Tag Archives: michael jackson

Siedah Garrett & Valerie Ervin Among Honorees at Black Business Association’s ‘Salute to Black Music’

Los Angeles, CA — The Black Business Association (BBA), the oldest ethnic business organization in the State of California, will host its Annual “Salute to Black Music Awards Dinner” on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at the California African American Museum, 600 State Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90037. Held in recognition of African American Music Appreciation Month, this years’ theme is “The Business Behind the Music.” 

The event takes place on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ California African American Museum.

African-American Music Appreciation Month is a commemoration that takes place annually in the United States, throughout the month of June. Originally proclaimed “Black Music Month” by President Jimmy Carter on June 7, 1979, U.S. presidents have issued proclamations for the celebration under that name until President Barack Obama announced the observance under a new title, African-American Music Appreciation Month.

Special confirmed honorees are Siedah Garrett, a GRAMMY-winning and twice Academy Award nominated singer/songwriter whose contributions to popular culture are unparalleled and Valerie Ervin, President of the Ray Charles Foundation. Ms. Ervin is the guardian angel of the Ray Charles Legacy. Under her leadership, the Ray Charles foundation has donated millions of dollars in grants, making Valerie Ervin one of the most influential legacy estate guardians. She is committed to carrying forward the vision and philanthropic mission set forth by Ray Charles.

Other nominees include, Attorney Virgil Roberts of Bobbitt and Roberts, Debra Lee,Chairman and CEO of BET, Cathy Hughes, Chairperson TV One, and Steve Stoute, CEO and Founder Fast Company Magazine. Continue reading

Your Thoughts: When Does ‘Inspired By’ Become ‘Stealing From?’

Michael with his “Embarrassment of riches!” and the man who helped him achieve it, Quincy Jones.

*Art can be a tricky thing. To create it, you are generally inspired by something: be it an event, an incident, a thought or something you heard. As a writer, I am inspired by conversations, incidents that happen to myself, a family member or friends. Musicians, I would think, can be inspired by the same.

Recently, the legendary Quincy Jones did an interview with Vulture and called the late Michael Jackson the “Machiavellian of music.” He said Jackson “was a thief” when it came to his inspiration behind a few of his biggest hits. Now before we go any further, this is not to say Quincy lied. I actually believe that HE believes Jackson stole the music. This article is to differentiate “theft” from “inspiration.”

BTW, I was “inspired” by Quincy Jones’ recent interview to write this article.

Now I’m no legal professional. But I do know there are Intellectual Property legalities — and where music is concerned, it has something to do with the usage of a number of bars in a song and/or too much similarity, etc. You know, the same blurred lines (pun intended) that got singer Robin Thicke in trouble. 

Continue reading

SPOTLIGHT ON: Bigi Jackson, Michael Jackson’s Boy Has Gone and Grown Himself Up! (New Video Shows Lots of Personality!)

*We may have more chances to see Michael Jackson’s beautiful daughter, Paris, since she posts so regularly on social media, and has a recurring role on STAR, one of the hottest TV shows currently on Fox. And from time to time her brother Prince, though not as visible, may pop up in an interview or via family photos or videos on special occasions, but we remain fascinated about Michael’s youngest son, formerly known as ‘Blanket’ but has since changed the moniker to reflect a more grown up image, ‘Biji’.

Just look atcha!

The 15-year-old, immediately recognizable by his long, dark hair (eyebrows to die for!) and focused gaze through beautiful brown eyes. He has always appeared to be extremely shy, and is rarely seen. But now, in a new video published by his big sis, we hear and see the teen having fun with his homies; caught snoring with his mouth open (friends, can you ever really trust them!?); and playing with a baby at a birthday party.

We also see the teen as he appears to be running errands with his uncle, TJ, who recently gained full guardianship; voluntarily given by his aged grandmother, Katherine.

