Thoughts on Sony…

As Sony Music issues an email to retailers calling Michael Jackson the ‘self-proclaimed King of Pop’ and referring to him as ‘Jacko’, The MJCast’s Jamon Bull explores the star’s troubled relationship with the label.

In the summer of 2002, Michael Jackson put his career on the line. Taking the stage on July 9th, at the headquarters of Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network in Harlem, New York, Jackson was the main speaker at an event titled “Equality for Blacks in the Music World”. Standing shoulder to shoulder with a host of musicians, producers and music executives, the King of Pop accused the record industry of racism and corruption, alleging a ‘conspiracy’ to create a systemic disadvantage for black artists signed to major record companies, including himself. His childhood heroes – game-changing artists whose innovations continued to inspire new generations – were never adequately compensated, he lamented.

“It’s very sad to see that these artists really are penniless,” he told the crowd. “They created so much joy for the world and the system, meaning, the record companies, totally took advantage of them. And it’s not like they always say, you know, ‘They built a big house, they spent a lot of money, they bought a lot of cars’. That’s stupid. That’s just an excuse. That’s nothing compared to what artists make [for the record labels]. I’m really, really tired of the manipulation. I’m tired of how the press is manipulating everything that’s been happening in this situation. They do not tell the truth.”

The July 9th event was the third time in less than a month that Jackson had excoriated the music industry in a public speech – and the media reaction to the previous two had been unkind. His latest album, Invincible, had sold just over five-million copies since its release eight months earlier – a colossal hit for any other artist, but below what Jackson, his label and the media had come to expect from the King of Pop. The project had been branded a ‘flop’ and a public war of words had broken out between the artist and the label.

Sony claimed it had spent twenty-six million dollars on promotion but that Jackson had demanded unjustifiable sums for music videos and refused to travel or tour to boost sales. Jackson countered that Sony was lying about how much it had spent, saying he believed the label was deliberately sabotaging the project to ensure it made a loss, so executives could try to seize his fifty per cent share in the company’s music publishing catalogue as payment for the debt. Sony’s former vice president Cory Rooney would later say in an interview that Jackson had been correct all along.

His trip to New York had come shortly after a visit to London, where he had demonstrated outside Sony’s UK headquarters with fans and, on June 15th, delivered a speech claiming the label was trying to sabotage him.

“Being the artist that I am at Sony, I’ve generated several billion dollars for Sony,” he said. “I’m leaving Sony a free agent, owning half of Sony… and they’re very angry at me because, well, I just did good business, you know? So the way they get revenge is to try and destroy my album.”

“Michael’s going gangsta today!” one excited fan screamed.

But he wasn’t done. On July 6th, he took to the stage at the National Action Network for the first time and ramped up the pressure on Sony, this time making a potentially industry-shaking claim – that the company’s CEO, Tommy Mottola, was a racist.

“The record companies really, really do conspire against their artists,” he told an assortment of national and international news crews. “They steal, they cheat, they do whatever they can. Especially the black artists. Sony, Tommy Motolla is the president of the record division. He is mean, he is a racist and he is very, very, very devilish… Tommy Motolla made some very racist remarks. What he said was, to one of the artists who worked at Sony, who has a contract with the record company – he called him a ‘fat, black n****r’.”

The comments sent shockwaves throughout both the record industry and the media. One can’t underestimate just how bold an act this was for Jackson. He wasn’t just attacking one of the most important men in the recording industry, but as a board member of Sony Music and fifty per cent owner of its publishing empire, he was blowing the whistle on his own company, which he had helped to build.

But what fans saw as Michael’s ’emancipation’ moment, the media appeared to consider as little more than an uppity black man playing the race card. The media scolded Jackson for daring to bite the hand that fed him.

Sony issued a statement calling Jackson’s allegations ‘ludicrous’, ‘spiteful’, ‘hurtful’, ‘unfounded’, ‘unwarranted’ and ‘a serious abuse of the power that comes with celebrity’. Suggesting Jackson was mentally unstable, the company he co-owned stated: “The bizarre, false statements Mr Jackson made on Saturday make it clear that his difficulties lie elsewhere than with the marketing and promotion of Invincible.”

