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Michael Jackson News April 2001

April 30, 2001: Macauley Culkin Talks About Michael

In the latest issue of New York Magazine [May 07, 2001 issue] Macauley Culkin talks about his good friend Michael Jackson.

Read here what Macauley had to say about Michael:

One day when Culkin was 9, he got a call from Michael Jackson inviting him to Neverland. He went with his parents and his younger brother Kieran - Kierie, he calls him - in a helicopter Jackson sent for them. "He had every kind of soda in the world there, every kind of candy. A two-floor arcade, a carnival, and a movie theater." Culkin, who kept ferrets, rabbits, cats, and dogs at home, was particularly impressed by Jackson's private zoo. "He had giraffes, elephants, tigers, orangutans, chimps, ostriches, llamas. We were driving around in golf carts, and the thing that cracked him up was he got us talking about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and instead of 'Donatello', I'd say 'Don'; instead of 'Leonardo', I'd say 'Leo'. Like I knew them way back, me and Michelangelo - Mikey - are tight."

A bond formed quickly. "We had very similar experiences in childhood," he says. "It's not like I can just bump into people on the street and say, 'Oh! You too!' It doesn't happen that often. Michael's still a kid. I'm still a kid. We're both going to be about 8 years old forever in some place because we never had a chance to be 8 when we actually were. That's kind of the beautiful and the cursed part of our lives."

When Jackson was accused of child molestation in 1993, Culkin says, he "would have liked to have said something in his defense - I still wish I had - but my father kept me out of it." Culkin calls Jackson "one of my very best friends in the world" and is the godfather of Jackson's son, Prince Michael, and his daughter, Paris. "Michael and I had an understanding about my father," Culkin says. "He knew what that was all about. He'd lived it."

And at the time, Jackson's estate was the largest starfucker-free zone Culkin had ever been in. "You know there's not going to be a photographer in the bushes. You can walk around and no one will stare at you and you can be normal," says Culkin. "Neverland is still the only place on earth where I feel absolutely, 100 percent comfortable."

The entire interview with Macauley can be found in the latest issue of New York Magazine.

[source: New York Magazine,]

April 25, 2001: Michael To Perform In Cardiff?
The following has been taken from MJNI:

Could Megastar Michael Jackson be heading for the Welsh capital and the Millennium Stadium later this year?

According to a report from the South Wales Echo [April 24, 2001] it is understood that Michael Jackson is top of the shopping list for Millennium Stadium officials - for a concert that would see the American singer return to Cardiff for the third time in 13 years.

The King of Pop who releases his latest album at the end of the summer; celebrating 30 years as a solo artist, is rumoured to have a world tour in the pipeline.

According to the report, dates in October and December have been pencilled into the Millennium Stadium diary. And although Stadium bosses were keeping tight-lipped about the possibility of a Jackson concert today, a mystery promoter has been to the arena to study the complex.

Michael Jackson has come to know Cardiff quite well, after two sell-out concerts in July 1988 on his Bad Tour and in August 1992 on the Dangerous Tour in the Cardiff Arms Park.

Wembley Stadium is still out of commission, and the Millennium Stadium is very much the obvious venue in Europe.

The Echo also reports that the stadium's retractable roof would not hold back a winter date at the end of the year and could stage a hotly-tipped Jacksons reunion tour with his brothers.

MJNI would like to point out that this information has not as yet been confirmed.

[source: MJNI]

April 22, 2001: Michael Will Not Travel To Africa!
NEW YORK [AP] - Friday, April 20, 2001:

Michael Jackson says although he is deeply disturbed about reports of child slavery in Africa, he won't be joining the Rev. Al Sharpton on a fact-finding mission to the continent.

On Thursday, representatives for Sharpton and the Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a close friend of Jackson's, issued a statement that said Jackson would join them on a trip to Africa to study the issue later this year.

But on Friday, Jackson's publicist, Cheri Fine, said there was miscommunication and that the pop star wouldn't be going. She said the pop star was too busy completing his new album and preparing for a 30th anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden in September.

Boteach told The Associated Press on Friday that Jackson "remains firmly committed to the issue of child slavery" and had respect for Sharpton's efforts on the issue.

The civil rights activist recently went to Africa to investigate. Besides being friends, Boteach and Jackson have founded the charity "Heal the Kids'" together.

