A Michael Jackson Musical Is Coming to Broadway in 2020

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Don’t stop ’til you get enough! A Michael Jackson musical will moonwalk over to Broadway in 2020. Talk about a ‘thriller!’

The Michael Jackson Estate and Columbia Live Stage announced the new show about the legendary King of Pop’s life story today, Variety reports. The music will draw from Jackson’s considerable canon and include such mega-hits as “Smooth Criminal,” “Beat It,” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” – with a book written by two time Pulitzer-Prize winner Lynn Nottage. Tony winner Christopher Wheeldon (An American In Paris) is slated to direct and choreograph.

Musicals about and featuring the work of iconic musicians are a big thing on The Great White Way right now – Jackson follows shows about Carole King, Cher, The Temptations, and Gloria Estefan.

A theater has not yet been chosen to host what will surely be a glittering show.

Paris Jackson Talks Childhood, Her Father’s Murder, and Sexual Assault in New ‘Rolling Stone’ Feature

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Photo: David LaChapelle for ‘Rolling Stone’

Paris Jackson opened up about her childhood, her father, and her sexual assault in an explosive new interview with Rolling Stone. Speaking of how her and her brothers’ life was as the kids of Michael Jackson, Paris said:

“We actually had a pretty normal life. Like, we had school every single day, and we had to be good. And if we were good, every other weekend or so, we could choose whether we were gonna go to the movie theater or see the animals or whatever. But if you were on bad behavior, then you wouldn’t get to go do all those things.”

On being home-schooled:

“When you’re at home, your dad, who you love more than anything, will occasionally come in, in the middle of class, and it’s like, ‘Cool, no more class for the day. We’re gonna go hang out with Dad.’ We were like, ‘We don’t need friends. We’ve got you and Disney Channel!'” She was, she acknowledges, “a really weird kid.”

She explained Michael’s open, accepting, and concerned style of parenting, recounting:

“My dad raised me in a very open-minded house. I was eight years old, in love with this female on the cover of a magazine. Instead of yelling at me, like most homophobic parents, he was making fun of me, like, ‘Oh, you got yourself a girlfriend.’

After Michael’s death, Paris went through some troubled years, and she talks in the interview about multiple suicide attempts, drug addictions, and rehab stints. And she talked about being sexually assaulted by a “complete stranger” at 14: “I don’t wanna give too many details. But it was not a good experience at all, and it was really hard for me, and, at the time, I didn’t tell anybody.”

She also addressed the longtime rumors of who might be the actual biological father of the Jackson children:

“He is my father. He will always be my father. He never wasn’t, and he never will not be. People that knew him really well say they see him in me, that it’s almost scary.”

And she even said with certainty that she think her dad was murdered, that his death wasn’t on accident. When asked, she said:

“Absolutely. Because it’s obvious. All arrows point to that. It sounds like a total conspiracy theory and it sounds like bullshit, but all real fans and everybody in the family knows it. It was a setup. It was bullshit.”

Read the full Rolling Stone interview here.

AMA Noms: Drake Breaks Michael Jackson’s Record

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Drake has broken Michael Jackson’s previously held record for most American Music Award nominations in a single year. Drake, who released his album Views this year, as well as a collaborative album, What a Time To Be Alive, with Future, and projects with Rihanna, Wizkid, and Kyla, raked in 13 noms, beating out Jackson’s record of 11 in 1984 during the Thriller era.

Rihanna grabbed 7 noms, and Adele 5.

The AMA’s are chosen by fan votes – click here to cast yours. Voting closes November 17, and the show airs on ABC November 20 at 8 PM EST.

Check out the full list of nominees below:

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
·       Adele
·       Beyoncé
·       Justin Bieber
·       Drake
·       Selena Gomez
·       Ariana Grande
·       Rihanna
·       Twenty One Pilots
·       Carrie Underwood
·       The Weeknd

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR UN-LEASHED BY T-MOBILE
·       Alessia Cara
·       The Chainsmokers
·       DNCE
·       Shawn Mendes
·       ZAYN

COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR
·       The Chainsmokers Featuring Daya “Don’t Let Me Down”
·       Drake Featuring Wizkid & Kyla “One Dance”
·       Fifth Harmony Featuring Ty Dolla $ign “Work From Home”
·       Rihanna Featuring Drake “Work”
·       Meghan Trainor Featuring John Legend “Like I’m Gonna Lose You”

TOUR OF THE YEAR
·       Beyoncé
·       Madonna
·       Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
·       Justin Bieber “Sorry”
·       Desiigner “Panda”
·       Rihanna Featuring Drake “Work”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – POP/ROCK
·       Justin Bieber
·       Drake
·       The Weeknd

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – POP/ROCK
·       Adele
·       Selena Gomez
·       Rihanna

FAVORITE DUO OR GROUP – POP/ROCK
·       The Chainsmokers
·       DNCE
·       Twenty One Pilots

FAVORITE ALBUM – POP/ROCK
·       Adele “25”
·       Justin Bieber “Purpose”
·       Drake “Views”

FAVORITE SONG —  POP/ROCK
·       Adele “Hello”
·       Justin Bieber “Love Yourself”
·       Drake Featuring Wizkid & Kyla “One Dance”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST — COUNTRY
·       Luke Bryan
·       Thomas Rhett
·       Blake Shelton

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST — COUNTRY
·       Kelsea Ballerini
·       Cam
·       Carrie Underwood