According to several media outlets, Sony sources began briefing off-the-record that the real reason Invincible hadn’t sold well was because Jackson was perceived as a child molester – although that would fail to explain the far greater sales of other Jackson projects released subsequent to his having been accused in 1993 of abuse. The New York Daily News quoted one anonymous executive saying: “Charges of pedophilia have really spooked a lot of American record buyers.”

The Washington Post accused Jackson of ‘pulling the race card’ because his career was ‘sliding into the abyss’. It said ‘riled up’ Sony execs were briefing the media that Jackson was a ‘weirdo’ and a ‘pouty diva’. Mocking Jackson’s skin condition vitiligo, WPGC-FM radio DJ joked that Jackson’s next song should be, ‘Say It Loud, I’m Vanilla and I’m Proud’. Michael Miller, at Columbus Business First, branded Jackson ‘a flaky, spoiled has-been, more famous for his plastic surgery than his music’.

The New York Post’s Eric Fettmann said Jackson’s ‘wild charges’ had made for a ‘bizarre spectacle’, particularly given Jackson was ‘racially androgynous’: “[Jackson] has made millions upon millions of dollars, but now plays the race card in a desperate attempt to deal with his declining popularity and precariously dwindling finances.”

The media backlash was so severe that even Al Sharpton distanced himself from Jackson’s comments, saying: “I have known Tommy for fifteen or twenty years, and never once have I known him to say or do anything that would be considered racist.”

But the suggestion that Jackson’s gripe with Sony was rooted in poor sales of his album Invincible was disingenuous. The first sign of tensions between the two appeared in an interview Jackson conducted with a fan magazine, Black and White, in 1998. The star and his interviewer were discussing his 1997 album Blood on the Dancefloor, which – despite fairly recent allegations of child abuse – had broken a Guinness World Record to become the biggest selling remix album of all time.

Asked whether he liked the remixes, Jackson responded that he didn’t: “The least I can say is that I don’t like them. I don’t like that they come in and change my songs completely. But Sony says that the kids love remixes.”

Upon hearing from the fan that the fans didn’t really like remixes, Jackson reportedly threw a fist in the air, then sighed and shook his head, muttering: “I knew it. I was sure.”

In the next few years, as he recorded Invincible, relations between the artist and label worsened – particularly between Jackson and Mottola. According to a source who spoke to Rolling Stone magazine, Mottola became somewhat obsessed with Jackson, hiring spies to monitor his activities. The source was quoted as saying: “The minute Michael would get close to anyone, Tommy would hire a detective to investigate him.”

Jackson was even seen crying in the studio during recording sessions Mottola would visit. Music producer Bryan Loren recently sat down with The MJCast for a podcast interview and discussed how emotionally disturbed Jackson would become when Mottola showed up at the studio.

“I watched him go through a bunch of stuff even while I was with him… I watched Tommy Mottola dig in on him because he wanted to get the record done. We were working on Dangerous and I watched Tommy dig in on him. I didn’t see it. You know, Tommy came to the studio, went in the room, they were in the room for ten minutes, he came out and left and when Michael came out he was crying.”

Jackson’s aversion to Sony continued long after 2002, until his death – again undermining any suggestion that it was, as Sony called it at the time, a mere ‘publicity stunt’. Bodyguard Javon Beard said of Jackson’s final years: “His hatred of Sony was on a whole other level. One day, Mr. Jackson told us he wanted some headphones to listen to music while he walked on the treadmill. One of the other security guys went out and got him a pair. I was in the house less than a week later, and I saw that they’d been broken in half. These things weren’t dropped. They were broken on purpose. I picked them up and saw they were Sony headphones. I wouldn’t have bought him anything that said Sony on it, but whoever purchased them probably wasn’t aware of the situation.”

In terms of knowing exactly what Michael stood for, the 2000’s was simply not a confusing for Michael Jackson fans. It was a trying time perhaps, seeing their hero so embattled, but not confusing. Jackson was actively protesting Sony. And so did his fans. They saw him bravely waving protest placards above an open top bus, wearing a bullet proof vest. It was a call to arms, and fans proudly defended their hero through boycotts. Many still do.

