Michael Jackson

Quick quips: U2, Michael Jackson, Reba McEntire, Bob Dylan, Guns N’ Roses, Peter Hook, New Order

Bono announced at a press conference in Toronto that a covers version of the U2 album Achtung Baby is on its way. Commissioned by the British magazine Q, the album will include Patti Smith (Until the End of the World), Depeche Mode (So Cruel), Jack White (Love is Blindness) and Damian Rice (One).

Even more trouble for the Michael Jackson tribute scheduled for October 8 in Cardiff, Wales. Global Events Live, who is putting on the show with part of the Jackson family, recently offered tickets “buy 1 get 1 free” which outraged those who have already purchased tickets and gave the over thirty Jackson fan clubs who were calling for a boycott of the show more fodder.

Reba McEntire may be returning to TV. ABC has announced that they have picked up the pilot for a series called Malibu Country. Reba will play a mother of three who divorces her cheating husband and moves from Nashville to Mailbu where she’ll try to restart her music career and not let her family be influenced by the materialistic world around them. Dave Stewart is one of the producers.
McEntire previously spent six years on the series Reba.

An exhibit of the art of Bob Dylan is coming to New York’s Gagosian Gallery. 18 drawings and paintings will be on-display from September 20 to October 22.

Dates are starting to leak out for an October tour by Guns N’ Roses. At this point, only Orlando, Miami and Kansas City have been mentioned but further dates are sure to be announced in the coming days.

Peter Hook has told Rolling Stone how disappointed he is that New Order will reunite without him.
“Ultimately it’s my music they’re playing so it’s not the end of the world. I was instrumental, excuse the pun, in New Order for 34 years and they won’t take that from you unless they started releasing new records that eclipsed all the New Order stuff. And maybe they’ll do that, I don’t know. But I do know at this point in time there have been some really underhand, dirty business dealings that have enabled them to do this that I don’t agree with and I’m very saddened and upset by it. But it’ll come out in the wash.”

After a multi-year battle, it looks like artists will be granted a longer copyright period in Europe. Currently, the limit is set at 50 years which means some of the earliest records of the rock era, including those of artists like Cliff Richard, are coming into the public domain. According to an unnamed source within the European Union, that is likely to be extended to 70 years on Monday.
The move will be good for artists and labels alike as catalog sales have been growing over the last few years with the addition of digital downloading of older songs.

Michael Jackson O2 insurer refusing to pay out on the $17.5 million policy

A company who insured Michael Jackson’s London concert residency is refusing to pay out on the $17.5 million policy.

Lloyd’s of London insist the document ‘ which protected against the cancellation and non-appearance of the King of Pop at his 50-night run of shows at London’s The O2 ‘ was never valid because promoters AEG Live failed to supply details of the apparent “prescription drug use and/or addiction” of the ‘Billie Jean’ singer, who died just weeks before the concerts were due to begin.

AEG Live took out the policy two months before Michael died from acute Propofol intoxication in June 2009 and submitted a claim on the policy, accompanied by the star’s death certificate, within days of his passing.

However, the insurers insist a required medical examination on the music legend ‘ who was given the alias Mark Jones on the paperwork ‘ never took place so have asked a Los Angeles court to nullify the policy.

They also argued they were not obliged to pay the cost of the cancelled shows because they did not receive information they had requested from the promoter about the star’s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray – who is currently awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to the involuntary manslaughter of his famous patient.

Lawyers for Michael’s Estate insist the claim should still stand.

Attorney Howard Weitzman told TMZ: “This legal action is nothing more than an insurance company trying to avoid paying a legitimate claim by the insured.”

Michael Jackson’s iconic red leather ‘Thriller’ jacket is up for auction

The coat ‘ which the late star wore in the iconic 1983 music video which saw him transform into a zombie ‘ is expected to fetch between $200,000 and $400,000 when it is sold in Beverley Hills, California, later this month.

Auctioneers Julien’s said: “We know of no other jacket that is so easily recognisable or one that so altered fashion history. It is the most recognised and significant piece of pop culture.’

The jacket is signed “love Michael Jackson” on its sleeve, and was originally presented to the King of Pop’s designers, Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush, who worked with him on a number of outfits during his career.

The epic 14-minute ‘Thriller’ video in which Michael wore the leather coat is regarded as one of the most influential and recognisable in pop culture history and featured a street sequence in which a ghoulish version of the singer danced with zombies.

Other items in the sale include the shirt Michael wore in the video to his duet ‘Scream’ with sister Janet and a black sequined glove the ‘Man in the Mirror’ star wore at the 1984 American Music Awards, which it is thought will sell for up to $30,000. Another item is a wig worn by the star, expected to fetch up to $6,000.