[source: AP]

April 22, 2001: New Janet Jackson Album!
Janet Jackson's brandnew album "All For You" will be released:

Monday, April 23, 2001 [Europe]
Tuesday, April 24, 2001 [USA]

"All For You" is the follow-up to Janet's 1997 album "The Velvet Rope".

Find out news about Janet's World Tour by visiting Miss-Janet.

[source: Miss-Janet,]

April 20, 2001: Michael Plans Trip To Africa
NEW YORK [AP] - Michael Jackson plans to travel to Africa to study the plight of children sold into slavery.

"The existence of child slavery shakes me to my very core," the pop star, a father of two, said in a statement Thursday.

Jackson will be joined on the trip, later this year, by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a co-founder of Jackson's "Heal the Kids" organization, and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

"The other night, Michael called me crying like a baby when he heard about the child slave ship lost off the coast of Africa," Boteach said.

Earlier this week, a frantic search was launched for a ship believed to be carrying child slaves along the coast of western Africa. Police have detained the ship's captain and some of the crew but, so far, no evidence has emerged to prove the ferry was trafficking child slaves.

Jackson insisted he will take time off from his music schedule to spearhead the African mission. A date for the trip had not yet been set.

"Children need a childhood," Jackson said. "They can't be forced to work".

Jackson is to soon release a new album and plans a Sept. 7 concert at Madison Square Garden, his first U.S. show in more than a decade.

[source: AP]

April 19, 2001: New Album Release Date
The following has been taken from Planet Jackson:

Sony Music and Michael Jackson have rescheduled the release of Michael Jackson's new album. The album is now tentatively slated for a release in the USA on September 18, 2001. [A release date for Europe is yet to come].

With regards to the "HIStory - Greatest Hits" compilation, the release is still planned for August 7th in the USA.

[source: Planet Jackson]

April 19, 2001: Michael Splits With The Firm
Michael Jackson has been dropped by top entertainment management company The Firm which handles the careers of the Backstreet Boys, Limp Bizkit and other top selling pop and rock acts.

Howard Rubenstein, spokesman for Jackson, confirmed the singer is no longer with The Firm, but refused to be drawn on the reasons behind the split saying, "It just didn't work out and Michael Jackson thanked them for all of their hard work on his behalf".

[source: WorldPop]

April 19, 2001: Santana Song Will Be On New Album
MTV News reports:

In the midst of a yearlong hiatus from the road, veteran guitarist and bandleader Carlos Santana has recorded a new song with reclusive pop star Michael Jackson.

"I was very honored that he called on me to work with him, and I love the song," Santana said. "He gave me a call last week, and he was really happy with it."

A Jackson spokesperson confirmed that the track is intended for the long-awaited follow-up to 1991's Dangerous, his last studio LP of all-new material.

Jackson announced Monday that he will reunite with his brothers as the Jackson 5 and perform with Britney Spears, 'NSYNC and a host of other pop stars at a tribute concert to himself in September.

[source: MTV News]

April 19, 2001: Michael Sculpture To Be Auctioned

A life-size porcelain sculpture of Michael Jackson lying on a bed of roses with his pet chimp Bubbles is to be auctioned in New York.

The 1988 Jeff Koons piece is expected to fetch more than 2 million at Sotheby's on May 15, 2001.

Koons has used a photograph of Jackson to create the sculpture.

Laura Paulson, director and senior vice-president of the contemporary art department at Sotheby's in New York, said:

"Michael Jackson and Bubbles is arguably the single artwork which epitomises the Eighties."

[source: Sotheby's]

April 18, 2001: An All-Star Salute To "The King Of Pop"
Press Release [taken from MJFC]:

An All-Star Salute to "The King Of Pop"

"Michael Jackson: The Solo Years 30th Anniversary Celebration"

Set For September 7, 2001
At Madison Square Garden
Jackson's First Live U.S. Performance In Eleven Years will Include Reunion With Jackson 5

"An all-star salute to 'The King Of Pop', Michael Jackson: The Solo Years 30th Anniversary Celebration has been set for September 7, 2001 at Madison Square Garden at 7:45 P.M." announced David Gest, producer of the event.

According to Gest, "Michael Jackson will make his first live performance on a U.S. stage in fifteen years, debut a new single from his first Epic Records release in more than five years and for this special occasion reunite with his brothers, The Jackson 5 [Michael, Jackie, Tito, Marlon, Jermaine and Randy] for the first time in twenty years. The Jacksons will perform a medley of their Motown and Epic Records hits as well as sing a Jackson 5 classic with pop super group 'NSync. Michael will choreograph all the numbers as well as perform some of his greatest hits."