At one point in the video (scroll down), Bigi is heard asking a female friend, “What exactly is Ecstasy (the hallucinogenic drug)?” before the video cuts to the teen watching a concert performance with the overlay “not having it” written on screen. Continue reading

Michael, Prince and the Pain Behind Being ‘Effin Great’ (Videos)

*(UPDATED) In their 1969 hit,  Everybody Is a Star, Sly & The Family Stone hits on a good point in the lyric Everybody wants to shine. Who will come out to a cloudy day?” A beautiful, beautiful song with deep lyrics that showcase the distinct voices of Rose Stone*, and fellow group members Freddie Stone, Larry Graham and finally, Sly Stone, in succession. But the beautiful lyrics are sad today. They cause me to think of two exceptional artists in particular. Two men who really, truly, have no equals…at least to date.

Two men: Michael Jackson and Prince, exemplified the high cost of being Effin’ Great!

I came across two videos you may or may not have seen. One with Sheila E. talking about her time working with Prince and how he was “always in pain” — a heartbreaking admission especially since we now know his cause of death.  In another video, a cantankerous Dick Gregory blasts a journalist who blurts out an assumption that Michael Jackson was never satisfied with the money.

At times the interviews are hard to watch. Then again, the truth is sometimes hard to hear.

“No one wants to talk about that. You guys don’t need to know. You don’t need to know that we hurt everyday.” –Sheila E.

Sheila E. and Prince, both prolific artists, they worked together for years…and have the scars to prove it!

Sheila’s emotional interview shares how she also endures a lot of pain due to her years to work as a percussionist.  She says she was physically unable to walk for a time and had to take time away from doing what she loved to get her head together.

Surely you remember all those awesome dance moves Michael showed us; and Prince jumping up on pianos and shit, is it any surprise at all they popped pills?

They made it look so easy, but look at the price they paid.

The cost…No wonder there is so few members in the effin’ great club.

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How A 45-Minute Visit With Michael Jackson Led To Years Of Nightmares

Michael, David Munk

*This might be the absolute saddest ‘True Story’ you’ve ever read about Michael Jackson. A friend sent it to me and after reading it, I tracked down the author to ask if we could reprint it. His name is David Munk, and he graciously allowed us to publish his story. Get your coffee, tea or juice and snuggle up. It’s a long and fascinating read.

Here it is in its entirety.

In the years since Michael Jackson’s tragic death, passion for all things related to the brilliant, troubled superstar has only increased.  From the profound—his peerless musical legacy, to the perverse—endless speculation about his nose and myriad of other personal eccentricities, it seems that no subject is beyond the interest of his ever-growing fan-base.  In the early-2000s while running the music publishing company for songwriter/socialite Denise Rich, I had an unexpected and unforgettable opportunity to spend 45 minutes in private audience with the “King of Pop”  Though the circumstances were mysterious and the take-away confusing, it was certainly unforgettable.  Here is my completely true, first-hand account of how I came to have a private audience with Michael Jackson, one of the greatest recording artists of all-time.  I have written the entire story from notes that I wrote shortly after our visit; nothing is exaggerated.

The intercom buzzed.  It was Denise…obviously.  “Oh, oh, is this David?  It’s Denise,” she said, always emphasizing the second syllable of her name in that breathy, singsong, little-girl voice, as if I might not be able to identify my boss, with or without the caller I.D. that said “bedroom.”  Denise’s voice was a curious instrument that sounded like a B’nai Brith Marilyn Monroe and frequently made me feel like she’d stepped out of a photo session with Bert Stern just to tell me a secret.  “Hi, Denise, yes it’s me,” said I, with an insincere air of surprise, in what had come to be our version of Rhoda’s daily routine with Carlton the doorman.  “Oh…okay,” she’d say, trail off for a moment, and then return, breaking into a nervous but warm laugh, which seemed to celebrate the simple act of having clearly established our identities and proximity to each other within the spralling 5th Avenue triplex aerie she called “home” and I called “office.”  Denise’s happy laugh was always a sign we were moving in the right direction, like the chortle of a baby that had only just discovered its toes.

