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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

PAUL MCCARTNEY RELEASES STATEMENT AFTER MICHAEL JACKSON'S DEATH

Paul McCartney has released a statement to say that his memories of working with Michael Jackson "will be happy ones."The pair worked together on tracks including Jackson's "The Girl Is Mine"and McCartney solo tracks "Say Say Say" and "The Man," before falling out in 1985 after Jackson won the bidding for the rights to over 200 Beatles catalogue songs.McCartney has said about his former friend: "I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael. He was a massively talented boy man with a gentle soul. His music will be remembered forever and my memories of our time together will be happy ones."Jackson bought ATV music, copyright owners of Lennon/ McCartney-penned Beatles songs, for $47.5m. However, Jackson was forced to agree a $95m deal with Sony a decade later when he ran into money troubles.Read Billboard's analysis of Michael Jackson's debt here.For more on Michael Jackson click hereRead the full Uncut Michael Jackson obituary here.And for more music and film news from Uncut click

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Michael Jackson radio play up 1735 per-cent

King Of Pop gets massive airplay since passing away
Jun 29, 2009
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Michael Jackson’s songs received a massive jump in airplay over the weekend, seeing an increase of 1735 per-cent.Jackson’s biggest hits have been on constant rotation since his passing last Thursday (June 25), with ‘Billie Jean’ getting the most plays across the US.Statistics from Nielsen BDS show that Jackson’s songs jumped from 3,671 plays the previous week, to 67,383 plays of 143 songs after his death.According to Billboard, over 22 of the songs were played more than 1,000 times since June 25.The most played songs were:1. ‘Billie Jean’ 4,540 2. ‘Thriller’ 3,570 3. ‘Rock With You’ 3,546 4. ‘Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough’ 3,135 5. ‘P.Y.T’ 2,986 6. ‘Beat It’ 2,852 7. ‘Man In the Mirror’ 2,827 8. ‘Wanna Be Starting Somethin’ 2,493 9. ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ 2,387 10.’ Human Nature’ 2,175

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Madonna 'can’t stop crying' over Michael Jackson's death


Pair attended 1991 Academy Awards together
Jun 26, 2009
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Madonna has said she cannot stop crying after hearing the news of the death of Michael Jackson, who died yesterday (June 25).The singer, who attended the 1991 Academy Awards on Jackson’s arm, released a statement after learning of his death."I can't stop crying over the sad news. I have always admired Michael Jackson," she said. "The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will live on forever! My heart goes out to his three children and other members of his family. God bless."The pair had earlier in 1991 discussed plans to work on a duet for Jackson’s ‘Dangerous’ album, according to People.com, and at the time, Jackson had just signed the famous ‘billion dollar’ contract with Sony under which he would record six albums for Epic Records and an undisclosed number of movies for Columbia Pictures, both owned by Sony.Jackson was then earning $1 million a week, with the deal expected to make him a billion dollars.Jackson was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles yesterday, after suffering what is believed to be a cardiac arrest at his home. A team of doctors tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate him for more than an hour before he was declared dead.An autopsy is due to take place later today (June 26).Read Michael Jackson's obituary on NME.COM now.Michael Jackson - a photo tributeMichael Jackson - a video tribute

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michael Jackson


One greets the death of singer Michael Jackson at the age of 50 with genuine sadness, but without extraordinary surprise. Given the entire set of circumstances, it was not clear how his saga might end happily. Individuals who enjoy immense celebrity and success in America so often pay a terrible price.
Undoubtedly a great many people are moved by Jackson’s death. After all, he was one of the first global performing superstars and reportedly sold some three quarters of a billion albums worldwide. Those who enjoyed his music and dancing, and also perhaps felt sympathy for his obvious personal traumas, will respond with spontaneous emotion.
The opposite must be said about the reactions of entertainment industry moguls and the media, along with—ludicrously—various political figures (from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Germany’s economy minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg to former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and the Philippines’ former first lady, Imelda Marcos). Here financial (and even political) calculation and cynicism vie with one another.
Jackson’s death at a rented home in Los Angeles Thursday afternoon produced a massive burst of interest on various online services, as well as a surge in sales of his music. The cable television channels and Internet news outlets can talk of little else. MTV reported Friday that “Jackson’s music managed to fill every slot in Amazon’s Top 15 best-seller list and occupy half of iTunes’ Top 20 downloaded albums and singles.”
It is not doing recording industry executives, a notoriously predatory breed, any particular injustice to suppose that Jackson’s death was immediately looked upon in certain circles as a golden opportunity to improve this year’s tumbling compact disc sales (analysts forecast that overall music sales in 2009 will be $23 billion, down 16 percent from 2006).
In an official statement Sony chief executive officer Howard Stringer—whose company owns the rights to Jackson’s best-selling music—called the singer “a brilliant troubadour for his generation, a genius whose music reflected the passion and creativity of an era,” while Bloomberg wire service noted that Sony “may boost revenue through a rebound in sales of the late pop icon’s CDs and DVDs.” A Deutsche Bank AG analyst in Tokyo, however, poured cold water on the excitement, pointing out that the contribution to the company’s overall earnings brought about by Jackson’s passing “will be limited and won’t likely impact Sony’s share price.”
As for the mass media, at the time of Jackson’s 2005 trial in California on charges of child molestation, the various news outlets highlighted each salacious detail and speculated in the most lurid fashion about his private life. His acquittal on all charges was met by a collective groan of disappointment from the tabloids and the media generally. The prospect of Jackson sentenced to prison offered simply too many opportunities for further publicizing and exploiting his humiliations.
Photo: wallpapers.free-review.net
Following his death, the Los Angeles Times noted: “The tabloids that had baited Jackson mercilessly when he was alive, dubbing him ‘Wacko Jacko’ for his erratic behavior, increasingly strange looks and accusations of child molestation, were suddenly effusive in their praise of a man ‘who provided the soundtrack to a billion lives.’”
One of the most repugnant offenders in all such cases, Rupert Murdoch’s Sun in Britain, for example, pontificated Friday: “He fought off his accusers, but his health was broken and his fortune destroyed. Let us remember today the Michael Jackson the world loved: The child star of the Jackson Five whose talent, charisma and charm captivated the world. ...
“The whole world was his stage and the whole of mankind his audience. Those lucky enough to have seen him will never forget it. Those with his records—and can there be anyone who hasn’t got his records—will play them today and weep.”
Such was the corrupt, hypocritical environment in which Jackson operated and that effectively destroyed him. It would seem imprudent to separate his death, whatever its immediate physiological cause proves to be, from the immense strains in his life. A professional entertainer for 40 years, endlessly pursued by the media, hounded by scandal, under great pressure to make a successful comeback, Jackson—whose health had not been good for years—succumbed on the eve of a grueling series of 50 concerts in London, scheduled to extend from July until March 2010.
Promoters insisted that Jackson undergo “a series of rigorous medical check-ups” before agreeing to the shows, undertaken in part to help the singer extricate himself from what were reported to be hundreds of millions of dollars in debts. Typical of the macabre and ruthless atmosphere surrounding Jackson, British bookmakers William Hill offered only 1/8 odds that he would show up for his first scheduled performance. Los Angeles publicist Michael Levine, who once represented the performer, told a press conference: “A human simply cannot withstand this level of prolonged stress.”
Over the course of his life, various processes came together to seal Michael Jackson’s fate. In the first place, of course, there was his immense talent. It is very difficult at this point to get behind the self-serving media frenzy and hyperbole and reconstruct an accurate picture of his gifts. Video of his audition for Motown Records in 1968, when Jackson was 10 years old, suggests the kind of popular musical prodigy he was. As a commentator notes, Jackson “dances, he shimmies, swivels and backslides across the floor in a blur of independently operating limbs, triumphantly demonstrating that the human body can be an instrument, not just a dumb appliance” (Guardian).
Growing up in the industrial town of Gary, Indiana, Jackson absorbed the music and feeling in the air, and enjoyed commercial possibilities made possible by the struggles and sacrifices of the civil rights movement, as well as African-American performers of previous generations.
Coming from a difficult family background, as we noted in 2003, “Jackson was swept up by the American entertainment industry’s bone-crushing machinery—and not, given his psychic vulnerabilities, at the most propitious moment.
“Jackson’s greatest individual success coincided with the Reagan years in the US, a period in which many in America put the radicalism of the 1970s—their own or other people’s—behind them and concentrated on the business of becoming wealthy. Selfishness, hedonism, individualism, greed were given pride of place. Jackson was a phenomenally gifted singer, dancer and songwriter, but the ability to say something with one’s music is not inborn nor the product even of incessant rehearsing and parental pressure.
“The Jackson 5 arrived on the musical scene and at Motown, in particular, in a period of widespread protest. The record company, owned by Berry Gordy, a fervent believer in ‘Black Capitalism,’ had not been spared contact with radical currents.
“In 1971, Gordy and singer Marvin Gaye clashed over the latter’s desire to record ‘What’s Going On,’ an anti-Vietnam War song. Gaye, whose cousin had died in Vietnam and whose brother had served three tours there, wondered out loud at the time, ‘With the world exploding around me, how am I supposed to keep singing love songs?’ Other black performers such as Stevie Wonder recorded songs highly critical of Richard Nixon in the early 1970s. Curtis Mayfield was an outspoken opponent of war and racism.
“The Jacksons, through no fault of their own, served as one of the music industry’s antidotes to all that with what became known as ‘bubblegum soul.’ Jackson broke with his childish musical persona in the late 1970s, but there is no need to overestimate his achievement. He demonstrated extraordinary skills, but the content of his songs never rose to notably insightful and certainly not oppositional heights. In the media discussion about Jackson, one always has to distinguish between the appreciation of his genuine gifts and the far greater awe with which journalists and industry insiders regard his sales figures and accumulation of personal wealth.”
This is not to diminish the brilliance of Jackson’s dancing and performing, which perhaps reached its height in the 1980s. A reader of the WSWS recalls a performance at the time: “The group performed some older material together, then Michael would perform his songs. On the few occasions when he had done several in a row and left the stage to take a break, the other Jacksons would perform, and Jermaine would do some numbers from his new solo album ... This was just marking time, however. We were all just waiting for Michael to return. Then Michael would come back on stage and the arena would go mad. ... What a dancer! What energy! He truly mesmerized the audience.”
Jackson was also the beneficiary of relatively new technologies and formats: the music video came to prominence in the early 1980s with the launching of MTV (Music Television), the cable television network. In 1983, the nearly 14-minute video for his song “Thriller” was released, at an unheard of cost of half a million dollars. The album “Thriller” went on to sell an astonishing 109 million copies, making it the bestselling such compilation of all time.
To the entertainment and media world such stratospheric success signifies both money and blood. On the one hand, of course, CD and DVD sales, live performances, endorsements, publicity deals, and all the rest generate huge profits for the conglomerates, which exploit and feed off the genuine talent of individuals such as Jackson and many, many others. Years of effort, vocal or compositional skill, conscientiousness, generosity, humanity, whatever the performer brings to his or her music, is valuable to the industry only in so far as it brings in money.
On the other hand, celebrity itself plays an important and unhealthy role in the US. In a country where only the most constricted official debate takes place over vital issues (between right-wing and other, even more right-wing conceptions) and political life is almost entirely scripted, a voyeuristic fascination with the lives of the wealthy and famous helps fill some of the void and also diverts the attention of the population from its real needs and interests.
At the same time, however, popular frustration and discontent do not disappear. The general public’s attitude, nourished by the media, toward “celebrities” often veers between uncritical admiration and resentment. The tabloids, talk shows and “entertainment news programs” manipulate these sentiments for their own purposes. The unfortunate athlete, pop star or movie performer who falls from grace may find him or herself demonized in a truly monstrous manner.
For someone like Jackson, gifted but also psychologically deeply troubled, to be violently jerked around—adored one day, ridiculed and despised the next—must have been particularly distressing. This is a man who, according to his own words, lived for his performances on the stage and for the adulation of anonymous masses of people.
Now, the giant media and entertainment machinery will try and extract what value it can from Jackson’s death, while keeping its eyes open for its next victim.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Some of the most viewed photos

