In 2009, Jackson was tragically killed whilst rehearsing for his sold out London concert residency. Months after his homicide, the executors of his Estate sold him straight back to the very company he’d despised and spent the last seven years boycotting. Just over a year after his manslaughter, Sony released its first posthumous album – of remixes – to extreme criticism. Acting directly against the express wishes of his grieving relatives, studio collaborators and fans, Sony included three fake Michael Jackson songs, sung by a white vocal impersonator, on the album’s track-list. That incident remains the subject of ongoing litigation, in which Sony and Jackson’s Estate have conceded that the tracks are likely fake – but they continue to sell them.

Now – eight years after the Cascio fiasco, and sixteen years after Jackson’s anti-Sony protests, the label continues to disrespect him. Roughly a week ago, on July 23rd, a listener of our podcast leaked us an email from a high level executive at Sony Music Australia. This email, titled “SURPRISE: PRE-ORDER SETUP :: MICHAEL JACKSON PICTURE DISC VINYL RELEASES” contains extensive information around track-lists and “blurbs for websites” that wish to promote this new product. This collection of picture discs is a box set being released by Sony and Jackson’s Estate in celebration of his ‘diamond anniversary’.

Although there are a myriad of issues with this instructional email, there are two that can’t be overlooked. The author of this email provides the following information for retailers in describing the album Invincible:

“The question for a 42-year-old Michael Jackson heading towards the end of 2001 was whether or not the self-proclaimed King Of Pop could make his presence known on the charts after having spent much of the ’90s laying low. If the chart-topping position achieved by INVINCIBLE is any indication, then the answer is a resounding yes. The album is primarily produced by Jersey wunderkind Rodney Jerkins, and Jacko wasted no time tapping other top-flight artists and knob-twirlers to help out, including Teddy Riley, Babyface and R. Kelly.”

For a casual observer not averse to poking fun at Jackson as some kind of societal punching bag, the terms ‘self-proclaimed King of Pop’ and ‘Jacko’ may not appear particularly inflammatory. But for educated Michael Jackson fans, the use of this language by a company supposed to be representing Jackson’s interests is beyond incompetence. This belittling description was disseminated in an email by one of Sony’s highest paid employees. Their identity is being protected at the request of the person who leaked us the material.

The term ‘Jacko’ has long been a thorn in the side of Michael Jackson fans around the world. It was first used by British tabloid The Sun during the mid-to-late 80’s in the form of ‘Wacko Jacko’. This effort to paint Jackson as mentally ill and then mock him for it with a demeaning moniker stands in stark contrast to how the press have elevated white entertainment icons like Elvis and Bruce Springsteen, referring to them, respectively, as The King and The Boss. 

Using the term ‘Jacko’ wasn’t the first instance of The Sun publicly belittling a black luminary through attaching a derogatory title that calls into question their mental state. Following world boxing champion Frank Bruno’s retirement, and eventual mental health problems, the Sun ran a front page calling him ‘Bonkers Bruno’. The outcry was immediate, enormous and the paper had to change the front page for later editions and publicly apologise. Meanwhile, ‘Wacko Jacko’, also a slur on somebody for perceived mental health problems, continues to go totally unchallenged.

Michael Jackson himself made clear how hurtful he found the name ‘Jacko’ in a 1997 interview with Barbara Walters. When asked about the derogatory name, he passionately responded: “You should not say he’s ‘Jacko’. I’m not a Jacko. I’m Jackson… Yeah, Wacko Jacko. Where did that come from? Some English tabloid. I have a heart and I have feelings. I feel that when you do that to me. It’s not nice… Don’t do it. I’m not a wacko.”

Yet here we are in 2018, and his own record label is instructing music retailers to call Michael ‘Jacko’.

Sony’s instructional email also expressly tells retailers to call Michael Jackson the ‘self-proclaimed King of Pop’. Jackson himself refuted the allegation that he’d given himself this title, telling Oprah Winfrey in 1993: “I didn’t proclaim myself to be anything. I’m happy to be alive, I’m happy to be who I am. ‘King of Pop’ was first said by Elizabeth Taylor on one of the award shows.” In this instance, it’s likely that Jackson was actually wrong. The phrase ‘King of Pop’ was used to describe him as early as February 1985, by TV Guide.

