Polly Anthony, President of the Epic Records Group, was interviewed by the Hollywood Reporter in December.
Polly Anthony runs and directs the activities of the Epic Group, which includes labels Epic Records, 550 Music and the Work Group.
She oversees such talents as Celine Dion, Pearl Jam, Jennifer Lopez and Michael Jackson.
Says Anthony: "I'm really excited about the new Michael Jackson album. It is a highly anticipated release and it's amazing."
The forthcoming weeks will be crucial in determining the planning for the release of Michael Jackson's new album. Essential information to be delivered soon...
12/01/2000 Quote from Rodney Jerkins
Yesterday, Launch.com published quotes from an interview with producer Rodney Jerkins.
"I started working with him [Michael Jackson] in February. It looks like we're gonna be working this February, which will make it a year. But, it's all worth it, the whole year, because the stuff that we're doing is great, and we're gonna have a good year. It's been a while, and I think it's better that we take our time and not try to rush it, 'cause this is the most important album for him, you know, of his career."
Asked about collaborations with other artists on the album, Jerkins said: "We got one real big one up our sleeve. We're trying to make it happen. We don't know if it's gonna happen -and if we do make it happen, it's gonna be one of the biggest records ever
13/01/2000 Rumor Alert
A rumor that started on the internet has reached media organisations all over the world (including Yahoo, Actustar, NRJ, MCM) and is being reported as serious news.
To avoid further coverage of this baseless rumor, please note that Michael Jackson's new album will not be titled "Secrets" and that the cover of the record will not represent a close-up of Michael Jackson's face with a mask. No release date for the new album have been set either.
15/01/2000 Quote from Ginuwine
R&B artist Ginuwine was recently interviewed by American journalist Carol Ozemhoya. Here is an excerpt of that interview:
"When I was growing up in Washington D.C., my idol was Michael Jackson. I still spend hours listening to this extraordinary entertainer. I like the fact that he gave everything in his performances. So when I got the chance to do it, that's how I approached singing and performing too. It has to be 100% or nothing."
Ginuwine's latest record, titled 100% Ginuwine, contains a cover version of Michael Jackson's "She's Out Of My Life," a tribute the young singer dedicated to the King of Pop.
17/01/2000 Another Collaboration
Mainstream American producer Walter Afanasieff is working on Michael Jackson's new album. That's what the Los Angeles Times stated in an article about the hit producer published last week.
The newspaper said Afanasieff "is working on writing and/or production for Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, Julio Iglesias and the rock band Train."
This is the first collaboration between Walter Afanasieff and Michael Jackson.
Afanasieff has produced hits for a lot of American artists, including his most successfull record, "My Heart Will Go On" sung by Celine Dion.
19/01/2000 Teaming Up with the Greatest
Michael Jackson is working on his new album with old partner Bruce Swedien.
The man that his friends call The Walrus (because of his big walrus moustache) has been Michael's sound engineer since 1979.
He recorded Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous and HIStory with the King of Pop. However, he couldn't join Michael in the recording of the "Blood On The Dance Floor" new tracks because of other commitments.
Today, at 66, Bruce Swedien is once again teaming up with his favorite artist to deliver another historic recording.
Bruce "The Walrus" Swedien is the industry's most famous sound engineer. He is also considered as an authority when it comes to recording techniques and accomplishments.
He was given three Grammy Awards for Best Sound Engineer of the Year with Thriller, Bad and Dangerous.
In an interview with Black & White Magazine in 1994, Bruce Swedien was asked what was his dream for the future. His answer was:
"I always have this dream of getting together with Michael on a new project. I know the dream will start all over again as soon as we talk about a new record..."
21/01/2000 Gary Pudney talks to USA Today
Yesterday, American newspaper USA Today published an article about Michael's movie project "The Nightmare of Edgar Allan Poe". The article is based on an interview with producer Gary Pudney.
"His whole new thrust is going to be films," says Pudney. "He has sold the most records, made the most money on tours, and this is the one genre he has the desire to excel in."
The article also mentions: "Jackson is deeply interested as always in the technical aspects of the project. A major makeup job will turn him into Poe, and the ad campaign 'will be based on his image morphing into Poe through technology,' Pudney says. He may do a title song for Poe."
Pudney gave details about the script to USA Today: "In 1849, Poe was found dead at age 40 after a mysterious disappearance. The focus will be on the characters from his writings returning to haunt him in his last days. There's a love interest -a teen girl- and a number of star cameos."