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News reports from UCLA Medical Center


As news of the death of Michael Jackson spread, fans converged at UCLA Medical Center. Allison Louie-Garcia of Yahoo! News headed to Westwood, Calif. to get their reactions.(

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Jackson's physician hires Houston law firm



LOS ANGELES – A Houston lawyer says his firm has been hired by the doctor who reportedly was with Michael Jackson when the pop star was fatally stricken in his Los Angeles home.
William M. Stradley, a partner in the firm of Stradley, Chernoff & Alford, says his firm has been hired by Dr. Conrad Murray.
Stradley says investigators have indicated Murray is considered a witness and is not a target in any way.
According to Stradley, one of the partners, Edward Chernoff, is in Los Angeles meeting with Police Department investigators.
Stradley says he doesn't know if Murray is taking part in Saturday's meeting.
Murray accompanied Jackson to the hospital, but he doesn't know if it was Murray who performed CPR on the singer or called 911, Stradley says.
The attorney says Murray has cooperated with police from the beginning and never left Los Angeles.

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The Fashion: A Star Whose Sense of Style Never Grew Up


Michael Jackson could not resist epaulets. As his solo career blossomed and he transformed from the lead singer of a boy band into the King of Pop, he embraced all the pomp and circumstance that the title implies, displaying his rank on his shoulders. He made himself over from a kid performer who dressed like a little man wearing all the fads of the day -- bell bottoms, vests and collars that spread from one shoulder to the other -- into a character who seemed to have sprung from the imagination of a child.

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A Nairobian's Perspective !


The curtain has finally come down on the legendary pop singer Michael Jackson who died yesterday night (at 10:42 p.m Kenyan time) of cardiac arrest in a Los Angeles Hospital . The news has been met with a lot of grief worldwide since all the singers songs were basically hits that shapped the lifestyle,dressing,talk,fashion, entertainment of atleast three generations the World over!Fans have met the news with disbelief with many of them wiling and grieving in groups at times square in New York and Harlem.Unfortunately the grave is the home of all mankind and the"Thriller" star has just preceeded many of us. But we certainly appreciate the music he churned.But in his death care must be taken not to idolize him nor worship him as he was not a god but just a man who entertained well!The media is now full of the news, playing his songs,reliving his memories... etc and it is understandably so because he was a hit!Attention will now turn to his death and funeral arrangements.African Bloggers have picked up the news with the following comments:Imod.co.za states"What terrible news. Despite the on going stabs at MJ, he really was exceptionally talented and produced songs, which we’ll never forget. Don’t even get me started on his dancing!"Socialyz States"The King is Dead, long live the King!!Villified and ridiculed in later life, the end has come, my life would never have been the same without him.Michael Jackson is dead.Long LIVE the KING."

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Fans moonwalk, hold worldwide vigils for Jackson