Gest went on to state, "Michael will also perform two seperate duets, one with the legendary Whitney Houston and the other with teen superstar Britney Spears." Among the other twenty guest stars performing on the show are: Latin heartthrob Marc Anthony; Shaggy featuring Ricardo "Rikrok" Ducent, who just topped the pop charts with two consecutive number one songs as well as a number one album; R&B/jazz sensation Jill Scott; three young divas, each of whom has had a number one pop or R&B smash in the last year, performing together for the first time: Mya, Tamia and Deborah Cox and numerous others to be announced during the coming month, including forty pop, R&B and country legends singing together in a special tribute to Jackson. The evening will feature a forty-eight piece orchestra and twelve background singers. There will also be a three-hundred member gospel-choir, a two-hundred member children's choir and a forty member dance ensemble.

Michael Jackson said, "I am very excited to celebrate my 30th anniversary as a solo artist with such a distinguished array of talent, friends and fans. I look forward to performing live and reuniting with my brothers on this special night."

Chairmen for the event, who will be present for the concert and a special dinner following the performance are: Elizabeth Taylor, Veronique and Gregory Peck, Kathy and Anthony Quinn, Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson.

Tickets will go on sale to the public the first week in June. The evening, a World Events LLC production, will be filmed as a two-hour television special and shown throughout the world.

More than two hundred stars from the motion picture, television, recording and sports field will join together for this special celebration in honor of Jackson. Dignitaries from around the globe will also participate in the event. American Airlines has been set as the "official airline" for the event.

Gest added, "Michael is a true trendsetter, legend and innovator who has certainly paved the way for so many of today's young artists. It was thirty years ago this September that Michael released his first solo record on Motown, 'Got To Be There'. That tune went gold and Michael has never looked back. He has had an unprecedented career as a recording artist. With the Jackson 5 he recorded seventeen top forty hits, four of which went to number one. With The Jacksons he recorded seven top forty hits, and on his own has had thirty-six top forty hits, including thirteen number one records. Throughout the world he has sold more records than any other solo artist in the last three decades."

Jackson's 1982 "Thriller" album, with sales of over 46 million copies, is the best selling album in history by a solo artist. He has won twelve Grammy Awards, as well as a Grammy Living Legend Award in 1993. He is also the youngest entertainer to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice, first as a member of the Jackson 5 and the second time as a solo performer in March of this year.

[source: Cheri Fein, Rubenstein Associates, Inc., MJFC]

April 17, 2001: Michael To Perform Live In New York !!!
The King of Pop is celebrating his 30th anniversary as a solo artist with a regal concert.

A publicist for Michael Jackson announced Monday [April 16, 2001] that the superstar will be feted at an all-star concert at Madison Square Garden on September 07, 2001, entitled "Michael Jackson: The Solo Years - 30th Anniversary Celebration".

Among the celebrities slated to appear are Jill Scott, Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, 'NSync, Marc Anthony and Shaggy, said Cheri Fine, Jackson's spokeswoman.

The concert will also mark a reunion between Jackson and his brothers, the first time all of them have performed together since the 1980s.

In a statement, Jackson, 42, said: "I am very excited to celebrate my 30th anniversary as a solo artist with such a distinguished array of talent, friends and fans. I look forward to performing live and reuniting with my brothers on this special night."

It is anticipated that Jackson will duet with both Houston and Spears, as well as performing material from his long-awaited solo album, tentatively due for release later in the year.

With the Jackson 5, it is anticipated the group will perform a medley of their greatest hits. The event will reunite Jackson and his brothers for the first time since the '80s, with the Jacksons teaming with 'NSync on at least one song, according to Jackson's publicists.

According to a press release from Jackson's publicists, the show's lavish production will include a 300-member gospel choir, a 200-member children's choir, a 48-piece orchestra, 40 dancers and 12 background singers. The show will climax with "40 Pop, R&B and Country legends singing together" in tribute to Jackson, the press release said.

Jackson first hit the charts with The Jackson Five in 1969, and started his career as a solo artist two years later. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his solo work last month; he's already been inducted as a member of The Jackson Five.

Jackson hasn't performed at a concert in the United States since his "Bad'' concert tour in the late 1980s.

The concert will be taped for broadcast on television, Fine [Jackson's publicist] said.

Tickets are expected to go on sale in June.

!!! 144 days and the stage is ready for access again !!!

