Sunday, June 20, 2010

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson

AP Photo/File
Updated: June 25, 2009
Michael Joseph Jackson died at age 50 in Los Angeles on June 25, 2009. He spent a lifetime surprising people, in recent years largely because of a surreal personal life, lurid legal scandals, serial plastic surgeries and erratic public behavior that have turned him -- on his very best days -- into the butt of late-night talk-show jokes and tabloid headlines. But when his career began to take off nearly four decades ago as a member of the pop group the Jackson 5, fans and entertainment industry veterans recognized something else about the pint-size musical dynamo that was unusual: He was in possession of an outsize, mesmerizing talent.
The introduction to his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame entry seemed apt as a global audience followed reports of his hospitalization and then death:"Michael Jackson is a singer, songwriter, dancer and celebrity icon with a vast catalog of hit records and countless awards to his credit. Beyond that, he has transfixed the world like few entertainers before or since. As a solo performer, he has enjoyed a level of superstardom previously known only to Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Frank Sinatra."
John Rockwell, the music critic of The Times, cited Mr. Jackson's musical and cultural influence in a 1982 review of the album "Thriller," calling it "a wonderful pop record, the latest statement by one of the great singers in popular music today." But it was more than that, he contended: "It is as hopeful a sign as we have had yet that the destructive barriers that spring up regularly between white and black music -- and between whites and blacks -- in this culture may be breached once again. Most important of all, it is another signpost on the road to Michael Jackson's own artistic fulfillment."
Mr. Jackson was born in Gary, Ind., on Aug. 29, 1958 and began performing professionally at age 5, joining his three older brothers in a group that their father, Joe, a steelworker, had organized the previous year. In 1968 the group, now five strong and known as the Jackson 5, was signed by Motown Records.
By 1969, Mr. Jackson had already spent years in talent shows and performing in seedy Midwestern clubs under the aegis of his dictatorial and ambitious father and Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records. They were the singer's twin mentors during his early career.
The Jackson 5 was an instant phenomenon. The group's first four singles - "I Want You Back," "ABC," "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There" - all reached No. 1 on the pop charts in 1970, a feat no group had accomplished before. And young Michael was unquestionably the center of attention: he handled virtually all the lead vocals, danced with energy and finesse, and displayed a degree of showmanship rare in a performer of any age. The Jackson brothers were soon a fixture on television variety shows and even briefly had their own Saturday morning cartoon series.
Mr. Jackson had his own recollections of those years. "When you're a show-business child, you really don't have the maturity to understand a great deal of what is going on around you. People make a lot of decisions concerning your life when you're out of the room," he wrote in "Moon Walk," his 1988 autobiography. "Berry insisted on perfection and attention to detail. I'll never forget his persistence. This was his genius. Then and later, I observed every moment of the sessions where Berry was present and never forgot what I learned. To this day, I use the same principles."
In 1971 Mr. Jackson began recording under his own name, while also continuing to perform and record with his brothers. His recording of "Ben," the title song from a movie about a boy and his homicidal pet rat, was a No. 1 hit in 1972.
The brothers (minus Michael's older brother Jermaine, who was married to the daughter of Berry Gordy, Motown's founder and chief executive) left Motown in 1975 and, rechristened the Jacksons, signed to Epic, a unit of CBS Records. The following year Michael made his movie debut as the Scarecrow in the screen version of the hit Broadway musical "The Wiz." But movie stardom proved not to be his destiny.
Music stardom on an unprecedented level, however, was. Mr. Jackson's first solo album for Epic, "Off the Wall," yielded four No..1 singles and sold seven million copies, but it was a mere prologue to what came next. His follow-up, "Thriller," released in 1982, became the best-selling album of all time and helped usher in the music video age. The video for the album's title track, directed by John Landis, was an elaborate horror-movie pastiche that was more of a mini-movie than a promotional clip and played a crucial role in making MTV a household name.
Seven of the nine tracks on "Thriller" were released as singles and reached the Top 10. The album spent two years on the Billboard album chart and sold more than 50 million copies worldwide. It also won eight Grammy Awards.
Such accomplishments would have been difficult for anyone to equal, much less surpass. Mr. Jackson's next album, "Bad," released in 1987, sold eight million copies and produced five No..1 singles and another state-of-the-art video, this one directed by Martin Scorsese. It was a huge hit by almost anyone else's standards, but an inevitable letdown after "Thriller."