MEXICO CITY – Michael Jackson imitators moonwalked at Mexico's Angel of Independence, a prison in the Philippines organized a "Thriller" tribute dance, political leaders paid homage and French fans gathered at Notre Dame to sing and cry as the world mourned the King of Pop.
From Paris to Peru, tributes both personal and public were held Friday by generations of fans, from those who danced to "ABC" and hummed along with "I'll be There" and "Ben" in the '70s, to the Generation X'ers who moonwalked and gyrated to "Billie Jean," "Thriller" and "Bad" in the 1980s.
In Mexico City, a half-dozen 20-something fans took turns busting Jackson-like moves on the steps of the country's iconic Angel of Independence monument and later sat arm-in-arm holding candles and posterboards covered with Jackson photo collages and heartfelt messages.
"I love you Michael Jackson, King of Pop," said one. "I will love you forever."
One member of the small gathering, Oliver Munoz, tried to moonwalk his sadness away as he fondly remembered his 20-year membership in a local Jackson fan club.
"At first it's kind of like being in shock," he said. "It doesn't soak in. But then later you really start to feel the sadness and you just give in to the tears."
In one of Mexico City's hundreds of busy nightclubs Thursday evening, a DJ interchanged standard techno-music and hard rock with Jackson songs including "Beat It" and "Billie Jean," while clients sadly raised their glasses in a toast.
Throughout Latin America, fans planned weekend tributes in town squares, while in Paris on Friday hundreds of Jackson fans sang, danced, cried and shouted out in grief at a gathering in front of the Notre Dame cathedral.
In London, shocked fans united at the Lyric Theatre, where a live show based on Jackson's record-selling album "Thriller" is being performed, and waited for news about refunds for 750,000 tickets to his sold-out, 50-night run.
In the Philippines, prison security consultant Byron Garcia planned a tribute for Jackson on Saturday with inmates performing an encore of a famous video in which they do a synchronized dance to "Thriller." The video has had 23.4 million hits on YouTube.
"My heart is heavy because my idol died," Garcia said.
Newspapers around the world covered their front pages with pictures of Jackson, who publicly morphed from a bellbottom-wearing child star to a pale-skinned, thin-nosed man with lipstick, eyeliner, and a troubled personal life.
Many Japanese TV channels switched to special programming while Mexico's TV Azteca invited Jackson imitators to participate in a special program it will devote to the entertainer in coming days.
One such impersonator, Uruguayan singer Jorge Drexler, performed a duo, acoustic version of "Billie Jean" with Mexican actress and singer Ximena Sarinana on Thursday night in Mexico.
"I am sad," Drexler was quoted by El Universal newspaper as saying. "I danced a lot with him (Jackson) when I was a kid."
Fans snatched up recordings of Jackson's music around the world: A major Japanese online retailer was flooded with orders for Jackson's recordings, and music stores in Mexico City's touristy Pink Zone had sold out of his compact discs.
"Sales have been impressive," said Ana Reinish, marketing manager for the Mexican music chain Mixup, without elaborating. "I'm sure it's going to break records, more than for any other artist who has died. We've never seen anything like this."
Jackson's death also caused a commotion in cyberspace, where it dominated social networking sites on which users only days earlier had focused on and supported the rise of the Iranian opposition.
But at least one expert says it is dangerous to draw any connection between a drop in Iran-related tweets and the weakening of the opposition.
"If you are a cleric in Iran wishing for the international community to stop paying attention to this extraordinary story in your back yard, you are certainly glad for this distraction" of Michael Jackson's death, said John Palfrey, a Harvard Law School professor and faculty co-director of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
"But I would be very careful about giving it a sense of cause and effect: 'The Michael Jackson story has risen on Twitter and Iran has fallen and therefore'" it has negatively affected the opposition movement.
"That's an extraordinary overstatement," he said.
Governments from around the world recognized Jackson's passing, with former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who had met the singer, remarking that "We lost a hero of the world."
Mexican President Felipe Calderon made a reference to Jackson during a ceremony commemorating the international day against illegal drug use and trafficking saying, "What a paradox today that ... one of the greatest idols of several generations and the largest seller of pop music died precisely because of this ... excessive use of drugs."
In fact, the official cause of Jackson's death has not been determined and is not expected to be known for weeks, although Brian Oxman, a former Jackson attorney and a family friend, told NBC's "Today" show Friday that he had been concerned about Jackson's use of painkillers and had warned the singer's family about possible abuse.
In November 1993, Jackson canceled the rest of his "Dangerous" world tour to seek treatment for addiction to painkillers prescribed after reconstructive scalp surgery.
Whatever led to Jackson's death, his passing left a deep impression on fans and fellow singers worldwide.
"Michael Jackson was the king of artistic brilliance," Colombian pop star Shakira said in a statement. "With his death ... a legend is born that will last until the end of time."

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Jackson was energetic, upbeat ahead of London tour


The King of Pop seemed driven and upbeat in the weeks, even hours, before his death as he rehearsed rigorously for a series of 50 concerts in London that were to begin a late-career comeback.
Friends and colleagues said Friday that Jackson appeared in recent months to be rejuvenated by the prospect of performing again.
After years of seclusion following a child sex scandal, the pop icon was heavily involved in all aspects of the concert rehearsals. He had hired a personal trainer and was practicing with backup dancers and choreographers several hours a day, they said.
"He was working hard, setting the example, overseeing the choreography, kicking butt and taking names," said Johnny Caswell, president of CenterStaging Musical Productions Inc., a Burbank sound stage where Jackson rehearsed until late May. "He was ready to blow everybody out of the water. This was going to be the biggest extravaganza, entertainment spectacle ever."
Jackson was involved in all areas of planning, including watching auditions and choosing the backup dancers who would appear with him, said Maryss Courchinoux, a 29-year-old dancer from Paris who sought a place on stage with Jackson.
Courchinoux said she had been selected as a backup dancer for the London concerts and had been fitted for a costume. She had been invited to Thursday's rehearsal in Los Angeles to meet Jackson and watch the practice to help prepare for her role, she said.
On the same day, Jackson was pronounced dead after collapsing at his home in Holmby Hills, a swanky neighborhood near Bel Air.
Courchinoux recounted how Jackson was in the audience as she auditioned in April, when she performed a set routine and then was asked to do freestyle dances — a hip-hop style called "pop-ins."
From the stage, she could make out Jackson's profile and his glasses where he sat in the empty auditorium. Friends later told her that Jackson jumped up and applauded after her group performed.
"I knew it was him, and I knew I was in his presence," she said. "In a way, I feel blessed that we got to dance in his presence, and I was looking forward to meeting him yesterday," she said, choking back tears.
"It was my dream since I was six years old. I guess there was a different plan."
Rehearsals for the tour began in late March, Caswell said.
Jackson and his choreographers, band and dancers took over about four of the 11 studios at Centerstaging. Jackson would wander in and out of the studios, keeping tabs on the work and would often sit on a large black leather couch and listen to the band practice.
He frequently offered band members suggestions and took an interest in the mixing levels for the concert's soundtrack, according to those who worked with him at the sound stage. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they had signed confidentiality agreements.
Caswell and other workers at the studio said Jackson would arrive in an SUV, with another vehicle following, about four or five times a week. One of the SUVs ferried Jackson, but the second was to fake out the paparazzi and European fans who flocked outside the studio's doors. Jackson, an infamous recluse, would always crack a window and allow fans to pass CDs in for him to autograph.
"There would be tons of fans — European fans — they weren't sharing the information with anyone else that he was coming here with anyone else. They didn't want to spoil the exclusivity," Caswell said.
Max Miller, a dispatch manager at the studios, said he saw the singer work on a transition routine between two songs.
Miller's team aimed a spotlight at the stage area as Jackson, wearing a black suit, practiced the moves with no music and just a metronome clicking.
"He was totally dancing like top-notch. He seemed totally good," Miller said. "He seemed totally cool and really focused."
As focused as energized as he was in Burbank, Jackson seemed even more excited about his comeback as the concert date approached.
He recently moved his rehearsals to The Forum, the Los Angeles Lakers' former arena in Inglewood, and ultimately to the Staples Center, where he was rehearsing daily, sometimes for hours.
Ken Ehrlich, executive producer of Grammy Awards, said he met Jackson there on Wednesday for a business meeting and spoke to him for about 20 minutes before Jackson invited him to watch him rehearse.
Ehrlich, who has known Jackson for years, said he was amazed by the singer's vitality and focus as he practiced moves with backup dancers and a handful of choreographers.
The choreographers walked him through moves and gave him stage directions. They also introduced him to some new props and appeared to be working with Jackson to incorporate them into the show.
"Michael was digesting it all. He was learning, but even with that, there were times during the songs where his singing was full out," Ehrlich said. "I would watch him move across the floor like the Michael of old. I was convinced (the comeback) was going to be the Michael of old."
Ehrlich said he left after watching Jackson work through five or six numbers, but got chills from watching him — a memory that seems especially precious now. The star showed no signs that he would die less than 24 hours later, he said.
"There was this one moment, he was moving across the stage and he was doing these trademark Michael moves, and I know I got this big grin on my face, and I started thinking to myself, 'You know, it's been years since I've seen that,'" he said.
"There was that Michael that was just like no one else and no one else could touch," he said. "The shame is that new generation won't see that — but we all came close to being able to see it again."

