Michael Jackson's longtime producing partner Quincy Jones has criticised the decision to release a new album of the late star's previously unheard material, slamming it as a purely money-making venture.
Jones, who produced Jackson's huge hit records Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad, was not involved in the making of the posthumous album Xscape, which topped the U.K. charts on Sunday (18May14) five years after the singer's death. He has now criticised the executors of Jackson's estate for allowing the album to be made, insisting the decision came down to money rather than artistry.
Jones tells Cbc.ca, "Xscape... They're trying to make money and I understand it. But it's about the money. The estate, the lawyers you know - it's about money." When asked whether it bothers him that this material has been released, Jones replies, "Yes, yep," before adding, "But it's not my business any more. It's not our business."
"Michael Jackson as a hologram is the best idea anybody has had in the past couple of years. I was too young when he was around, so to be able to sit back and watch is pretty incredible." Singer Jason Derulo was amazed by the Michael Jackson hologram at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night (18May14).
Michael Jackson's brother Jackie is adamant the King of Pop would have supported the hologram show at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night (18May14). The star-studded crowd at the prizegiving in Las Vegas was wowed when virtual technology was used to make it appear as if the Thriller hitmaker, who died in 2009, was performing onstage.
The stunt, titled the Michael Jackson Xperience, included a hologram of the legendary superstar singing Slave to the Rhythm, a track from the newly released posthumous album, Xscape. After witnessing the spectacle, Jackie Jackson is convinced his brother would have been thrilled by the stunt.
He tells People.com, "I've been hearing about the hologram, and people were talking about it, but to see it with my own eyes was incredible, amazing. "When he got up and started walking around - oh, my God... When he started dancing, unbelievable. It took me back. If Michael were here he would say thumbs up!"
The performance almost didn't go ahead - businessman Alki David, who claims to control the rights to the hologram technology, filed suit against Jackson's estate executors and Billboard Music Awards producers in a bid to stop the stunt. However, a Las Vegas judge dismissed the complaint on Friday (16May14).
Michael Jackson returned from beyond the grave to wow fans at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday (18May14) by performing onstage in hologram form, five years after his death. Producers of the Las Vegas prizegiving used virtual technology to make it appear as if the King of Pop had been brought back to life to sing and dance his way through new track Slave to the Rhythm.
Dressed in a white and gold jacket and red pants, he began the eerie appearance seated in a throne before joining a string of dancers to show off his fancy footwork, including his signature moonwalk, by strutting across the stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena as he appeared to belt out the tune. The stunt, titled the Michael Jackson Xperience, left the audience in awe and earned a standing ovation from everyone in attendance.
Stars also took to their Twitter.com accounts to share their feelings about the performance, with newlywed Kelly Rowland writing, "We miss you Michael!", while actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler tweeted, "I have chills watching michael Jackson performance. Makes u (sic) realize there will never be a performer like him", and rapper Nicki Minaj commented, "Dat (sic) was mike?"
The virtual performance almost didn't happen after Jackson estate executors and Billboard Music Awards producers were slapped with legal action in an effort to put a stop to the show. Businessman Alki David, who claims to control the rights to the hologram technology, filed suit in Nevada on Thursday (16May14), insisting the Billboard gig would likely violate his patent, but his motion was dismissed on Friday (17May14) due to a lack of evidence, allowing the show to go on.
The Michael Jackson Xperience, organised to celebrate the release of his new posthumous album Xscape, beared similarities to the resurrection of Tupac Shakur at the 2012 Coachella music festival in California, where the dead rapper appeared onstage alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg in hologram form. The Thriller hitmaker died in 2009.
Singer Jermaine Jackson has launched his own water company. Michael Jackson's older brother debuted Vita Water at a Whole Foods supermarket in Tarzana, California on Saturday (17May14), when he was joined by his elderly mother, Katherine, to help promote the new brand.
Michael Jackson has been crowned the king of the U.K. albums chart on the fifth anniversary of his death. The King of Pop's new posthumous release, Xscape, narrowly beat The Black Keys to debut at number one, with the rockers' Turn Blue entering at two.
News of Jackson's chart victory emerged hours before the superstar is due to be resurrected onstage at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. The late icon will appear in hologram form at Sunday's (18May14) prizegiving as part of a tribute performance celebrating the success of Xscape.
Meanwhile, singer Rita Ora has claimed the top spot in the U.K. singles chart with I Will Never Let You Down, a track written by her boyfriend, DJ Calvin Harris.
She says of the achievement, "I'm honoured. As you can see, I have no words! I can't believe it... I'm just so happy that my fans are so supportive because this is a special, personal song for me..."
And she adds of Harris, "He's had such an incredible career in his own right. It was such a clear, easy song to do. There was nobody else involved other than me and Calvin. It all happened really naturally."
Michael Jackson is set to return to the stage from beyond the grave after a Nevada judge gave organisers at the Billboard Music Awards the go-ahead to bring the King of Pop back to life as a hologram for Sunday's (18May14) prizegiving. Plans to resurrect the superstar to mark the fifth anniversary of his death were thrown into doubt on Thursday (15May14) after businessman Alki David, who claims to control the rights to the hologram technology, filed suit against Jackson's estate executors and Billboard Music Awards producers, demanding the tribute be axed over allegations it would violate his patent rights.