It was at this point that Mr. Jackson's bizarre private life began to overshadow his music. He would go on to release several more albums and, from time to time, to stage elaborate concert tours. And he would never be too far from the public eye. But it would never again be his music that kept him there.
Sales of his recordings through Sony's music unit generated more than $300 million in royalties for Mr. Jackson since the early 1980s, according to three individuals with direct knowledge of the singer's business affairs. Revenues from concerts and music publishing -- including the creation of a venture with Sony that controls the Beatles catalog -- as well as from endorsements, merchandising and music videos added, perhaps, $400 million more to that amount, these people believe. Subtracted were hefty costs like recording and production expenses, taxes and the like.
Those close to Mr. Jackson say that his finances had not deteriorated simply because he was a big spender. Until the early 1990s, they said, he paid relatively close attention to his accounting and kept an eye on the cash that flowed through his business and creative ventures. After that, they say, Mr. Jackson became overly enamored of something that ensnares wealthy people of all stripes: bad advice.
Mr. Jackson's pre-expense share of the "Thriller" bounty -- including the album, singles and a popular video -- surpassed $125 million, according to a former adviser who requested anonymity because of the confidential nature of Mr. Jackson's finances. Those who counseled him in the "Thriller" era credit the pop star with financial acumen and astute business judgment, evidenced by his $47.5 million purchase of the Beatles catalog in 1985 (a move that served to alienate him from Paul McCartney, the Beatles legend who imparted the financial wisdom of buying catalogs to Mr. Jackson during a casual chat, only to see Mr. Jackson then turn around and buy rights to many of Mr. McCartney's own songs). Acquaintances from that period say that he would occasionally borrow gas money, and he still lived in the Jackson family home in the suburban Encino section of Los Angeles.
It wasn't until the end of the 1980s that Mr. Jackson began to exhibit more baronial tendencies. In 1988, he made his $17 million purchase of property near Santa Ynez, Calif., that became Neverland.
At the same time, Mr. Jackson was redefining the concept of spectacle in pop music. He hired Martin Scorsese, the film director, to direct a video for "Bad," a clip that one adviser with direct knowledge of the production budget said cost more than $1 million. The same adviser said that Mr. Jackson netted "way north" of $35 million from a yearlong "Bad" tour that began in 1987, and that heading into the 1990s Mr. Jackson was in sound shape financially.
By the mid-90s, though, Mr. Jackson's finances were under strain. He retreated from working regularly after the release of "Dangerous" in 1991 and settled a child-molestation lawsuit for about $20 million. More significantly in terms of his finances, he had to sell Sony a 50 percent stake in the Beatles catalog in 1995 for more than $100 million, which one adviser said helped shore up the singer's wobbling accounts. Mr. Jackson wouldn't produce another studio album of completely new material until 2001.
In June 2005, he was acquitted today of all charges in connection with accusations that he molested a 13-year-old boy he had befriended as the youth was recovering from cancer in 2003. Mr. Jackson's complete acquittal ended a nearly four-month trial that featured 140 witnesses who painted clashing portraits of the 46-year-old international pop star as either pedophile or Peter Pan.Along with the verdict, the jury gave a note for the judge to read out in court. In it, they said they felt "the weight of the world's eyes upon us all" and that they had "thoroughly and meticulously" studied all the evidence. The note concluded with a plea "we would like the public to allow us to return to our lives as anonymously as we came."The case arose from the February 2003 broadcast of "Living with Michael Jackson," a British documentary in which Mr. Jackson admitted sharing his bed with young boys, calling it a loving act unrelated to sex. The boy who later became the accuser was shown holding hands with the singer and resting his head affectionately on his shoulder. He was described as a 13-year-old cancer patient whom Mr. Jackson had decided to help.
On March 5, 2009, Mr. Jackson announced that he would perform a series of concerts in London in the summer, in what he called a "final curtain call." Mr. Jackson, 50, revealed the details of the concerts at a news conference in London, where he said he would perform 10 shows at that city's O2 Arena, beginning July 8. "When I say this is it, I mean this is it," Mr. Jackson said. "I'll be performing the songs my fans want to hear."
The shows would have been Mr. Jackson's first major performances since 2001 and 2002, when he appeared at a pair of 30th anniversary celebrations and two benefit concerts; a brief appearance by Mr. Jackson at the World Music Awards in 2006 was booed by audience members.
Highlights from the Archives