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Web slows after Jackson's death


The internet suffered a number of slowdowns as people the world over rushed to verify accounts of Michael Jackson's death.
Search giant Google confirmed to the BBC that when the news first broke it feared it was under attack.
Millions of people who searched for the star's name on Google News were greeted with an error page.
It warned users "your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application".
"It's true that between approximately 2.40PM Pacific and 3.15PM Pacific, some Google News users experienced difficulty accessing search results for queries related to Michael Jackson and saw the error page," said Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker.
It was around this time that the singer was officially pronounced dead.
Google's trends page showed that searches for Michael Jackson had reached such a volume that in its so called "hotness" gauge the topic was rated "volcanic".
The BBC news website reported that traffic to the site at the time of Jackson's death was 72% higher than normal.
Fail
Google was not the only company overwhelmed by the public's clamour for information.
The microblogging service Twitter crashed with the sheer volume of people using the service.

Searches for topics related to Michael Jackson peaked at 3PM Pacific
Queries about the star soon rocketed to the top of its updates and searches. But the amount of traffic meant it suffered one of its well-known outages.
Before the company's servers crashed, TweetVolume noted that "Michael Jackson" appeared in more than 66,500 Twitter updates.
According to initial data from Trendrr, a Web service that tracks activity on social media sites, the number of Twitter posts Thursday afternoon containing "Michael Jackson" totaled more than 100,000 per hour.
That put news of Jackson's death at least on par with the Iran protests, as Twitter posts about Iran topped 100,000 per hour on June 16 and eventually climbed to 220,000 per hour.
Early reports of Mr Jackson's death and the confusion surrounding it caused a rash of changes and corrections to be made on his Wikipedia page as editors tried to keep up with events and the number of people trying to update the page.
TMZ, the popular celebrity gossip site that broke the story following a tip-off that a paramedic had visited the singers home also crashed.
There was a domino effect as users then fled to other sites. Hollywood gossip writer Perez Hilton's site was among those to flame out.
Keynote Systems reported that its monitoring showed performance problems for the web sites of AOL, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and Yahoo.
Beginning at 2.30PM Pacific "the average speed for downloading news sites doubled from less than four seconds to almost nine seconds," said Shawn White, Keynote's director of external operations.
He told Data Center Knowledge that "during the same period, the average availability of sites on the index dropped from almost 100% to 86%".

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Jackson cancellations to hit AEG


AEG Live, the organiser of Michael Jackson's concerts at the O2 arena, could lose millions from the cancellation of the concerts.
Mr Jackson had been due to perform 50 dates at the London venue.
AEG said full ticket refund information would be released early next week for all Michael Jackson "This Is It" shows.
AEG has advised fans to hold onto their ticket vouchers and proof of purchase. It remains unclear what insurance cover AEG Live has.
As well as fans, thousands of casual staff set to work at the concerts will also lose out from the cancellation.
"On behalf of the entire AEG organisation we extend our deepest condolences to Michael Jackson's family and friends during this tragic time" said AEG in a statement.
Seeking cover
Around 800,000 people bought tickets to see the pop star for concerts due to start on 13 July.
More than $85m (£52m) worth of tickets have been sold and AEG has spent $30m on the production already, according to a report in Billboard, the American music magazine.
AEG Live
One of the world's largest concert promoters
Has arranged tours for Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Bon Jovi and Prince
Owns dozens of venues in the US as well as London's O2 and a stadium in Berlin
Reports suggest that AEG, which also owns the complex formerly known as the Millennium Dome, has only insured the first 10 nights of the 50-date concerts.
It had proved difficult to get cover as insurers were unconvinced that Mr Jackson would be fit enough to perform all the dates.
Earlier this year, AEG Live's head Randy Phillips told newspapers that it was prepared "to self-insure to make up the dates". He later told Billboard that the company was well insured.
On Friday, Lloyds of London said: "We can confirm that some of the insurance for the Michael Jackson concerts are placed with Lloyds market but any losses [are] not likely to be significant."
Concert promoters have said it could be difficult to find a replacement artist for a venue that big for 50 dates.
About 1,000 staff are employed for each show, most of them on casual or temporary contracts. These staff would have been booked for the 50 shows already and will now need to be cancelled, a GMB union officer said.
AEG Live owns concert venues around the world and is a subsidiary of Anschutz Entertainment Group.

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'No foul play' in Jackson death


There was no sign of foul play in the death of Michael Jackson, coroners who completed a post-mortem on the singer's body have said.
But toxicology and other tests have been ordered, and the cause of the 50-year-old's death could take several weeks to determine.
Police also want to speak to Jackson's doctor who witnessed his collapse.
Jackson's body has been released to his family but no funeral details have been made public.
Michael Jackson's body moved to an "undisclosed location"
Seven hours after the post-mortem examination was completed, Jackson's family was allowed to claim his body, seemingly managing to elude the media crowd outside the coroner's office.
The body has been taken to an undisclosed location.
Announcing the results of a three-hour autopsy, Los Angeles County Coroners spokesman Craig Harvey said there had been no indication of any external trauma or foul play, but he said the cause of death had been deferred.
"It means that the medical examiner ordered additional testing such as toxicology and other studies," Mr Harvey said.
These would take between four to six weeks, he said.
"We know he was taking some prescription medication," Mr Harvey said, without specifying which.
Unconfirmed reports suggest the singer had been taking a daily dose of Demerol, a painkiller also widely known as pethidine.
DEMEROL/PETHIDINE
Strong painkiller, addictive
Same drug class as morphine
Given by tablets or injection
Used post-surgery or for childbirth
High doses can stop breathing or lead to delirium and seizures
Medical notes: Demerol/pethidine
Jackson, who had a history of health problems, collapsed at his Los Angeles home around midday on Thursday.
A recording of the telephone call made to emergency services has been released, in which the caller said Jackson was unconscious and had stopped breathing.
His personal doctor - who witnessed his collapse - was trying to revive him, the caller said.
The singer was pronounced dead two hours later at the UCLA medical centre. Jackson's brother, Jermaine, said he was believed to have suffered a cardiac arrest.
Former Jackson family lawyer Brian Oxman told US TV that he had been concerned about the star's use of pain relief medication.
MICHAEL JACKSON 1958-2009

Full name: Michael Joseph Jackson
Born: August 29, 1958, Gary, Indiana, US
Also known as: The King of Pop, Wacko Jacko
Biggest hits: I Want You Back, Don't Stop Til You Get Enough, Billie Jean, Bad, Black or White, Earth Song
Sold:750 million albums
Earned:$700 million (estimated)
Obituary: Remarkable talent
Life in pictures
Tributes paid to Michael Jackson
He told ABC's Good Morning America programme that Jackson took prescription pain relief for injuries sustained earlier in his career.
"It caused him great pain. He just didn't like to feel such discomfort. He started taking pain medication. It became part of his life," he said.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department said investigators had briefly spoken to Jackson's personal doctor, named by US media as Dr Conrad Murray, but they wanted to speak to him again.
Police also said a car owned by a doctor had been towed away from Jackson's home.
A spokeswoman said the doctor was not under criminal investigation, but that the car could contain "medications or other evidence that may assist the coroner in determining the cause of death".
The star had been due to stage 50 concerts at the O2 arena in London, beginning on 13 July.
Entertainers, world leaders and fans have continued to pay tribute to the star.
Across the world, people have been voicing shock and disbelief at the news of his death. In Hollywood, thousands of people filed past his star on the Walk of Fame.