[source: AP, Dotmusic, MNE, Sonicnet]

April 16, 2001: Teddy Riley Is Working With Michael In Virginia!
Article by Sam McDonald, Daily Press - published Saturday, April 14, 2001:

Michael Jackson came to Virginia to develop material for a new album, but now he's thinking of heading south for warmer weather.

That's the word from veteran producer and songwriter Teddy Riley, who has played host to the world-famous King of Pop in recent days. Riley runs Future, a private Virginia Beach studio just off Virginia Beach Boulevard.

Riley said Jackson's new tunes are very much in their early stages and it's too soon to tell if any of their collaborative work would end up on a future album.

So why does Jackson want to leave so soon?

"It's almost like he's being scared away," Riley said, speaking outside his studio Friday afternoon.

Recent media attention was making the superstar uneasy, he said. Most major news outlets in Hampton Roads have reported Jackson's presence in the area. At least one radio station, WNVZ-FM [104.5], asked listeners to call in and report Michael sightings.

"He needs to be someplace where he can focus," Riley added. "He's thinking about Miami; he doesn't want to go back to New York because it's too cold," Riley said.

The producer seemed understandably sad that Jackson will soon decamp. "It's too bad because this is the biggest thing happening in Virginia right now. We should be able to appreciate him coming."

Riley said stars have come through his shop many times: 'NSync, the Backstreet Boys and more recently, Sisqo, who stopped by on Thursday. "And they all love Virginia - including Michael."

But never before has the media and fan frenzy reached this level, Riley said. When Jackson visited Future years ago, word of his whereabouts never leaked. Apparently, Jackson was more careful then.

"The trip to Barnes & Noble really gave it away," Riley said, referring to a book shopping foray that Jackson reportedly made Sunday to a nearby chain store.

"But he'll be back. But it will be kept very quiet," Riley said. "He knows what the area's like now."

Sam McDonald, Daily Press]

April 12, 2001: Michael Recording In Virginia Beach?
Article by TV, radio station report sighting, chat by Sam McDonald, Daily Press:

Michael Jackson visiting Norfolk

The Gloved One walks among us. News broke Wednesday that Michael Jackson had been bebopping around Hampton Roads for days, recording music at a studio in Virginia Beach, shopping for books at a nearby Barnes & Noble, and expressing his love for Norfolk.

But could it be true? Two newsmen from WAVY-TV Channel 10 managed to finagle what appeared to be a pair of brief encounters with the 42-year-old megastar, one in person and one over the telephone.

"Oh, jeez, I'm sorry. You've been very kind, but I'm not prepared to answer any questions. I'm very sorry,
" a very Michael-sounding voice told reporter Carter Evans over the phone. "Tell Norfolk I love them, OK?"

Of course, details about what Jackson might be doing here were hard to come by. But sources within the area's music community said that Jackson, who in the 1980s made wearing one glove fashionable, has been in town doing some recording for a new album. That's not as far-fetched as it sounds.

First off, Jackson has visited Virginia Beach at least once before. Teddy Riley, who leads the group Blackstreet and operates the studio Future in Virginia Beach, produced tracks for Jackson's 1991 album "Dangerous." And Riley has said that Jackson has visited his studio, although the star then had better luck keeping his movements under wraps.

Secondly, Hampton Roads has hip cachet in the world of R&B music because local hip-hop stars Missy Elliott and Timbaland are still putting songs on the charts.

How did WAVY reporter Evans manage to get his apparent scoop? It was surprisingly easy. Hearing wild rumors about Jackson being spotted at Barnes & Noble near Pembroke Mall in Virginia Beach on Monday, radio station WNVZ-FM (104.5) asked listeners to call in with Michael Jackson sightings.

Incredibly, someone called up offering the name of the hotel where the star was staying, even the specific room number. WAVY and the radio station teamed up. At first, Evans didn't take the story all that seriously. But once he started reporting, he couldn't believe his good luck. "At the station, we were talking, and we said, 'You know, this is the water cooler story of the day.' So I started digging. And everywhere I dug I was striking gold."

[source: TV, radio station report sighting, chat By Sam McDonald, Daily Press]

April 02, 2001: Michael MTV's Next ICON Honoree ? Vote !!
The biggest selling US magazine, TV Guide, is currently asking its readers:

Who should be MTV's next Icon honoree?

Michael Jackson, of course!!! Please go and vote for Michael by visiting TV Guide's website. Let's support the King of Pop!

[source: TV Guide, Special Thanks to Jeanny]





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