Latest Updates on Jackson’s Death
In Gary, Indiana, hundreds descended upon the clapboard house where Mr. Jackson spent his earliest years.June 25, 2009blogsWeb Log

Shuttering Neverland: Michael Jackson’s Effects Go to Auction
Items belonging to Michael Jackson are part of an auction so large that it has been installed in a former department store in Beverly Hills.April 14, 2009artsNews

What Happened to the Fortune Michael Jackson Made?
The pop star made millions with his outsize talent and marketing genius and he invested wisely, but then he went on a spending spree.May 14, 2006businessNews
A Daunting Road Ahead To Reclaim Pop Glory
Even before being tried on child molesting charges, Michael Jackson was mired in a declining musical career and a thicket of financial woes. And while a conviction may have barred any chance of a comeback, entertainment executives said Monday that the not-guilty verdict still left the onetime King of Pop facing a daunting road in re-establishing his credibility as a performer.June 14, 2005usNews
What's Next For the King Of Pop?
Silence has descended once again over the Michael Jackson camp. A settlement, reportedly in the millions of dollars, will be paid to the boy who accused the superstar of sexual molestation.February 6, 1994artsReview
Michael Jackson at 25: A Musical Phenomenon
In the world of pop music, there is Michael Jackson and there is everybody else. Earlier this week the singer-dancer-songwriter received 12 Grammy nominations. No one has ever received so many nominations, a reflection of the popularity of a performer who has stirred the kind of worldwide enthusiasm that recalls the Beatlemania of the 1960's.January 14, 1984artsNews
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Shock and Grief Over Jackson’s Death
Legions of grief-stricken fans mourned the sudden death of Michael Jackson, as the autopsy to determine the cause of his death was scheduled to begin.June 27, 2009

Shock and Grief Over Jackson’s Death
The extent of the reaction to Mr. Jackson’s sudden death underscored how far his influence had spread.June 27, 2009

A Star Idolized and Haunted, Michael Jackson Dies at 50
Michael Jackson, 50, who went from boy wonder to global pop superstar to sad figure haunted by lawsuits, paparazzi and failed plastic surgery, died Thursday in a Los Angeles hospital.June 26, 2009
Looks Like a Blockbuster, but It Could Be a Bust
A fading superstar has joined the N.B.A.’s most valuable player. What happens if they don’t win a championship for the Cavaliers?June 26, 2009

Tricky Steps From Boy to Superstar
An unsurpassed entertainer, a superstar and a recluse, Michael Jackson built his stardom on paradox.June 26, 2009
In Los Angeles, a Gathering of Jackson Fans and the Curious
Most people at the hospital where Michael Jackson was treated came seeking a connection with an icon or simply celebrated, sang and played his music.June 26, 2009
Sale of Michael Jackson’s Property Canceled
After a collection of Michael Jackson’s memorabilia went on view for a public auction, the auctioneer and Mr. Jackson announced that they had agreed to cancel the sale and return the property to him.April 15, 2009

Shuttering Neverland: Michael Jackson’s Effects Go to Auction
Items belonging to Michael Jackson are part of an auction so large that it has been installed in a former department store in Beverly Hills.April 14, 2009

Recalling Romance, Brazilian Rock Beats and an Age-Old Harp
Releases from Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, Jacob Golden, Toumani Diabate, Michael Jackson and more.February 24, 2008

Philip B. Dusenberry, 71, Adman, Dies
Mr. Dusenberry oversaw the 1980s Pepsi commercial in which Michael Jackson’s hair was accidentally set on fire.December 31, 2007
Augusta’s Turn to Say Goodbye to James Brown
After a viewing at the Apollo Theater, the titan of rhythm and blues was celebrated in a public funeral in a small city on the South Carolina border.December 31, 2006
Rounding Up the Best of the Boxed; Michael Jackson -- Visionary: The Video Singles
Kelefa Sanneh reviews Michael Jackson boxed set November 24, 2006
Diller’s Web: Think Cable of the Past
IAC/InterActiveCorp's programming president has a Hollywood dominated résumé, which may provide some insight about future Internet ventures.October 31, 2006
The Basics; A New Player in the Pajama Game
Tariq Aziz, Iraq's deputy prime minister under Saddam Hussein, testifies at Hussein's trial in pajamas; others who have shown up in court in pajamas are singer Michael Jackson and mobster Vincent Gigante; photos May 28, 2006

What Happened to the Fortune Michael Jackson Made?
The pop star made millions with his outsize talent and marketing genius and he invested wisely, but then he went on a spending spree.May 14, 2006

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Perfect Picture Photo

Tell us, What is that one photo in your life. Out of 1000's that you have, not only of yourself or other's that have a meaning too your Life? (write about it and it will give you strength).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Great tool to have when creating your website. Flash4D.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Looking through the lens of a camera, you see the horizon where you notice the Earth is round. You would think beyond that point you would slide down on to a great water fall. Enjoy the view and use your imagination.