Dr Murray witnessed Jackson's collapse
A White House spokesman said US President Barack Obama considered Jackson a spectacular performer, but said he felt parts of his life were "sad and tragic".
Former Beatle Paul McCartney described Jackson as a "massively talented boy-man with a gentle soul".
Biggest seller
Jackson began his career as a child in family group The Jackson 5.
He went on to achieve global fame as a solo artist with smash hits such as Billie Jean and Bad.
Thriller, released in 1982, is the biggest-selling album of all time, shifting 65m copies, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Can't believe it. I'm gutted. RIP Michael, thanks for everything you gave us.
Tommy, Cardiff
Send us your comments
He scored seven UK number ones as a solo artist and won a total of 13 Grammy awards.
"For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don't have the words," said Quincy Jones, who produced Thriller, Bad and Off The Wall.
"He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him."
The singer had been dogged by controversy and money trouble in recent years, becoming a virtual recluse.
He was arrested in 2003 on charges of molesting a 14-year-old boy, but was found not guilty following a five-month trial.
The star had three children, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II.
Jackson's former wife Debbie Rowe is the mother of two of the children, and there is already speculation about who will gain custody of them.
He is survived by his mother, Katherine, father, Joseph and eight siblings - including Janet, Randy, Jermaine and La Toya Jackson.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Jackson's contribution to music

BBC NEWS Entertainment Jackson's contribution to music
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Jackson's contribution to music


Music journalist Paul Gambaccini looks at the impact Michael Jackson, who has died aged 50, had on the music world. Michael Jackson had two musical peaks: the first with The Jackson 5. Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, ordered his producers and writers to come up with three number ones to launch the group and they actually had four number ones with their first four singles.They were the template for the boy bands that followed - The Osmonds, who already existed as The Osmond Brothers, copied them.Michael reached his second peak with Quincy Jones with the trilogy of albums of Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad.Thriller, interestingly enough - since it is the best selling album in the world - is likely to remain so because people now get their music from the internet, so its unlikely that any album will even sell 50m again.These were great achievements artistically as well as commercially, and Michael was the first of the great American male video stars in the US.I Want You Back was the record that bowled over the US - for an unknown kid group to go to number one was pretty amazing and people were asking who was this 11-year-old guy who could dance so well and sing so vibrantly.
When it came to putting on a live show he paid attention to every detail and executed his ideas brilliantly. He is still to me the best showman ever We subsequently learned that their father had been drilling them for years and so they weren't as new as we'd thought, but nonetheless everyone was impressed by Michael and he instantly became a world star.Billie Jean was very important as it was the song that was the first great American video. There had been great British videos, particularly The Boomtown Rats' I Don't Like Mondays and Bohemian Rhapsody, but Billie Jean made it de rigueur for American artists to make videos as well and that changed everything.Thriller also spawned that famous video which so many people have bought as well as seen.When he did the Moonwalk with Billie Jean on the Motown 25 special on TV he won an Emmy award. It was something that looked impossible - he practiced it so much. He learned from Fred Astaire and James Brown and it was something that caught the fancy of people around the world.I had a conversation with the late John Peel and he agreed that even though Michael Jackson's style of music wasn't his favourite, he was the greatest showman in pop history.He was not necessarily the greatest record maker and not the best writer because he didn't write many of his hits, but when it came to putting on a live show he paid attention to every detail and executed his ideas brilliantly. He is still to me the best showman ever.As the years and decades go by, people forget or disregard personal problems. To use the example of an earlier music legend who went his way - Judy Garland - we nowadays just think of the great songs and films and we don't think of her drug problems.And within a few generations, Michael Jackson will be a great recording artist and that's it. There won't be more than a footnote about the scandals.

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Why Jackson was the King of Pop


When Michael Jackson made his last public appearance, announcing his planned comeback gigs at the O2 Arena in London in March, the fans who there were adamant - he was still the King of Pop.
Asked why they loved him, the same answer came back. He was the complete entertainer - an exceptional songwriter, a dazzling dancer and performer, a perfectionist and a passionate singer.
But it was more than that. His fans cared deeply about him, and believed that he felt the same way about them. To the brilliant music was added an emotional bond that inspired greater devotion that any other artist has enjoyed.
It is no exaggeration to say he was the biggest pop star of his generation.
All music-lovers will recognise his musical gift, everyone has a favourite Michael Jackson song, millions upon millions have his LPs or CDs on their shelves.
For 20 years, from his start as the precocious child in the Jackson 5 to the world's biggest-selling album Thriller in 1982 throughout his continued hits in the 1980s, he was at the pinnacle of the musical world.
The personal problems and eccentric behaviour may have clouded the myth.
Mesmerising figure
But Michael Jackson will be remembered as the slim, smiling figure, in jewelled glove and sparkling jacket, who could barely hold a record eight Grammy Awards in his arms in 1984.
He will be remembered as the man who millions of fans flocked to get a glimpse of in every corner of the globe as he toured the world between 1987 and '89.
He will be remembered as the exciting figure who defined pop music with a slick, mesmerising mixture of soul, disco and polished rock.
And he has been an absolutely huge inspiration for the artists that followed.
Pop stars like Justin Timberlake, Nelly, Ne-Yo and Usher are direct descendents, but his influence spreads far wider - from boy bands to rappers to rock bands - who have taken on elements of songwriting, singing style and smooth performance and production.
New album
He was said to have been working on a new album with the likes of current R&B and soul singers like John Legend, Akon and will.i.am - all of whom revered him as a legend.
He had not released music for eight years, but the clamour to see him at the O2 Arena proved that massive numbers of people were desperate to see him perform his hits once again.
Many fans at that launch had been following him for decades, but some were barely born when he had his last significant chart success.
His music continued to inspire devotion among new generations, and he will be hugely missed by music fans around the world.

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Fans in shock at Jackson's death


Hundreds of people rushed to UCLA Medical Centre in Los Angeles as reports began emerging of the death of singing legend Michael Jackson.
Fans of all ages gathered at the hospital to show their support and await news of the 50-year-old entertainer.
Television vans converged on the centre, while news helicopters circled above. Police officers arrived to keep the growing crowds back.
Some of the fans were silent, while others climbed on fences to try to get a better view.
As Jackson's death was confirmed, many broke down in tears and embraced each other.
"I hope he's gone to God, and I hope that he's free of all the troubles he's been plagued with," fan Tonya Blazer, 50, told Reuters news agency.
"I grew up with his music. I used to wear Michael Jackson T-shirts every day to school," another unidentified fan told US broadcaster CBS.

Many fans were in tears as reports of the singer's death emerged
"At my work I was the Michael Jackson freak! I loved him so much. I don't know what to say. I'm just really sad. I think I'm going to start crying."
Groups also gathered outside Jackson's home near Bel Air, from where he was rushed to hospital around midday local time on Thursday.
Melanie Bromley, west coast bureau chief of Us Weekly magazine, spoke of "pandemonium" in the city.
"There is complete disbelief and confusion at the moment. His death came from nowhere," she said.
'Always remember'
In New York, passers-by learnt the news when it was flashed up on a big screen in Times Square.
Some expressed sorrow and shock, while others took out their phones to call friends.
"I don't know what to say. It's sad, it's really, really sad," said 18-year-old Nicole Smith. "My mother was a fan. I listened to his music."
Everyone engaged with his brilliant songs, which, coupled with incredible superhuman dancing, made him such a great performer
Katie Dailey
New Yorker Michael Harris received the news by text message.
"It's like when Kennedy was assassinated," he told the Associated Press news agency. "I will always remember being in Times Square when Michael Jackson died."
At Jackson's childhood home in Gary, Indiana, mourners left flowers and small gifts on the porch.
Mayor Rudy Clay described him as the "world's greatest entertainer". "Our hearts are heavy, heavy here," he said.
'Amazing music'
As Friday dawned, fans across the Asia-Pacific region awoke to the reports of the singer's death.
In Japan and Australia, broadcasters interrupted scheduled programming to report the news.
"He was an idol of many people, then he suddenly died! My heart is breaking," Reuters news agency quoted one South Korean fan as saying.
In the UK, thousands of fans heard the news late on Thursday at the Glastonbury music festival in Somerset.
Some stalls played Jackson's hits as the news spread through the crowds by mobile phone and word of mouth.
"I'm devastated because I grew up with him," said Ellen Hartley, 23, from Nottingham, who said her parents introduced her to Jackson's music.
"There might be a lot of bad press about him, but in the end I view him as having amazing music," she said.
Katie Dailey, 27, from London, was among those looking forward to seeing him get back on stage at the O2 Arena next month.
"Everyone engaged with his brilliant songs, which, coupled with incredible superhuman dancing, made him such a great performer.
"That made it more sad when he lost his abilities. Everyone desperately hoped that during that series of concerts he'd get them back."