22/01/2000 Michael Jackson Supports the Chateau de Versailles
The violent storm which ravaged the north of France during the night of the 25th December 1999 destroyed 10 000 trees in the park of the Chateau de Versailles (former castle of the Kings of France).
The wind gusts, blowing at 160 km/h (100mph), razed 80% of the rare historic trees, planted during the XVIII and XIX centuries. It will take years to rebuild the park.
The first estimate of the storm's cost is around $35 million, including $20 million for the park alone.
Many tokens of friendship and donations have come from all over the world to the Chateau de Versailles.
A few international celebrities have demonstrated their generosity to support the restoration of this world heritage site.
One of them is Michael Jackson. He was one of the first people to donate money to the cause. His contribution to the restoration of the park is huge. It should also be said that the King of Pop didn't publicize the news. It has just been reported by French officials.
Other international stars who supported this cause are American actors Gregory Peck and Kirk Douglas.
24/01/2000 Back to California
Last week, Michael Jackson definitely moved from his townhouse in Manhattan, New York City, and went back to California.
25/01/2000 Interview with Rodney Jerkins
Enclosed is the most recent interview Rodney Jerkins gave to a member of the media. American reporter Steven Ivory did an exclusive interview with producer Rodney Jerkins and members of his family.
The 22 year-old producer speaks about his collaboration with the King of Pop:
"The first time I went to work with Michael, I picked him up at his townhouse in New York. When we got downstairs, he said, 'Where are you parked?' looking for a limo or something. But it was just I driving. When we drove off, he seemed a little nervous at first, you know, with no security. But once I cranked up the music, he relaxed. People who saw him were going crazy, pointing and waving I mean, you're stopped at a light, you look over and in the car next to you is Michael Jackson but he was cool with it. He was waving. I think he enjoyed himself."
Rodney Jerkins is confident that his work with Michael Jackson will be a hit:
"I've put too much time in this project for it to go wrong. In order to give it my full attention, I turned down projects with Celine Dion and Le Anne Rimes. Michael is on another level, and that's the way you have to approach it. I know that this is the best work I've ever done. When we started working with Michael, I presented him with 35 tracks. Sometimes we spend 15, 20 days working on one Michael Jackson song. We've done all kinds of songs, and if the new one isn't stronger than the last one, we throw it out. I think Michael can come back. And I want to be the person who helps makes that happen."
Fred Jerkins, III, Rodney's older brother, is also his musical collaborator and works with him on most of his projects.
"I'm one of the track guys," says Fred Jerkins, III. "We all play keyboards and we all have our writing and recording space and that's what we do: write songs. This is amazing. In the last year we went from working with Brandy to Whitney Houston to Michael Jackson. That's pretty incredible, no matter how you look at it. And it's great for us because we love what we do. Right now, there are so many special moments. Like the first time we presented songs to Michael. He was standing in the control room, just kind of listening. He'd use his hands to punctuate a beat or chord change in the song, and at one point he just broke out dancing. I was trying to be cool and not stare, but all the time I was thinking, 'Wow, here's Michael Jackson right here, dancing to our music.' That was something."
Rodney Jerkins' father, Reverend Jerkins, describes the recent relationship with Michael Jackson:
"Rodney has developed a strong rapport with Michael Jackson. Jackson has appeared at different awards functions with Rodney and has had dinner at our house. Michael also flew us out to have dinner with his family."
Rodney Jerkins is currently working with Michael Jackson on the last steps of the recording of the new album. Several projects are upcoming for the young producer, including a movie script he's writing and production on records for Brian McKnight, Will Smith, Spice Girls, Lionel Richie, Shaunta and DaBrat.
26/01/2000 Quote from Walter Afanasieff
Columnists Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith dedicated an article to Walter Afanasieff and Michael Jackson in the latest edition of their famous BeckSmith Hollywood Exclusive column.
The following is an excerpt of that article titled "When will Michael Jackson's next album be finished?"
" 'That's one of the great mysteries in the world,' answered producer Walter Afanasieff to the title question. 'It was supposed to be out last year. The record company is pressuring him, and it's now supposed to be done by summertime, but it's still pretty much a work in progress. Michael does so much recording, nobody knows when he'll be done. He could end up recording 70 songs. When he decides it's enough, it's enough.'
Afanasieff, Grammy-nominated for producer of the year, is contributing the tune 'Fall Again' to Jackson's disc. 'We worked to the point that we were three-fourths of the way finished then, the incident happened when his son got very sick. We're going to have to reserve a little spot to finish the song.' "