The frustration for Michael Jackson fans with Sony’s album blurbs will not end with the use of this denigrating language. They are also riddled with errors. They claim that Jackson was ‘laying low’ in the 1990’s and that HIStory album includes the theme of suicide. The label even gets his age wrong and lists Leave Me Alone as being on the Bad vinyl when it actually isn’t.

Upon spotting these errors, The MJCast contacted the Sony executive who sent them out. Correspondence lasted several days. He seemed more interested in finding out the source of the leak than actually fixing the problems. Of course, the problems weren’t fixed, as retailers like JB Hi-Fi and Sanity are still using Sony’s descriptions on their websites.

In some handy investigative work, Richard Lecocq, co-author of ‘Michael Jackson: All the Songs – The Story Behind Every Track’, discovered that the text certainly didn’t originate from Sony, but was probably lifted from this website.

This has to stop. Sony and the Estate’s ongoing disregard for Michael Jackson must stop. They continue to sell fake songs on the Michael album. They continue to produce factually incorrect and ludicrous social media posts on their official accounts, including accidentally tweeting photos of impersonators, tweeting fabricated images and praising magazines who used the word ‘Jacko’. They continue to ignore fans’ wishes. And now, they’re actively calling Jackson a belittling name that he detested, while instructing major retailers to do the same. Michael Jackson didn’t protest this company in 2002 for nothing. He did it so his fans could rally behind him in demanding they treat him and all other black artists with the dignity they deserve.

To join us in expressing your frustration around this, email Sony Music Australia’s CEO at [removed] and tweet the company publicly at [removed] on Twitter. Demand that they contact music retailers and ask them to amend their advertisements to fix inaccuracies and remove the insulting names ‘Jacko’ and ‘self-proclaimed King of Pop’.

He’s not a Jacko. He’s Jackson.

Jamon Bull

Update (06/08/2018 5:50pm) – Gordon Pitt (General Manager of Sony Music Australia​, Legal & Business Affairs) has emailed The MJCast​ to apologise for errors in their marketing email and not correcting the language when I pointed it out to them. Sony has now contacted retailers who used the information to have it corrected. I can confirm that this is the case. JB Hi-Fi and Sanity have both updated their Invincible vinyl re-issue listings to remove offensive descriptions of Michael Jackson and factual errors. Thanks everyone in the fan community who raised their voices as one to fix this. Gordon has given us permission to share the below email.

Episode 062 – They Didn’t Need an Expert to Say That

Jamon is back from his paternity leave, rejoining Q to co-host Episode 062 after a few months off. They are joined by recurring guest host and legal correspondent Charles Thomson, plus lifelong MJ fan Angela Kande. Charles and Angela discuss their recent visits to Santa Maria, Forest Lawn and the Jacksons’ 50th Anniversary Tour, before helping Jamon and Q dissect all of the latest MJ and Jackson family news.

After the news, Jamon and Q first delve into Angela’s fan story, where she shares some of her most vivid memories from the ‘frontline’ of MJ fandom in the 1990s and 2000s. In addition to attending the HIStory Tour in 1997 and the World Music Awards in 2006, Angela spent time at Michael’s hotels and other places he visited during his trips to the UK. She recalls the lows (like witnessing a photographer assault Michael outside a recording studio) and the highs (like bagging a seat right behind Michael at a London theatre) of her time spent in Michael’s orbit. She also discusses the origins of her spoken word poem ‘Legacy’, about the impact of Michael’s death on his fan community.

The hosts then turn their attention to Charles. Despite first appearing on the MJCast in Episode 002 and having been a frequent contributor ever since, Jamon and Q recently realised they had never asked Charles some of the key questions they usually ask guests during their first appearances on the show. What begins as a simple interview about Charles’ favourite songs, albums, videos and concerts turns into an emotional discussion about what Michael means to his fans – and the wider world – and how the fan community must fight for his legacy as his Estate allows it to crumble.

This episode marks Angela’s first ‘live’ appearance on the MJCast, although she did appear as one of Charles’ interviewees in his World Music Awards 10th Anniversary Special last year.