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Tributes paid to Michael Jackson


Family, friends, colleagues and admirers have been paying tribute to Michael Jackson, following the announcement of the star's death at the age of 50.
JERMAINE JACKSON, BROTHER
Jermaine Jackson on his brother's sudden death
"My brother, the legendary King of Pop, Michael Jackson passed away on Thursday June 25th, 2009 at 2.26pm. It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home.
"Our family requests that the media please respects our privacy at this tough time. And may Allah be with you Michael, always. Love you."
MADONNA, SINGER
"I can't stop crying over the sad news. I've always admired Michael Jackson - the world has lost one of its greats, but his music will live on forever.
"My heart goes out to his three children and other members of his family. God bless."
CELINE DION, SINGER
"I am shocked. I am overwhelmed by this tragedy. Michael Jackson has been an idol for me all my life.
"He was not only a talented person, but he was unique - a genius. It's such a loss. It feels like when Kennedy died, when Elvis died. My sympathy goes to the family. It's a big loss and it's not even sinking in right now."
URI GELLER, FRIEND
Uri Geller says his friend Michael Jackson 'went through hell'
"I'm just devastated, very, very sad. I pray that his soul is up there now. I'm still trying to hold on to the glimmer that it is not true. It is too surreal for me to absorb that Michael is no longer with us.
"Michael was in good shape because he was practising, he was training, he was rehearsing for the shows. Michael was careful with what he ate, he was just fine. Last time I heard of what he was doing, he was in great shape. And this is why I'm so absolutely shocked by this news."
CHER, SINGER
"I'm having a million different reactions I didn't expect I would feel.
"He was a great singer - God gives you certain gifts, and this child was just an extraordinary child touched by this ability. He could sing like nobody else and he was able to connect with people."
QUINCY JONES, MUSIC PRODUCER
"I'm absolutely devastated at this news. I just don't have the words. Divinity brought our souls together and allowed us to do what we could do through the 80s.
"To this day that music is played in every corner of the world, and the reason is because he had it all - talent, grace and professionalism. I've lost my little brother today and part of my soul has gone with him."
LISA MARIE PRESLEY, JACKSON'S EX-WIFE

The couple married in 1994
"I am so very sad and confused with every emotion possible. I am heartbroken for his children, who I know were everything to him, and for his family.
This is such a massive loss on so many levels, words fail me."
REV AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER
"As a friend of Michael's for the past 35 years, I call on people from around the world to pray for him and his family."
P DIDDY, SINGER
"Michael Jackson showed me that you can actually see the beat. He made the music come to life. He made me believe in magic. I will miss him."
JANE FONDA, ACTRESS
"I am stunned. My friend, Michael Jackson, is dead. He lived with me for a week on the 'Golden Pond' set after Thriller.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR
"He was one of the most influential and iconic figures in the music industry.
"Our hearts go out to the Jackson family, Michael's children and to his fans worldwide."
USHER, SINGER
"My heart goes out to the King of Pop and his family."
PAUL GAMBACCINI, MUSIC JOURNALIST
Paul Gambaccini: "Michael Jackson was the greatest showman we had ever seen"
"Definitely one of the greatest stars of recorded music. There is no doubt of that. He would be in the top 10 of all time, regardless of who the other nine people were.
"But you also have to remember that he went through different stages and owed some of his popularity to collaborators - Quincy Jones, with whom he did the great trilogy of albums: Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad."
Paul Gambaccini's tribute in full
BRITNEY SPEARS, SINGER
"I was so excited to see his tour in London. We were going to be on tour in Europe at the same time and I was going to fly into see him.
"He's been an inspiration throughout my entire life and I'm devastated that he's gone."
DIONNE WARWICK, SINGER
"We have lost an icon in our industry and my heartfelt condolences go out to his family and children in this hour of sorrow.
"He will live on in my memory, and most definitely through the music he shared with so many."
WYCLEF JEAN, SINGER
"Michael Jackson was my musical god. He made me believe that all things are possible, through real and positive music.
"He can live forever. I love Michael Jackson. God bless him."
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, SINGER

Justin Timberlake has been compared to Michael Jackson
"We have lost a genius and a true ambassador of, not only pop music, but of all music. I can't find the words right now to express how deeply saddened I am by Michael's passing.
"He has been an inspiration to multiple generations, and I will always cherish the moments I shared with him onstage and all of the things I learned about music from him, and the time we spent together.
"My heart goes out to his family and loved ones."
DONNA SUMMER, SINGER
"I've known Michael for many years and we've done many different things together over the years.
"I know his family and it's just a total shock. I don't even have words to say. I mean I'll miss Michael, the world will miss Michael and I'm sure the world is in a state of grief right now.
"I will personally miss him, I will miss his light, I will miss his star, I will miss who he has caused other people to become because of his greatness. He upped the standard."
NE-YO, SINGER
"Michael Jackson will live forever through the thing that he put all of his life energy into: his music.
"Long live Michael Jackson."
MC HAMMER, RAPPER
"I will be mourning my friend, brother, mentor and inspiration. He gave me and my family hope. I would never have been me without him."
LL COOL J, RAPPER
"He was one of my childhood idols. I salute you King of Pop. You made the whole world moonwalk together."
RUSSELL SIMMONS, FOUNDER OF DEF-JAM RECORDS
"Michael Jackson was my generation's most iconic cultural hero. Courageous, unique and incredibly talented. He'll be missed greatly."
MATT FIDDES, FORMER BODYGUARD
"He's the most misunderstood man in world. Everyone thought he was this weird freak but when you're with him he's as normal as everyone else. I don't think he felt he was as famous as everyone else thought, he didn't know any different.
"He was a very caring guy who would go out of his way to help the sick. One night in London he wanted to see some homeless people. He sent them loads of pizzas in secret. The guy had a good heart.
"We used to dress him up and sneak out of hotel room and do normal things in shops. People wouldn't know who he was but we wanted to give him a taste of the real life."
STUART WILLIAMS, MUSIC JOURNALIST
''Michael Jackson was the biggest news story - this year in music anyway. A man who has not played live for over a decade, a huge comeback, one of the biggest-selling artists of all time, 50 sold-out dates, 750,000 tickets at the 02.
"And that was going to be, people thought, the beginning of the next stage of his career - maybe getting back with The Jackson Five, maybe playing in Vegas, it is just utterly flabbergasting."

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Glastonbury will honour Jackson

Bands playing at Glastonbury Festival this weekend are set to pay tribute to the King of Pop - Michael Jackson - who has died at the age of 50.
Festival organiser Emily Eavis, writing on the social networking site Twitter, called Jackson a "truly great artist".
She added: "There will be tributes all over the site all weekend".
Dave McCabe, singer with The Zutons, told the BBC some cover versions are inevitable: "Hopefully, 'cos he's got good songs and it's always a winner."
Many festival-goers learned of the news late last night as DJs scattered around the festival site began playing Jackson's records.
One fan said: "They started playing loads of his music and we thought, 'Oh, that's really strange' and then someone said, 'Michael Jackson's dead' and we were like, 'No way'."
Another reveller added: "Everyone thought it was a joke at first and then people started watching the news and saw it was true."
Artists including Lily Allen, Lady GaGa and Neil Young all play the festival later on Friday.
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Singer Michael Jackson dies at 50

Pop star Michael Jackson has died in Los Angeles, aged 50.
Paramedics were called to the singer's Beverly Hills home at about midday on Thursday after he stopped breathing.
He was pronounced dead two hours later at the UCLA medical centre. Jackson's brother, Jermaine, said he was believed to have suffered a cardiac arrest.
Jackson, who had a history of health problems, had been due to stage a series of comeback concerts in the UK, beginning on 13 July.
Speaking on behalf of the Jackson family, Jermaine said doctors had tried to resuscitate the star for more than an hour without success.
Jermaine Jackson on his brother's sudden death
He added: "The family request that the media please respect our privacy during this tough time."
"And Allah be with you Michael always. I love you."
TV footage showed the star's body flown from UCLA to the LA County Coroner's office where a post-mortem is expected to take place on Friday.
Concerns were raised last month when four of Jackson's planned comeback concerts were postponed, but organisers insisted the dates had been moved due to the complexity of staging the show.
AT THE SCENE