The ‘Music Icons’ sale also features memorabilia from a host of other stars, including a bustier signed by Madonna, a pair of trousers worn by Gene Simmons, a Jaguar car owned by Frank Sinatra and a pair of trainers signed by Britney Spears, as well as items once belonging to Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley.

Julien’s ‘Music Icons’ sale will take place on June 25 and 26

Twenty Twenty hit the road with The Wanted and release ‘Love To Life’

Twenty Twenty hit the road with The Wanted and release 'Love To Life'

Twenty Twenty hit the road with The Wanted and release 'Love To Life'

Hailing from Essex and Cambridge, Twenty Twenty are lead singer and guitarist Sam Halliday, his brother bassist Jack Halliday and drummer Sonny Watson-Lang. The band formed in early 2009 after Sonny agreed to play drums with the Halliday brothers.

Since then the trio have steadily created an incredible buzz prior to their major label signing. Honing their craft playing live shows with the likes of JLS, McFly, Selena Gomez and The Sugababes and touring the UK on their own headline sold-out tours throughout 2010, they amassed a huge fan base along the way.

Their independently released ‘Get Down Live With Twenty Twenty’ DVD sensationally reached No.4 in the UK’s music DVD charts, behind only the likes of U2 and Michael Jackson.

Now with major label support in the shape of Geffen, Twenty Twenty will release their new single ‘Love To Life’ on 17th April followed by a mini album in late April. Written by the band and produced by Julian Emery (McFly, Simple Plan, Lissie), ‘Love To Life’ is an infectious cocktail of rock and pop featuring an indelible melody, an anthemic sing-along chorus and soaring guitar riffs, while the lyrics reveal the excitement of feeling love for the first time.

The band recently supported on The Saturdays UK tour throughout February to great acclaim – and will now be supporting The Wanted on the following tour dates:

THE WANTED UK tour ‘ support slot:
26th Mar: Rhyl Pavillion
28th Mar: Manchester Apollo
29th Mar: Manchester Apollo
30th Mar: Newcastle City Hall
1st Apr: Brighton Centre
2nd Apr: Notts Royal Concert Hall
3rd Apr: Cardiff CIA
5th Apr: Plymouth Pavillion
6th Apr: London Hammersmith Apollo
7th Apr: London Hammersmith Apollo
9th Apr: Bournemouth BIC
10th Apr: Sheffield City Hall
11th Apr: Wolves Civic Hall
13th Apr: Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
14th Apr: Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
15th Apr: Edinburgh Playhouse

Britney Spears rocks out with Travis Barker on new album

Britney Spears rocks out with Travis Barker on new album

Britney Spears rocks out with Travis Barker on new album

Britney Spears has a track with a “rock feel” which features Travis Barker on ‘Femme Fatale’. The ‘Hold It Against Me’ hitmaker worked with the heavily tattooed Blink-182 drummer on a track for her forthcoming album, which producer Rodney Jerkins describes as “out of her norm”.

He told MTV: “I’m really excited. I did two songs on her album, and one of the songs I did, I brought in Travis Barker.

“It’s got this rock feel which is out of the box, out of my norm, and I think it’s out of her norm as well. We had a great time making this record.”

Rodney – who has previously worked with artists including Michael Jackson, Beyonce Knowles and Spice Girls – also told how Britney had a lot of input on the tracks, saying she was “very hands-on” and is “a top-notch veteran pro at this now.”

Britney has herself previously described the album as “moody, edgy pop with a lot of energy.”

Travis has most recently been in the studio working with Blink-182 on their comeback album, their first since their self titled fifth album in 2003.

Lady Gaga scores 1000th US number one top the US charts.

Lady Gaga scores 1000th US number one top the US charts.

Lady Gaga scores 1000th US number one top the US charts.

Lady Gaga’s new single ‘Born This Way’ is the thousandth single to top the US charts. The song marks the thousandth single that has hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in its 52-year history. Gaga told Billboard, ‘t is a tremendous honour. To be the 1000th no. 1 on Billboard… I would be silly not to say this is the greatest honour of my career.’

She continued, ‘ am so humbled and so honoured and overwhelmed by the reception to ‘Born This Way,’ [It] has been so life changing for me as an artist, and between Billboard and the international number ones and the radio numbers… I couldn’t be more blessed to have the fans that I have.’ The single also scored the largest opening radio airplay audience since Billboard began ranking all radio stations in 1998.

It was also the highest-selling digital single debut for a female artist, accruing 448,000 downloads, and was the third-highest digital debut behind Flo Rida’s ‘Right Round’ and Black Eyed Peas ‘Boom Boom Pow’.

Other significant artists to hold numerous number ones include: The Beatles with 20 chart-toppers, Mariah Carey with 18, and Michael Jackson with 13.