He insisted that if the virtual performance was allowed to take place at the Las Vegas event, it would ruin his own plans to stage a Jackson hologram performance at a later date.
However, his bid to put a stop to the spectacle, aimed at celebrating the release of Jackson's new posthumous album Xscape, was dismissed during a court hearing on Friday (16May14), when Judge Kent Dawson ruled against David due to a lack of evidence.
As a result, Billboard bosses have been given permission to press ahead with the planned gig, which is expected to be similar to the eerie Tupac Shakur stunt at the 2012 Coachella music festival in California, where the dead rapper appeared onstage alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg in hologram form.
Michael Jackson's estate executors have been slapped with legal action aimed at halting their plans to bring the King of Pop back to life as a hologram onstage at Sunday's (18May14) Billboard Music Awards.
Organisers of the 2014 prizegiving had hoped to mark the fifth anniversary of the Thriller hitmaker's death by resurrecting him in virtual form in conjunction with Jackson estate officials and bosses at the singer's production company as part of a tribute surrounding the release of his new posthumous album Xscape. However, they may have to rethink their plans after Alki David, who claims to control the rights to the hologram technology, filed suit in a U.S. court on Thursday (15May14) in a bid to put a stop to the spectacle, which was expected to be similar to the eerie Tupac Shakur stunt at the 2012 Coachella music festival in California, where the dead rapper appeared onstage alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg in hologram form.
In legal papers obtained by TMZ.com, David insists that if the virtual performance is allowed to go ahead at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, it will ruin his own plans to stage a Jackson hologram performance at a later date. A judge has yet to rule on the suit, but Jackson estate lawyer Howard Weitzman is adamant David has no legal standing to stop the Billboard plans.
He tells TMZ.com, "This is another Alki David stunt... It is ludicrous... and the show goes on." Coincidentally, billionaire entrepreneur David is the same man who went public with DNA information suggesting singer Brandon Howard was a 99.9 per cent match as an illegitimate son of the late King of Pop back in March (14). Those allegations were also dismissed by the Jackson estate. The superstar died in June, 2009.
The release of Michael Jackson's posthumous new album Xscape has brought back a special memory for superfan Zac Efron - he once spoke to the King of Pop at the height of his High School Musical fame. Efron, who grew up worshipping the Thriller singer, never got the chance to meet him, but they did share an emotional phone chat one time when the actor was dining with Jackson's director pal Kenny Ortega.
He recalls, "One time I was at dinner in France with the cast of High School Musical 3... and Kenny got a phone call from the other end of the table, and he answers it and he looks at me... and he goes, 'I got somebody who wants to talk to you... Come here Zac,' and I grabbed the phone. "I go, 'Hello', and he goes, 'Who's this?' and I said, 'It's Zac', and he goes, 'This is Michael, hi'.
"I just started crying, I don't know what to say, my mouth won't work... I'm just going, 'I have so much I wanna say (to you). You're the reason...' and I start crying. It was a short conversation. He goes, 'Thank you, thank you...' and I hang up and handed the phone back to Kenny. Kenny's like, 'Wow, you messed that up'."
However, the young star got the chance to redeem himself moments later when a confused Jackson rang back: "He goes, 'Wait, is this Zac?' and I go, 'Yeah!' and he goes, 'Zac, hi, I didn't know who I was talking to'. I go, 'You know who I am?' and he goes, 'Yes, I love you'. And I'm like, 'Oh my God, don't say that to me...! You're the reason I'm in music, you're the reason I do what I do, you've been the inspiration to me since I was a little boy... I love you', and I started crying again. "I had to leave the room, everybody was laughing... and then he started crying... We were both crying for, like, a minute to each other, like, uncontrollably, and then he said, 'See Zac, dreams really do come true'... I will never forget that."
Efron, who reveals he drove around Hollywood from audition to audition listening to Jackson's music when he first started getting acting offers, was one of the first people to pick up a copy of the King of Pop's new album when it was released on Tuesday (13May14).
A behind-the-scenes documentary detailing Michael Jackson's final magazine cover shoots has been acquired at the Cannes International Film Festival in France.
Michael: The Last Photo Shoots features interviews with renowned snapper Bruce Weber, who captured shots of the King of Pop in 2007 for the 25th anniversary re-release of Thriller, and celebrity photographer Matthew Rolston, who shot the late icon for African-American publication Ebony when he sat down for his first U.S. magazine interview in over a decade the same year.
The intimate film, directed by Craig J. Williams, also includes interviews with some of the singer's closest friends and stylists, and it has been picked up by bosses at Los Angeles-based Lightning Entertainment, who will shop the project to distributors in the U.S. Executive Vice President and general manager Ken DuBow says, "For fans of Michael, and there are millions around the world, this documentary gives a rare behind-the-scenes look into his life, and access to those closest to him. It's a powerful piece of work."
The documentary news emerges days after the release of the superstar's new posthumous album Xscape, which features duets with Justin Timberlake and Mary J. Blige. Jackson died in 2009, while he was rehearsing for his doomed This Is It comeback shows in London.