC special. He had a great sense of theatre.
Strange enough, Michael's interview with Oprah Winfrey was not listed among the 100 Greatest Moments in TV, although it was the fourth most watched show in the history of American television.
24/09/1999 Statement from Marcel Avram
"Mr. Kevin Jacobsen is one of seven top promoters in Australia. We, as the worldwide producers of Michael Jackson's live events and concerts including the upcoming Millennium shows in Sydney/Australia and Honolulu/Hawaii, have been in negociation with several promoters in Australia, one of them being Kevin Jacobsen.
As it looks, Kevin Jacobsen might not be involved in the making of the Millennium shows. However the question of which promoter will have the honor to present Michael Jackson is our decision.
We also have to mention that on the last Michael Jackson eleven days sold-out Australian and New-Zealand Tour in 1996, Mr Jacobsen was not involved either in the promotion of the event.
At present time, everything looks positive."
Marcel Avram, Mama Concerts.
26/09/1999 Notorious B.I.G.
The latest issue of Vibe Magazine features a special on late rapper Notorious B.I.G. In the article, B.I.G.'s best friend Damion Butler is quoted with the following:
"I remember one time we were going to the Billboard Awards or something and we were gonna meet Michael Jackson. On the ride over Big kept sayin', What can I do to Michael Jackson that's not bad, but will make him remember me? So we got to the meeting and Mike stuck out his hand. Big grabbed his hand, pulled him into a close hug and then flung him back out, like Wassup? He roughed Mike up with a real, old-fashioned, ghetto love hug. Mike was fucked up by that one."
27/09/1999 Additional Statement from Marcel Avram
Mama Concerts' Marcel Avram issued a statement today:
"Further announcements with regards to the two Millennium events in Sydney and Honolulu will be made within the next 2-3 weeks"
29/09/1999 New Collaboration
Michael Jackson is currently working on his new album in New York City.
One of his latest productions is a song that he recorded with Indian artist Ar Rahman.
The King of Pop is always exploring new musical grounds and this collaboration with Ar Rahman should bring a new flavor to one of his songs.
Ar Rahman is a popular Indian artist that appeared on stage during the "Michael Jackson & Friends" concert in Munich, Germany.
The song Michael Jackson and Ar Rahman recorded together is now completed and may appear on the new album.