The body of the late pop icon reportedly will be driven Thursday to his fantasy ranch near Santa Barbara, Calif., paving the way for a massive viewing Friday. A 30-car motorcade is set to carry Jackson’s remains from an undisclosed location in the Los Angeles area to the rolling hills surrounding Neverland, where thousands of fans are expected to converge. The over-the-top farewell will be capped off by a private memorial Sunday at the 2,800-acre ranch – named for the mythical island in “Peter Pan” – law enforcement sources told CNN. Jackson once lived at Neverland, which boasted an amusement park and a menagerie, but abandoned it after county officials charged him with molesting a child there. Officials said they could not confirm numerous reports about the funeral plans, and Jackson’s family had no comment. The details emerged on a day of fast-moving developments: – Jackson’s will was found, a Continue reading →
Rather than mourn Michael Jackson’s death, the celebrities who took to the stage at the 2009 BET awards celebrated the memory of the King of Pop with pumped-up performances, heartfelt words and a surprise appearance by the star’s own sister Janet Jackson. The Shrine Auditorium ceremony kicked off with a tribute to young Michael, as ’80′s idols New Edition dressed up in funky ’70s-era clothes to sing the Jackson 5′s “ABC” and “The Love You Save.” Host Jamie Foxx emerged wearing an outfit reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s famous “Beat It” gear: red leather jacket, cropped black pants, high white socks and black loafers. The Oscar winner then performed a dance sequence from Jackson’s video, moonwalking (and stumbling) across the stage to honor the pop superstar. “We are here for the greatest. There’s no need to be sad,” said Foxx to a star-studded audience that included Diddy, Tyra Banks and Lil Wayne. Other notable performances included Beyoncé’s costume-changing medley of “Ave Maria” and Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel,” Ciara’s take on Jackson’s “Heal the World” and Queen Latifah’s duet with Mary Mary on the gospel duo’s “God in Me.” And in keeping with the night’s positive vibe, Alicia Keys and Wyclef Jean both received humanitarian awards for their charitable works. Tributes to the late star continued throughout the night, and father Joe Jackson shed a tear in the audience after Ne-Yo’s performance of the King of Pop’s “Lady in My Life.” (Jackson protégé Usher told he had hoped to make the ceremony but couldn’t get back from overseas in time; I look forward to seeing the show and I plan to work on a tribute to Michael Jackson when I return,” he said.) As the awards came to an end, Janet Jackson surprised the crowd by taking the stage to give thanks to fans for their support in the wake of her brother’s death. “My entire family wanted to be here tonight, but it was just too painful, so they elected me to be here,” Janet Jackson said. “I’d just like to say, to you, Michael is an icon, to us, Michael is family. And he will forever live in all of our hearts. On behalf of my family and myself, thank you for all of your love, thank you for all of your support. We miss him so much.” After she left the stage, Foxx and Ne-Yo closed the show with the Jackson 5′s “I’ll Be There.” Here’s the complete list of winners from the 2009 BET Awards:
Video of the Year: Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies”
Male R&B Artis: Ne-Yo
Female R&B Artist: Beyoncé
Male Hip-Hop Artist: Lil Wayne
Female Hip-Hop Artist: M.I.A.