This same bit of business played itself out every time we spoke—which is to say incessantly—but for Denise Rich, songwriter/socialite (that was the order she liked me to use), each time she spoke to me on the intercom was like our first hello.  “Listen…what I wanted to say was…okay…be ready to leave…in about a half an hour..be ready, okay?”  The word “distractible” did not begin to measure Denise’s level of conversational disengagement. “Sure,” I said.  “Where are we going?”  “I’ll explain on the way…I’ll come down…I’ll see you soon…Okay…Buh, bye!”  Click. Continue reading

Jackson Fans Go Nuts Over FB Live Videos of Author Shana Mangatal and EURweb’s DeBorah B. Pryor

L-R Shana Mangatal and DeBorah B. Pryor

*Oh boy! We couldn’t let this one go by.

Apparently, EURweb senior editor DeBorah B. Pryor has been steppin’ out on us. As it turns out, she and ‘Michael and Me’ author, Shana Mangatal, have been hosting Facebook Live videos, and from the number of views and active participation, MJ fans have been overjoyed at the teaming — with some even saying they should get a talk show!

In this, the 2nd of their FB Live videos, Shana reveals exclusive never-before-released naughty lyrics dictated to her by Michael Jackson over the phone, when she was a receptionist at the office of his management team, Sandy Gallin and Associates. Continue reading

Elvis Presley’s Daughter, Lisa Marie, Claims She is Broke as Hell! (Watch)

lisa-marie-presley-divorce-papers

*DaYUM! How does one go through $300 million dollars in one lifetime? I guess we will have to ask one Lisa Marie Presley, who as the sole heir of her father, Elvis Presley’s estate, estimated at the hefty amount, doesn’t appear to have a pot of her own to piss in today.

Can I repeat, daYUM!!!

Hey, it’s not like I went looking for this info. I actually stumbled across it and nearly caught a bug in my mouth because it stayed open for so long.

Presley actually laid the situation out in court papers because she is seeking a divorce from her FOURTH husband. Seems she went through several more after the short-lived marriage to Michael Jackson and then to Nicolas Cage.

But her dire financial straights is just one of the shocking items in the court documents. Equally shocking is the REASON Presley is seeking divorce from her musician husband, Michael Lockwood. According to the still aspiring singer, she found “inappropriate photos of children” on his computer.

Uh oh. Continue reading

Jealous MJ Fans, This Interview with ‘Michael and Me’ Author, Shana Mangatal, Won’t Cure You

Shana3
Photo courtesy: Shana Mangatal / Credit: Basim Abdel

*Sorry. They say truth can be hard on the ears. But face it, some things you’ve just got to live with. So I’ve got one bit of advice for the Michael Jackson fans who continue to throw shade at Shana Mangatal, the beautiful woman who had a decades long friendship and romance with the King of Pop, and seven years after his passing turned her diaries into a book titled, Michael and Me.

Get over yourself. 

Hear me out, will ya? When I was first approached by veteran publicist Lynn Jeter, to review ‘Michael and Me,’ I had the same apprehension as many of you. Afterall, how easy would it be for some twit to fabricate a story about a romance with the world’s biggest star…after he died and couldn’t refute it!

I was prepared to not like it, or HER, at all (and would later tell her this)! The invitation to review the book came with a package that included several reviews that had already been written. But I trashed them without even looking (still haven’t!) as any writer worth his or her salt relies on her own thoughts and this writer didn’t need help from anyone.

So I read and reviewed the book. And if you haven’t already, you can  read that review hereBut afterwards I felt I had to interview Shana Mangatal. I felt a connection with her. Not only because many of the things in her book checked out against my own personal knowledge, the history of the times, etc., but because we both shared a rare, yet similar relationship with larger-than-life men.

I, with another celebrity…icon.

I purposely chose to write about my interview with Shana on ThisNthat, a blog site that would allow me, as a writer, the freedom I don’t have while writing a review; or writing on a site such as EURweb.

One thing Shana and I understood from the onset of that interview is, with all due respect, these kinds of stories will not be believed by many. Innately, people just don’t believe things like this can happen. There probably isn’t a tween girl alive that hasn’t dreamt about meeting their celebrity crush, and even marrying him. Shoot, these things don’t really happen, right?

Wrong. Especially if you live in a place like Los Angeles. Continue reading