Rajesh MirchandaniBBC News
Michael Jackson was brought here to the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles around 12 hours ago. Earlier there were several hundred people here, before it got dark - there was a sense of grief, of disbelief.
But in the last few hours, these people have been singing his songs, dancing, there was a guy on a keyboard earlier, playing his songs for people to dance along to.
This has turned into an impromptu celebration of Michael Jackson's music. He's the king of pop as far as they're concerned. They're still shocked by his sudden death but they're here because they want to show their support.
A spokeswoman for The Outside Organisation, which was organising the publicity for the shows, said she had no comment at this time.
Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini said: "I always doubted that he would have been able to go through that schedule, those concerts. It seemed to be too much of a demand on the unhealthy body of a 50 year old.
"I'm wondering that, as we find out details of his death, if perhaps the stress of preparing for those dates was a factor in his collapse.
"It was wishful thinking that at this stage of his life he could be Michael Jackson again."
Uri Geller, a close friend of the star, told BBC News it was "very, very sad".
Speaking outside New York's historic Apollo theatre, civil rights activist Rev Al Sharpton paid tribute to his friend.
"I knew him 35 years. When he had problems he would call me," he said.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Can't believe it. I'm gutted. RIP Michael, thanks for everything you gave us.
Tommy, Cardiff
Send us your comments
"I feel like he was not treated fairly. I hope history will be more kind to him than some of the contemporary media."
Melanie Bromley, west coast bureau chief of Us Weekly magazine, told the BBC the scene in Los Angeles was one of "pandemonium".
"At the moment there is a period of disbelief. He was buying a home in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles and the scene outside the house is one of fans, reporters and TV cameras - it's absolute craziness.
"I feel this is the biggest celebrity story in a long time and has the potential to be the Princess Diana of popular culture."
Musical icon
Tributes from the world of music and film have already flooded in from celebrities including Madonna, Arnold Schwarzenegger and ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley.

Jackson's contribution to music
Large numbers of fans have also gathered outside Jackson's home and at the UCLA medical centre with lit candles to mourn the star while playing his greatest hits. Facebook groups have also been set up for fans to share their memories.
The singer's albums are occupying the top 15 slots of online music retailer Amazon's current best-seller chart, led by his 1982 smash hit Thriller.
Paramedics were called to the singer's house in Bel Air at 1221 (1921GMT) following an emergency phone call.
They performed CPR on Jackson and rushed him to the UCLA medical centre.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department said the robbery and homicide team was investigating Jackson's death because of its "high profile", but there was no suggestion of foul play.
Jackson began his career as a child in family group The Jackson 5.
MICHAEL JACKSON 1958-2009
Full name: Michael Joseph Jackson
Born: August 29, 1958, Gary, Indiana, US
Also known as: The King of Pop, Wacko Jacko
Biggest hits: I Want You Back, Don't Stop Til You Get Enough, Billie Jean, Bad, Black or White, Earth Song
Obituary: Remarkable talent
Life in pictures
Tributes paid to Michael Jackson
He then went on to achieve global fame as a solo artist with smash hits such as Billie Jean and Bad.
Thriller, released in 1982, is the biggest-selling album of all time, shifting 65m copies, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
He scored seven UK number ones as a solo artist and won a total of 13 Grammy awards.
"For Michael to be taken away from us so suddenly at such a young age, I just don't have the words," said Quincy Jones, who produced Thriller, Bad and Off The Wall.
"He was the consummate entertainer and his contributions and legacy will be felt upon the world forever. I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him."
The singer had been dogged by controversy and money trouble in recent years, becoming a virtual recluse.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Reports: Pop Megastar Michael Jackson Dies at 50


The Los Angeles Times, citing city and law enforcement officials, reported late this afternoon that the singer was dead after being rushed to UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles around 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. Other news sources and Web sites also reported the death. The Times reported that the singer was not breathing when paramedics arrived at the singer's home, at 12:26 p.m. Pacific time.

Authorities were closing down the streets around UCLA and the hospital and were expected to make an announcement shortly.

As news spread, a large crowd gathered outside the hospital awaiting word on the performer who had sold 750 million albums, was twice inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received 14 Grammy Awards, including one for lifetime achievement. People snapped photos and called friends. His music blared from a fan's boombox.

Jackson was planning to appear in a sold-out series of concerts in London next month that would have run until March. Promoters of the concerts had recently said that the singer had passed a physical examination to assauge any doubts he was ready for a comeback.


Alan Light, former editor of Vibe and Spin magazines, said, "It's almost impossible to overstate the impact he had on popular music and popular culture." . . . He really defined what the music video could be. He was the ultimate crossover figure, bringing black music and rock-and-roll together."

For all his many successes as a child and young man, Jackson's later life devolved into a series of tabloid headlines, bizarre plastic surgeries, and more courtroom appearances than hit songs. After he was acquited of child molestation charges in 2005, Jackson has led an increasingly reclusive life. He traveled the world with his three children, and the family's whereabouts were rarely known, as they jumped from hotels to rental homes around the world. His Neverland ranch north of Santa Barbara, Calif., is no longer the scene of private amusement fairs for needy children. He narrowly avoided having many of his belongings from the ranch sold at auction this year.

"Everybody had the sense that there was not going to be a happy ending to this story," Light said.

Michael Joseph Jackson was born Aug. 29, 1958, in Gary, Ind., a steel-manufacturing center near Chicago. He was the fifth of nine children born to Joe Jackson, a crane operator in a steel plant, and Katherine Jackson, a Sears employee. His sister Janet also became a major pop star.

Jackson's father, the dominant figure in the household, had been a guitarist in the 1950s with a short-lived Chicago rhythm-and-blues group called the Falcons, and his mother nurtured a love of singing in her children.

From an early age, Michael and his four older brothers -- Jermaine as bassist and lead singer, Jackie as choreographer, Tito and Marlon -- were molded by their demanding father into a singing group. Michael, originally on bongos, proved the charismatic dynamo and replaced Jermaine as lead singer. He was said to have a prodigy's knack for imitating the dance moves of James Brown and other leading R&B performers of the day. In short, he was hypertalented and angelically cute.

As the Jackson 5, the group moved in comparably short time from local talent contests to a professional date at a Gary nightclub and then to national stardom, with the encouragement of established artists including Glays Knight. Driven by their father in a borrowed Volkswagen van, the Jackson 5 appeared in Chicago, at New York's Apollo Theatre and as the opening act for such top Motown stars as Temptations and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. At Knight's urging, Motown owner Berry Gordy signed the group to a contract in 1968.

Two years later, when Michael was 12, the Jackson 5 had four No. 1 hits, "ABC" (which won a Grammy Award as best pop song), "I Want You Back," "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There." Under Gordy's intensive grooming, the Jackson 5 achieved an astounding degree of mass popularity among black and white audiences. Their concerts caused near-riots, with young Michael, singing songs like "Shake it Baby," becoming an unlikely prepubescent sex symbol.

Around this time, the Jackson 5 became the subject of an animated Saturday morning television series on ABC, which featured their singing voices. Michael Jackson, meanwhile, began to emerge as a solo artist with the album "Got to Be There" (1971), which inclued the hit song "Rockin' Robin." When he turned 15, his voice broke, giving the boy soprano a mature tenor voice. At the same time, the Jacksons began to chafe under the strict artistic control Gordy and demanded greater artistic freedom.

According to Michael Jackson's autobiography, he confronted Gordy with a family ultimatum: "Let us have creative control or we're gone." In 1975, the Jacksons left Motown for CBS's Epic label, but Gordy managed to keep the rights to the Jackson 5 name. Brother Jermaine also stayed with Gordy, having married his daughter Hazel.

In 1982, Jackson released his next album, "Thriller," which was also produced by Jones. It became an instant phenomenon, selling more than 40 million copies and yielding seven Top 10 hits, including "Billie Jean," "Beat It" and the title track. It remains a record for a single album.

The album won eight Grammy Awards, but it was Jackson's breathtaking performances on music videos accompanying the album that helped cement his fame. He choreographied the exciting dance routines, which featured his showstopping "moonwalking," acrobatic moves and uncanny precision.
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Micheal died at 50


Michael Jackson started his career with his brothers in the Jackson 5 and went on to record the best-selling album of all time, "Thriller."
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Micheal no more

I hope every body knows that this is his end,and the end of any body
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Michael Jackson, pop music legend, dies at 50


Michael Jackson, the show-stopping singer whose best-selling albums -- including "Off the Wall," "Thriller" and "Bad" -- and electrifying stage presence made him one of the most popular artists of all time, died Wednesday, according to multiple sources, including the Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press.