News

  • Michael’s Estate announces a one-off cartoon, ‘Michael Jackson’s Halloween’, featuring ‘reimagined’ versions of his music.
  • A 3D version of Thriller, plus the Making of Thriller documentary, are to be shown at the Venice Film Festival.
  • Producer Teddy Riley, a major contributor to Michael’s Dangerous album, discusses his time in the studio with Michael in a new two-and-a-half interview.
  • Remixed by Nick* has made a large number of his Michael Jackson remixes available for download.
  • Jimmy Safechuck’s posthumous demands for money over alleged abuse by Michael have been thrown out of court by a judge, and Wade Robson’s case looks set to follow.
  • Quincy Jones has been awarded more than $9million by a jury after he sued the Michael Jackson Estate for underpaying him.
  • An attempt by Frank Cascio to auction a CD of fake Michael Jackson songs for upwards of $50,000 has been called off – but the disc remains available for private sale.
  • Jermaine Jackson performs at the grand finale of BBC talent contest Pitch Battle.
  • Michael Jackson’s Thriller has been used as the soundtrack to the new trailer for Stranger Things – Season Two, after producers were eventually able to secure the rights
  • Michael Jackson’s Estate has granted Sony, a company Michael despised, continued permission to control the licensing of his music.
  • New transcripts from the class action lawsuit over the release of fake Michael Jackson songs reveal a judge has accused lawyers for Sony, MJJ Productions and the MJ Estate of throwing their co-defendants under a bus by conceding they may have been duped into selling bogus material.
  • Michael’s son Prince has produced a music video for Swedish singer Nano.
  • FIlmmaker Spike Lee has announced his latest Brooklyn Loves MJ street party.
  • The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles has added new Michael Jackson exhibits to its collection.

Main Discussion Topic

  • Angela and Charles’ fan stories

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Episode 060 – The Laura Comedy Hour

Laura Nicholson returns to guest host with Jason and Q, and this time she has the chance to share her fan story! This is followed by a range of news stories, reactions to and our reviews of the Lifetime TV film starring Navi, Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland, details around what you’ll need to send in for an upcoming Q&A episode, finds of the week and some sweet, sweet tunes.

News

  • Association On The Line is hosting the MJ Music Day event in Paris, France.
  • New Who Is It concept art has apparently leaked.
  • Michael Jackson themed Egyptian movie Sheik Jackson is on the way.
  • Prince Jackson attends the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and presents Drake with the Top Artist Award.
  • Shana Mangatal has released never before seen footage from the original Ghosts shoot, with an interesting back story around it.
  • Janet Jackson reportedly set to document divorce, motherhood and more on Netflix special.
  • MJ’s nephew, Austin Brown, collaborates with fraudster Eddie Cascio.
  • Iconic Michael Jackson film from photo sessions needs $500 000 to be developed.
  • Michael Jackson fan loses home in London’s Grenfell Tower Fire tragedy.
  • Thriller 3D to be released in the US this summer.
  • Review of The Jacksons Glastonbury performance from their 50th Anniversary tour
  • TJ and Frances Jackson launch The Family Rules, a platform with blogs, posts, Q&A videos on marriage, children and family.
  • Paris Jackson appears in The xx’s new short film, I Dare You.

Main Discussion Topic

Finds of the Week

Sean Kenneth O’Hara

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Episode 057 – We Are Not as Young as We Look

With Jamon having selfishly abandoned the show to assist his pregnant wife during childbirth (bastard), Q and Jason are manning the station for Episode 057.

This episode’s news round-up commences with the announcement that Jermaine Jackson has teamed up with MemOrigin to flog a chain of watches. In other news, Janet Jackson is planning her latest tour, the State of the World Tour.

Elsewhere, there are more Paris Jackson updates, a recent performance by Marlon and Tito Jackson and Charles Thomson’s latest update on the lawsuit over the inclusion of the allegedly fake ‘Cascio tracks’ on the first posthumous Michael Jackson album.

Then the boys discuss the trailer for the new Lifetime ‘biopic’ Searching for Neverland and a new MJ tribute video in the vein of Disney’s Maleficent.

