Executives of the company behind the Michael Jackson hologram performance have filed a lawsuit against the entrepreneur who claims to own the technology. The late King of Pop appeared as a 3D projection at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas in May (14), five years after his death, to dance and sing to new track Slave To The Rhythm in virtual form.
Entrepreneur Alki David attempted to halt the production by hitting Jackson's estate executors with legal action, claiming the stunt would violate his patent rights.
Members of the technical team which created the performance, Pulse Evolution, have now hit back by filing a $10 million (£6.2 million) lawsuit against David in a Los Angeles court on Thursday (19Jun14), accusing him of taking credit for the event and stealing attention away from the true creators.
In the complaint, they claim David had "no involvement whatsoever" in the Jackson hologram and "falsely claimed credit for creating and developing the visual effects spectacle in a nationally-televised interview on CNN, in press releases and on his various websites operated by his company, FilmOn."
David continues to pursue his own lawsuit against Jackson's estate executors, the award show producers and Pulse Evolution over claims they used the patented technology he owns without his permission.
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.
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.
Amy Winehouse's father has slammed rumours the tragic singer would return to the stage in hologram form for a tour. Recent reports suggested the Rehab hitmaker would follow in the footsteps of late rappers Tupac Shakur and Eazy-E as the latest celebrity to come back to life with a virtual performance.
A source recently told U.K.'s The Sun newspaper that billionaire entrepreneur Alki David apparently purchased a patent for the technology used to create holograms.
The insider claimed, "The plan is that Amy will finally tour the world after failing to do so when she was alive. With an orchestra and her hologram, she can take to the stage and fans can see her perform her legendary hits."
However, Winehouse's father Mitch, who owns the rights to his daughter's image, took to Twitter.com to shut down the speculation, writing, "No truth in the hologram story. Utter rubbish as usual."
Amy Winehouse died in 2011 of alcohol poisoning at the age of 27.
A man who is believed to be Michael Jackson's illegitimate son has tested 99.9 per cent positive as a DNA match to the King of Pop. Brandon Howard, who bares a striking resemblance to a young Michael, is the 31-year-old son of singer Miki Howard, who was managed by the Thriller hitmaker's father Joe Jackson back in the 1980s.
He underwent a paternity test some time ago to prove the Thriller hitmaker was his dad, but reportedly kept the results between himself and a few friends and family members.
FilmOn.com boss Alki David uncovered the scandal and set out to make the information public after obtaining the superstar's DNA from an old dental impression he bought at auction from a Beverly Hills doctor.
He had lab technicians compare the genetics from the orthodontic device to that of Howard's, which he had also discovered, and had the results read out during a livestream on FilmOn.com on Thursday (06Mar14).
Jackson's longtime pal, actor Corey Feldman, was present for the big reveal, as a doctor confirmed, "The probability of parenthood is 99.9 per cent."
Howard was not in attendance at the event and has since posted a video online distancing himself from the whole controversy.
In the footage, the singer, who goes by the name B. Howard, says, "Number one, I did not call TMZ or anything like that, didn't put out a story, nothing. Number two, I have never self-proclaimed to be Michael Jackson's son. Number three, I am definitely not suing the (Jackson) estate, I've been taken care of very well, and also I make my own cash.
"Number four, it is true I did a DNA test but it had nothing to do with any of this, I swear on my life..."
Meanwhile, Feldman has defended Howard in a series of posts on his Twitter.com blog, in which he suggests he was aware of Howard's existence all along.
In messages posted before the DNA results were announced, he wrote, "PLEASE UNDERSTAND: (Howard) didn't talk 2 (sic) the press! He never asked 4 (sic) $ (money)! And he has STILL NOT CLAIMED he is MJs kid (sic)!
"SOME SLEEZBALL FOUND OUT ABOUT THE TEST AND MADE UP A STORY AND SOLD IT 2 (sic) TMZ! That's the WHOLE STORY!!! It was meant 2 B (sic)PRIVATE INFO!"
Jackson died in 2009.
The funnyman, who has struggled with drug and alcohol addictions for years, checked into the Oasis Treatment Center in California on Tuesday (26Jun12) after concerned friends and co-workers staged an intervention during filming for his Internet TV show Andy Dick Live!.
Dick's boss Alki David confronted the star about his demons during one recent episode and then gave him an ultimatum - to conquer his troubles in rehab once and for all or quit the show.
David told the embattled comic, "I told you the other day, if this continues, we can't carry on. And if you decide to leave and not do that (check into rehab), I'm afraid that we can't carry on here together."
Dick, 46, was moved to tears by the intervention and hugged the cast and crew after admitting he had been through "ups and downs".
He was then escorted to the medical facility in Anaheim, where he enrolled in a treatment programme, reports gossip website Celebuzz.com.
It is Dick's latest desperate attempt for sobriety - he has been in and out of rehab more than 10 times and has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons of late following numerous arrests and lawsuits.
He was ejected from an adult entertainment awards ceremony in Las Vegas last year (11) after allegedly pestering a porn star, while he was also accused of flashing his genitals in a Los Angeles coffee shop in 2010 and arrested for reportedly wandering into a random house in Los Angeles in the middle of the night.
Feuding stars Drake and Chris Brown have reportedly been offered a cool $1 million each to settle their differences in the boxing ring. The man behind the very lucrative and beyond generous offer (considering "generous" is a word no one associates with Brown) is Alki David, a billionaire soda-bottling heir. At least, according to celebrity boxing promoter Damon Feldman.
Feldman tells The New York Daily News, "Obviously they have a grudge. It’s just three 1-minute rounds. No one will get seriously hurt." He went on to say that the fight — which, it's worth noting, Brown's camp is claiming to have "never heard" of — would be a pay-per-view event in either Los Angeles or Las Vegas with a tentative date of Aug. 25. To make this not entirely soul-crushing, an additional $1 million would go to charity.
Drake and Brown were involved in a violent scuffle on June 14 at a New York City club that left eight people injured, including Brown, whose chin was slashed by a broken bottle. The troubled pop star was quick to post on Twitter after the incident. Would you pay to watch this or would someone have to pay you? Tell us in the comments section.
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