Michael Jackson, shown in 2008, was one of the biggest pop stars in history.

CNN has not confirmed this information.
He was 50.
He collapsed at his residence in the Holmby Hills section of Los Angeles, California, about noon Pacific time, suffering cardiac arrest, according to brother Randy Jackson. He died at UCLA Medical Center.
Jackson's blazing rise to stardom -- and later fall from grace -- is among the most startling of show business tales. The son of a steelworker, he rose to fame as the lead singer of the Jackson 5, a band he formed with his brothers in the late 1960s. By the late '70s, as a solo artist, he was topping the charts with cuts from "Off the Wall," including "Rock With You" and "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough."
In 1982, he released "Thriller," an album that eventually produced seven hit singles. An appearance the next year on a Motown Records 25th-anniversary special cemented his status as the biggest star in the country. Timeline: The life of Michael Jackson »
For the rest of the 1980s, they came no bigger. "Thriller's" follow-up, 1987's "Bad," sold almost as many copies. A new Jackson album -- a new Jackson appearance -- was a pop culture event.
The pop music landscape was changing, however, opening up for rap, hip-hop and what came to be called "alternative" -- and Jackson was seen as out of step.
His next release, 1991's "Dangerous," debuted at No. 1 but "only" produced one top-ranking single -- "Black or White" -- and that song earned criticism for its inexplicably violent ending, in which Jackson was seen smashing car windows and clutching his crotch.
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And then "Dangerous" was knocked out of its No. 1 spot on the album charts by Nirvana's "Nevermind," an occurrence noted for its symbolism by rock critics.
After that, more attention was paid to Jackson's private life than his music career, which faltered. A 1995 two-CD greatest hits, "HIStory," sold relatively poorly, given the huge expense of Jackson's recording contract: about 7 million copies, according to Recording Industry of America certifications.
A 2001 album of new material, "Invincible," did even worse.
In 2005, he went to trial on child-molestation charges. He was acquitted.
In July 2008, after three years away from the spotlight, Jackson announced a series of concerts at London's O2 Arena as his "curtain call." Some of the shows, initially scheduled to begin in July, were eventually postponed until 2010.
Rise to stardom
Michael Jackson was born August 29, 1958, to Joe Jackson, a Gary, Indiana, steelworker, and his wife, Katherine. By the time he was 6, he had joined his brothers in a musical group organized by his father, and by the time he was 10, the group -- the Jackson 5 -- had been signed to Motown.
He made his first television appearance at age 11.
Jackson, a natural performer, soon became the group's front man. Music critic Langdon Winner, reviewing the group's first album, "Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5," for Rolling Stone, praised Michael's versatile singing and added, "Who is this 'Diana Ross,' anyway?"
The group's first four singles -- "I Want You Back," "ABC," "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There" -- went to No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart, the first time any group had pulled off that feat. There was even a Jackson 5 cartoon series on ABC.
In 1972, he hit No. 1 as a solo artist with the song "Ben."
The group's popularity waned as the '70s continued, and Michael eventually went solo full time. He played the Scarecrow in the 1978 movie version of "The Wiz," and released the album "Off the Wall" in 1979. Its success paved the way for "Thriller," which eventually became the best-selling album in history, with 50 million copies sold worldwide.
At that point, Michael Jackson became ubiquitous.
Seven of "Thriller's" nine cuts were released as singles; all made the Top Ten. The then-new cable channel MTV, criticized for its almost exclusively white playlist, finally started playing Jackson's videos. They aired incessantly, including a 14-minute minimovie of the title cut. ("Weird Al" Yankovic cemented his own stardom by lampooning Jackson's song "Beat It" with a letter-perfect parody video.)
On the Motown Records' 25th-anniversary special -- a May 1983 TV extravaganza with notable turns by the Temptations, the Four Tops and Smokey Robinson -- it was Michael Jackson who stopped the show.
Already he was the most popular musician in America, riding high with "Thriller." But something about his electrifying performance of "Billie Jean," complete with the patented backward dance moves, boosted his stardom to a new level.
People copied his Jheri-curled hair and single-gloved, zippered-jacket look. Showbiz veterans such as Fred Astaire praised his chops. He posed for photos with Ronald and Nancy Reagan at the White House. Paul McCartney teamed with him on three duets, two of which -- "The Girl Is Mine" and "Say Say Say" -- became top five hits. Jackson became a Pepsi spokesman, and when his hair caught fire while making a commercial, it was worldwide news.
It all happened very fast -- within a couple years of the Motown special. But even at the time of the "Motown 25" moonwalk, fame was old hat to Michael Jackson. He hadn't even turned 25 himself, but he'd been a star for more than half his life. He was given the nickname the "King of Pop" -- a spin on Elvis Presley's status as "the King of Rock 'n' Roll" -- and few questioned the moniker.
Relentless attention
But, as the showbiz saying has it, when you're on top of the world, there's nowhere to go but down. The relentless attention given Jackson started focusing as much on his eccentricities -- some real, some rumored -- as his music.
As the Web site Allmusic.com notes, he was rumored to sleep in a hyperbaric chamber and to have purchased the bones of John Merrick, the "Elephant Man." (Neither was true.) He did have a pet chimpanzee, Bubbles; underwent a series of increasingly drastic plastic surgeries; established an estate, Neverland, filled with zoo animals and amusement park rides; and managed to purchase the Beatles catalog from under Paul McCartney's nose, which displeased the ex-Beatle immensely.
In 1990s and 2000s, Jackson found himself pasted across the media for his short-lived marriages, the first to Elvis Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie; his 2002 claim that then Sony Records head Tommy Mottola was racist; his behavior and statements during a 2003 interview with British journalist Martin Bashir done for a documentary called "Living With Michael Jackson;" his changing physical appearance; and, above all, the accusations that he sexually molested young boys at Neverland.
The first such accusation, in 1993, resulted in a settlement to the 13-year-old accuser (rumored to be as high as $20 million), though no criminal charges were filed, Allmusic.com notes.
He also fell deeply in debt and was forced to sell some of his assets. Neverland was one of many holdings that went on the block. However, an auction of material from Neverland, scheduled for April, was called off and all items returned to Jackson.
Interest in Jackson never faded, however, even if some of it was prurient. In 2008, when he announced 10 comeback shows in London, beginning in July 2009, the story made worldwide news. The number of concerts was later increased to 50.
Seventy-five thousand tickets sold in four hours when they went on sale in March.
However, when the shows were postponed until 2010, rumors swept the Internet that Jackson was not physically prepared and possibly suffering from skin cancer.
At the time, the president and CEO of AEG Live, Randy Phillips, said, "He's as healthy as can be -- no health problems whatsover."
Jackson held open auditions for dancers in April in Los Angeles.
He is survived by his three children, Prince Michael I, Paris and Prince Michael II.
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Michael Jackson has died, according to multiple reports.


Entertainer Michael Jackson has died after being taken to a hospital on Thursday after suffering cardiac arrest, according to multiple reports including the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press. CNN has not confirmed his death.

A Los Angeles fire official told CNN that paramedics arrived at Michael Jackson's home after a 911 call.

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Jackson, 50, had been in a coma at the hospital, sources told CNN.
Brian Oxman, a Jackson family attorney, said he was told by brother Randy Jackson that Michael Jackson collapsed at his home in west Los Angeles Thursday morning.
Family members were told of the situation and were either at the hospital or en route, Oxman said.
Fire Capt. Steve Ruda told CNN a 911 call came in from a west Los Angeles residence at 12:21 p.m.
Ruda said Jackson was treated and transferred to the UCLA Medical Center.
Asked specifics of the patient's condition, he said he could not discuss them because of federal privacy laws.
The music icon from Gary, Indiana, is known as the "King of Pop." Jackson had many No. 1 hits and his "Thriller" is one of the best-selling albums of all time. Jackson "as big as it gets" »
Jackson is the seventh of nine children in a well-known musical family. He has three children, Prince Michael I, Paris and Prince Michael II.
At the medical center, every entrance to the emergency room was blocked by security guards. Even hospital staffers were not permitted to enter. A few people stood inside the waiting area

, some of them crying.

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