Q and Jason announce the winners of our In The Studio with MJ competition and then delve into the show’s main discussion topic; their top ten favourite Michael Jackson songs. Brace yourself – someone has included tracks from Invincible. Yes, really.

Follow Up

  • The Taryll Jackson and Breana Cabral episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life has aired
  • Pepsi incident timeline – confirmed
  • Audio submissions for June 25

News

  • MemOrigin has debuted its Jackson Series of watches with Jermaine Jackson’s Jelephant
  • Janet Jackson announces recommencement of her tour, now retitled the State of the World Tour. Australian waitlist at Ticketek.
  • Paris Jackson to star in a scene in an Amazon Studios feature film
  • Paris Jackson reportedly signs major deal with Calvin Klein
  • Marlon and Tito share the stage in the La Voix Grand Finale episode in Canada
  • The Cascio Case judge has ruled that Vera Serova will not have to pay Angelikson’s legal fees
  • The trailer for the Memorial Weekend Lifetime’s new MJ biopic, In Search of Neverland drops
  • Maleficent video, remade with Michael Jackson songs
  • Competition draw and winner announcement

Main Discussion Topic

  • Andy’s MJ101 challenge – finally. Our Top 10 Michael Jackson songs.

Finds of the Week

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Episode 053 – You Don’t Feel it Coming?

Episode 053 of The MJCast sees Jamon teaming up with co-host Charles Thomson and debut guest host Greg Spinks in Q’s absence. The boys begin the show by discussing follow-up around Paris Jackson’s debut as a television actress on Star and a brief update on the Cascio case. Headline news items include 3T’s retraction of their lawsuit against Radar Online, Jason Malachi’s return to the music scene, Tito Jackson’s new single, Kingvention 2017 and The Jacksons Glastonbury announcement. Jamon, Charles and Greg then discuss Michael’s alleged interest in playing Professor X in the X-Men movies, Paris Jackson presenting at the GLAAD Awards, Charles’ new favourite song by The Weeknd, new footage of Michael Jackson and finally HLN’s Michael Jackson episode of How It Really Happened. The main discussion topic of this episode is Greg Spinks’ history as an MJ fan and the previously untold story of his creation, the greatest Michael Jackson forum that ever was (in Jamon’s estimation), Maximum Jackson. We hope you enjoy this episode of the internet’s premiere podcast on all things Michael Jackson and the Jackson family.

Follow Up

  • Episode 053 of The MJCast is dedicated to the mother of Taj, Taryll and TJ Jackson, Dee Dee Jackson. Please consider making a donation to the Dee Dee Jackson Foundation in her honour.
  • Paris Jackson makes her TV acting debut on Star. See a brief interview with her here.
  • Vera Serova challenges Eddie Cascio, James Porte & Angelikson’s request for reimbursement of their legal fees. Relevant court documents are the March, 2017 docs here.

News

Main Discussion Topic

  • Greg Spinks’ history as a fan and the untold story behind Maximum Jackson

Finds of the Week

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Episode 051 – He’s a Lover, Not a Fighter

On Episode 051 of The MJCast, Q and Jamon are flying solo. The fellas begin the show by discussing follow-up around Sky Arts’ decision to pull the broadcast of their Urban Myths ‘MJ’ episode. After this, news galore! Jamon and Q then talk about Janet Jackson’s baby boy, The Jackson’s 50th Anniversary world tour, a wrap up of Brad Sundberg’s 2017 Aussie In The Studio With MJ tour, Ne-Yo’s tribute to Michael Jackson and some new Nick* remixes. This is followed by discussion around Taika Watiti’s new animated film about Bubbles, Navi as Michael Jackson in Lifetime’s new biopic and all kinds of news around Paris, Prince, Marlon, 3T and Tito. With a brief segue into a legal update from Charles Thomson, the boys then wrap the show with discussion around Neverland’s prospective sale, Thriller and Bad’s recertification and the possibility of a new Jacksons TV show. We hope you enjoy this episode of the internet’s premiere podcast on all things Michael Jackson and the Jackson family.