Taylor Swift was top selling artist of 2010

Taylor Swift was top selling artist of 2010

Taylor Swift was top selling artist of 2010

Taylor Swift was top selling artist of 2010. Taylor Swift was the biggest selling artist of 2010, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In 2010, Swift sold 4,470,000 units, beating Eminem, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.The Beatles, who caved in to iTunes and finally released their music digitally in 2010, made the Top 10 at no. 10 with sales of 1,697,000 units. In 2009, Michael Jackson was the biggest selling artist with 8,286,000 units sold but then again he did have the ultimate publicity stunt . death.

The top 10 selling artists of 2010 were:

1. Taylor Swift (4,470,000)
2. Eminem (4,317,000)
3. Lady Antebellum (3,848,000)
4. Justin Bieber (3,728,000)
5. Glee (3,603,000)
6. Susan Boyle (2,711,000)
7. Lady Gaga (2,591,000)
8. Michael Jackson (2,118,000)
9. Zac Brown Band (1,824,000)
10. The Beatles (1,697,000)

Taylor Swift and Susan Boyle outsell Michael Jackson.

Taylor Swift outsell Michael Jackson.

Taylor Swift outsell Michael Jackson.

Taylor Swift and Susan Boyle outsell Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson officially sold 228,000 copies of the new album Michael, a relatively impressive total in the current marketplace but not enough to beat out Taylor Swift or Susan Boyle. Jackson opens at number three on the Album chart that will be published tomorrow. Swift moves back to number 1 with sales of 259,000 copies while Boyle drops to number 2 with 254,000. Michael fails to get first week sales as strong as the This Is It soundtrack from last year which opened at number 1 with 373,000 copies sold. That album, however, was essentially a greatest hits set that also came out during the huge sales spike after Jackson’s death. Album sales for the week were 12.5 million units, up just 3% from last week. Sales for the year are at 303.94 million, down 13% from the same period in 2009.

Peter Andre’s son is to appear on stage with him

Peter Andre's son is to appear on stage with him.

Peter Andre's son is to appear on stage with him.

Peter Andre’s son is to appear on stage with him. The ‘Behind Closed Doors’ hitmaker begins his UK tour next week and revealed he has created a special sequence involving five-year-old Junior, his eldest child with ex-wife Katie Price. He said: ”m excited because Junior is going to be involved in my forthcoming tour, and we’re working on a little surprise. I don’t want to give it away, but if you’re coming to one of my gigs, you are in for a real treat.’ While Junior is preparing to make his stage debut, Peter’s daughter, three-year-old Princess Tiaamii, has been amusing herself by preparing special culinary treats for her father. Peter explained: ‘Princess has taken to mixing water with flour to make ‘pizza dough’ which, as you can imagine, is a bit messy. She loves it, though. I haven’t got the heart to tell her that I think there’s a bit more to the pizza-making process than that!’ Peter has previously admitted he expects Junior to be a bigger star than he is. Asked if his children are fans of his music, Peter said recently: “Junior loves it. He’s like a mini Michael Jackson, doing all of the moves. He puts me to shame. He thinks of songs in term of the whole package and will do a little routine to the song. I’m telling you, he’s going to be a star. “He’s got a plan! I’m always like, ‘You’re going to be playing the O2 before I am.’

Paula Abdul Debuts New Dance Series In January.

Paula Abdul Debuts New Dance Series In January.

Paula Abdul Debuts New Dance Series In January.

Paula Abdul Debuts New Dance Series In January. Paula Abdul is getting back in the judge’s seat in January for her new show, “Live to Dance.” The new dance competition series on CBS will go head-to-head with the latest season of her former employer, “American Idol.” On “Live to Dance,” Paula Abdul serves as executive producer, mentor, and lead panel expert which will judge the dance acts going head-to-head for a grand prize of $500,000. That’s double the prize for winning “So You Think You Can Dance.”. Paula will be joined on the panel by former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt and Travis Payne, best known as choreographer to Michael Jackson. Andrew Günsberg will host.  “Live to Dance” will premiere with a special two-hour episode, where Dance Domes were specially constructed for the show in New York and Los Angeles and dancers of all backgrounds and ages and styles were invited to audition. The dancers were then given one more look before moving on into a “dance-off,” where they’ll win one of 18 spots to compete against one another during a live show, leading up to the grand finale where one dance act will be named the “Live to Dance” champion (and of course that half-million dollar prize). “Live to Dance” premieres Tuesday, January 4th at 8pm ET/PT for its special two-hour event, before moving to its regular time-slot Wednesday, January 5th at 8pm ET/PT. Live broadcasts begin Wednesday, January 12th.

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