Gospel Artist: Mary Mary
New Artist: Keri Hilson
Group: Day 26
Collaboration: Jamie Foxx/T-Pain “Blame It”
Video Director: Benny Boom
Viewers’ Choice Award: T.I. (featuring Rihanna) “Live Your Life”
Actor: Will Smith
Actress: Taraji P. Henson
Female Athlete of the Year: Serena Williams
Male Athlete of the Year: LeBron James
Centric Award: Jazmine Sullivan
The 2009 BET Awards were already set to be a big event, but now the BET Awards are something else entirely. The 2009 BET Awards had to be completely overhauled in three days time, as the BET Awards are now no longer about today’s performers and nominees. It is expected that the 2009 BET 2009 BET Awards Become the Michael Jackson Tribute Show Awards are about to become the Michael Jackson tribute show instead, as the BET Awards are undergoing “a total overhaul” to honor the King of Pop. The BET Awards had about 72 hours to work in as many Michael Jackson tributes as they could. As a result, more performers have been invited to the show, the BET Awards are expected to go on a half hour longer, and other performers had to completely change their act. Performers like Beyonce and Ne-Yo have already changed their performances to make them Jackson-related. Kanye West, Queen Latifah, Solja Boy, T-Pain and more announced and unannounced guests will also be in attendance. BET network chairman Debra L. Lee called the ordeal “a total overhaul.” As such, any awards and any non-Jackson performances will likely be completely overshadowed. Jamie Foxx’s hosting performance will probably also have a fair share of Jackson references, if not Jackson jokes. The 2009 BET Awards will technically still go on with the usual business of giving awards and having a lot of songs. But Michael Jackson will undoubtedly be the star of the show, no matter what. BET will be paying these tributes to Michael Jackson, as his legacy in the African-American community continues to be debated. After his death, Jackson was hailed as breaking barriers for young black singers, opening the door for MTV to feature African-American performers after “Thriller” pretty much forced them to. But the controversy over his skin changes, and the lingering notion that he sold out his “blackness” over time, made Jackson as controversial in the black community as he was everywhere else.
MICHAEL JACKSON has asked will.i.am to record with him a comeback song. The King of Pop will join forces with the Black Eyed Peas star as he heads back into the studio before he takes up residency at London’s O2 Arena this summer. He has also asked Ne-Yo (see picture)to collaborate with him on his new record. It is also reported that Kanye West has submitted a track for Jackson’s approval. The Thriller star will be at the O2 from July for a 50-date comeback run which will take him through until February next year.
More about Michael Jackson
One of the great pop music stars of the 1980s, Michael Jackson is now known less for his music than for his erratic behavior and plastic surgeries. Jackson became a singing superstar at age 11, when he had four consecutive #1 hits with his youthful band of brothers, The Jackson Five. He went solo in 1972 with the album Got to Be There and embraced the glitter of disco with Off the Wall (1979). After his smash 1982 album Thriller yielded seven top-ten hits, Jackson was dubbed “The King of Pop.” His next album, Bad, topped the charts in 1987 as Jackson became one of the early stars of MTV and an international hitmaker. Then his eccentric lifestyle began to overwhelm his recording career, and Jackson became a favorite of the gossip sheets. In 1994 he married Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis (a.k.a. “The King”), but they divorced in 1996. Also notorious were Jackson’s long series of cosmetic surgeries, rumors of exotic pets and superstar peccadilloes at Jackson’s estate (which he dubbed “Neverland”, a reference to the story of Peter Pan), followed by another brief marriage to Deborah Rowe (1996-99) and multiple accusations of inappropriate conduct with children. In 2005 he was tried on charges of child molestation and conspiracy related to his relationship with a 13-year-old boy. Jackson was acquitted on all charges after a trial that year.
Extra credit: Jackson played the Scarecrow in the 1978 movie The Wiz, a takeoff on The Wizard of Oz; the role was played by Ray Bolger in the original 1939 film… Jackson’s sister, Janet Jackson, was a pop superstar of the 1990s… Michael Jackson did not buy the bones of the Elephant Man, despite rumors to the contrary… Jackson has two children with Rowe: son Prince Michael (b. 1997) and daughter Paris Michael Katherine (b. 1998). He also has a third child, Prince Michael II (2002), whose mother has not been publically named… The name of Jackson’s famous pet chimp is Bubbles… Thriller has sold over 100 million copies, making it the best-selling album of all time… Jackson is no relation to the British food and liquor expert Michael Jackson.
Jackson joins nose-free astronomer Tycho Brahe in our loop on the Facially Challenged.