Follow Up

News

  • Janet Jackson gives birth to son Eissa Al Mana
  • The Jacksons are embarking on a 50th anniversary world tour in 2017 including a Blenheim Palace UK performance with Kool and the Gang
  • In the Studio with MJ Australia tour roundup
  • Taking the Stage; Ne-Yo’s MJ tribute
  • Nick* has dropped a number of new MJ remixes including Billie Jean (Nick* Redux), They Don’t Care About Us (Nick* Crook County Remix) and Man In The Mirror (Stripped Mix)
  • Taika Waititi to co-direct a biopic on Michael Jackson’s chimp Bubbles
  • MJ impersonator Navi is set to play Michael in a new Lifetime biopic
  • Paris Jackson’s new interview with Rolling Stone and an accompanying podcast around the interview experience
  • Paris Jackson’s interview in CR Fashion Book 10
  • Paris Jackson signs with IMG Models
  • Paris Jackson presents at the 2017 Grammy Awards and Prince Jackson releases a video in support of her
  • Prince Jackson continues his charity work with Heal Los Angeles
  • Taryll Jackson launches a new trailer for his new musical project
  • Marlon Jackson takes part in an interview around fears of Trump presidency negative impacts
  • Jackson Source has launched the 2016 edition of Jackson Magazine, featuring an interview with Tito Jackson and a range of other Jackson family related stories
  • Tito Jackson drops new music video for his hit single We Made It
  • 3T are to perform at We Love the 90’s festival on August 26th in The Netherlands
  • Neverland sale price slashed by $33 000 000
  • Thriller and Bad re-certified with record breaking sales figures
  • Members of the Jackson family partner with Scout Productions

Finds of the Week

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Episode 048 – Season Two Christmas Special

Merry Christmas, listeners. Here’s our Season Two Christmas Special. What a year it’s been for all of us here at The MJCast! We can barely believe that we’re at the end of our second season. After two years of podcasting, it’s still shocking to us that our little news and discussion show on Michael Jackson and the Jacksons has been received so well. Thank-you so much to everyone who has made what we do possible. We recently put together this Season Two Christmas Special for MJ fans to enjoy over their holidays. Q and Jamon kick the show off with a year in review discussion around all things 2016 and Q shares his recent experiences at the Dangerous 25 celebrations in Melbourne, Australia. Following this, the boys discuss the major MJ headlines including MJ Beats’ leak of the HIStory World Tour concert in Basel, a new MJ101 book, Janet Jackson’s baby and finally new photos from the You Are Not Alone shoot.

After the news, Jamon and Q then reminisce on the special episodes of Season Two, making sure to play some of their favourite highlight clips. To round the show off, a special audio montage is played which features special guest’s answers to the question how should Michael Jackson be remembered? Next up, our Season Two blooper reel! Finally, Jamon and Q discuss their hopes and dreams for Season Three of The MJCast and give a few special shout outs and thank-yous.

Listeners, have a happy holidays with family and friends. Share love on Christmas Day and be safe. Following this final show for 2016 and Season Two of The MJCast, we look forward to returning in February 2017 with Season Three. Until then, have yourself a merry little Christmas…

Follow Up

  • Year in review
  • Q’s Dangerous 25 experiences in Melbourne

News

  • MJ Beats has shared never-before-seen HIStory World Tour footage from Basel, Switzerland.
  • Andy Healy’s new book in the MJ101 series; Dangerous 101 is out soon.
  • Has Janet Jackson had her baby yet?
  • New photos of Michael Jackson from the You Are Not Alone shoot have leaked.

Special Highlights

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Episode 047 – The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson Special with Elizabeth Amisu and Karin Merx

On this special episode of The MJCast, Jamon and Q interview academics Elizabeth Amisu and Karin Merx on Elizabeth’s new book The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson: His Music, His Persona and His Artistic Afterlife. Topics include their own histories, their roles in The Journal of Michael Jackson Academic Studies and Michael Jackson’s Dream Lives On podcast, Elizabeth’s writing and publication process, Karin’s artistic process in creating the book’s cover (The Michael Jackson Respect Portrait) and of course many topics on Michael Jackson himself.

As explained on Elizabeth’s website, The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson is “the essential companion to Michael Jackson’s music, films and books, this work offers 21 original, academic essays on all things Jackson – from film, music and dance to fashion, culture and literature. It is the ultimate collector’s item for every Michael Jackson fan, student, researcher and academic.”

Overall, Dangerous Philosophies is a phenomenal work on the depth of Michael’s art and person, and a brilliant achievement by Amisu. Whether you’re an academic yourself wishing to enrich your knowledge of Michael Jackson, or perhaps a casual MJ fan wanting to open your mind to the depth of Michael’s work, you can’t go past Dangerous Philosophies. Pick up a copy today!

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on the show, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.comKeep Michaeling!

Episode 039 – A Kind of Deflated Pepsi Logo

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On Episode 039 of The MJCast, Charles Thomson joins Jamon as a guest host in Q’s absence along with Samar of The Michael Jackson Academia Project. The guys begin the show with a follow-up discussion around meaningful music, especially in regards to the new Black Eyed Peas song #WHEREStheLOVE before delving into news items including the imminent Michael Jackson documentary The Last Photoshoots, Orianthi‘s possible involvement in a new posthumous project, an MJ costume exhibition at the African American History Museum and Paris Jackson’s new Facebook page. Following this, the global release of 3T’s new album Chapter III and their two upcoming Amsterdam shows are discussed before detailing the latest developments in the Cascio Case. The main discussion topic for this episode is Charles’ and Samar’s fan stories, and the current and future work of The Michael Jackson Academia Project.

Follow Up

News

  • Craig Williams hints that The Last Photoshoots documentary is imminent.
  • This Is It guitarist Orianthi says she’s involved in a new posthumous MJ project.
  • Michael Jackson costumes are to be included in an inaugural exhibition at the African American History Museum in Washington.
  • Paris Jackson has launched her new Facebook page.
  • 3T are to release their new album Chapter III globally on September 10th and perform at a recently announced once off concert The Celebration of Chapter III on the 17th of September.
  • Cascio Case update – Angelikson defendants file a demurrer to the fraud cause of action and Sony and the Estate are trying to make Judge Jones rule on the anti-SLAPP motion through the court of appeals.

Main Discussion Topic 

Finds of the Week

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on the show, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.comMichael On!

Episode 036 – The Other Bernie Sanders

Episode 036 - The Other Bernie Sanders Show Art

Episode 036 of The MJCast is dedicated to Scott Devlin who recently passed away after a brave battle with cancer. We hope you are at peace now, Scott. Our thoughts are with your family. Michael-on forever, our MJ brother…

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Ale and her friend Marisa with Michael Jackson collaborators Brad Buxer, Michael Prince, Brian Vibberts and Brad Sundberg at the recent MJU experience.

Jamon and Q are joined by Mexican mega-fan Ale Huerta to cover all the latest MJ news. Jamon, Q & Ale kick things off by talking about The MJCast’s recent interview with The Journal of Michael Jackson Academic Studies, Sean Lennon’s bizarre new song  which references Michael Jackson’s relationship with Bubbles the chimp and Janet Jackson’s new photoshoot for Emirates Woman. Following this, the group discusses Susan Fast’s book Michael Jackson’s Dangerous (33 1/3) winning a major literary award, the new Omer Bhatti and Prince Jackson music video for Automatic and new music by Taryll Jackson of 3T. Next, Sony Music Japan’s re-release of Michael Jackson and The Jackson’s music catalogue on Blu-Spec CD 2, the Cascio family are back at it again with unreleased MJ music being auctioned off and blockbuster developments in the case that Eddie Cascio is named in. The group also discuss a range of new seminars and conventions coming featuring Michael Jackson collaborators such as LaVelle Smith Jr., Bruce Swedien and Vincent Patterson before moving into talking about a range of new photo, music and video leaks featuring Michael Jackson. The major discussion topic for this week is all around Ale’s recent trip to Brad Sundberg‘s MJU seminars, Michael’s final resting place at Forrest Lawn and Neverland Valley Ranch.

News

Main Discussion Topic 

  • Ale’s recent trip to Brad Sundberg‘s MJU experience, Michael’s final resting place at Forrest Lawn and Neverland Valley Ranch. You can also see video from the trip here and here.

Finds of the Week

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If you have any thoughts, opinions, or feedback on the show, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.comKeep Michaeling!

Mary Elizabeth Frye Poem