FAVORITE DUO or GROUP — COUNTRY
·       Florida Georgia Line
·       Old Dominion
·       Zac Brown Band

FAVORITE ALBUM – COUNTRY
·       Luke Bryan “Kill the Lights”
·       Chris Stapleton “Traveller”
·       Carrie Underwood “Storyteller”

FAVORITE SONG — COUNTRY
·       Florida Georgia Line “H.O.L.Y.”
·       Tim McGraw “Humble And Kind”
·       Thomas Rhett “Die A Happy Man”

FAVORITE ARTIST — RAP/HIP-HOP
·       Drake
·       Fetty Wap
·       Future

FAVORITE ALBUM — RAP/HIP-HOP
·       Drake “Views”
·       Drake & Future “What a Time to Be Alive”
·       Fetty Wap “Fetty Wap”

FAVORITE SONG — RAP/HIP-HOP
·       Desiigner “Panda”
·       Drake “Hotline Bling”
·       Fetty Wap “679”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST — SOUL/R&B
·       Chris Brown
·       Bryson Tiller
·       The Weeknd

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST — SOUL/R&B
·       Beyoncé
·       Janet Jackson
·       Rihanna

FAVORITE ALBUM — SOUL/R&B
·       Beyoncé “Lemonade”
·       Rihanna “Anti”
·       Bryson Tiller “T R A P S O U L”

FAVORITE SONG — SOUL/R&B
·       Drake Featuring Wizkid & Kyla “One Dance”
·       Rihanna Featuring Drake “Work”
·       Bryson Tiller “Don’t”

FAVORITE ARTIST — ALTERNATIVE ROCK
·       Coldplay
·       Twenty One Pilots
·       X Ambassadors

FAVORITE ARTIST — ADULT CONTEMPORARY
·       Adele
·       Rachel Platten
·       Meghan Trainor

FAVORITE ARTIST — LATIN
·       J Balvin
·       Enrique Iglesias
·       Nicky Jam

FAVORITE ARTIST – CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATIONAL
·       Lauren Daigle
·       Hillsong UNITED
·       Chris Tomlin

FAVORITE ARTIST — ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC (EDM)
·       The Chainsmokers
·       Calvin Harris
·       Major Lazer

TOP SOUNDTRACK
·       Purple Rain
·       Star Wars: The Force Awakens
·       Suicide Squad: The Album

Protégé Judith Hill Reveals Details About Prince’s Emergency Illinois Landing

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Judith Hill (via The Current)

Just six days before Prince died from an accidental opioid overdose, the musician’s protégé Judith Hill was aboard that infamous April 15 flight from Orlando, which ended in an emergency Illinois landing. She’s now detailed the fateful experience in an exclusive New York Times interview, recalling some of her final, painful memories with the late “Purple Rain” icon.

Sitting together on the plane, the two were sharing dinner before Prince suddenly fell unconscious. “His eyes fixed,” she told the NYT, before passing out completely. “I thought he was gone,” she admitted, revealing they didn’t have anything on the plane to help him back to consciousness. By the time they’d landed, however, Prince had woken up and received a shot of Narcan in an emergency ambulance. He was “very cooperative that whole night,” Hill said.

While under medical treatment in Moline, Illinois, Hill said it was the first time she’d ever seen Prince look vulnerable. He was reflecting on his unconscious experience in the hospital bed, saying he had to “fight for his life” in order to “get back into his body.” He remembered hearing distance demands urging him to “follow the voices,” calling the entire situation “the hardest thing he’d ever done.”

Hill, who was slated to be a back-up vocalist on Michael Jackson’s This is It tour and appeared on the 2013 season of The Voice, was Prince’s longtime friend and frequent collaborator. “There was a very intense relationship,” she told the NYT about her connection with Prince. “He told me that he loved me and that he would always be there for me.”

Read the full New York Times article, here.

BlackBook Premiere: The Mynabirds Runs Into the Night With ‘Believer’ (Watch)

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Photography: Jessica Ewald

Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds understands the world from an intimate perspective, having driven across the United States twice, toured South Africa solo and explored all over Europe, building enough courage to genuinely channel William Faulkner and “lose sight of the shore.” Her third full-length studio album Lovers Know is a result of this global mindset, recorded over a year internationally, from Los Angeles to New Zealand.

In the music video for “Believer,” a track lifted off Lovers Know, Burhenn runs into the night, dodging a creepy clan dressed in all white with matching tattoos, as they collectively point toward her—wide-eyed—and follow the singer throughout the city streets.

“‘Believer’ is a song about completely losing any shred of faith you have left, in yourself most of all,” Burhenn said. “When I was talking to Michael, the director, about that, he came up with this brilliant twist to make the video a horror-tinged love song to my new neighborhood and the friends who’ve stood by my side through it all. Sometimes you’ve got to run through the darkest night to get to the dawn.”

Visually, there are subtle nods to the Dodgers, David Lynch and Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” video, which the singer said was shot close to her house. She’s recruited a cast of familiar faces, including her own dog, Charlie, whom she drove across the country with on multiple occasions. Further cameos include Pierre de Reeder (Rilo Kiley), Stef Drootin (the Good Life and Big Harp), Chris Senseney (Big Harp), Jake Bellows (Neva Dinova) and Morgan Nagler (Whispertown).

Watch the BlackBook premiere of The Mynabirds’ “Believer,” below, off Lovers Know, out now.



The Mynabirds Tour Dates

6/7 – San Francisco, CA at The Chapel
6/8 – Big Sur, CA at Henry Miller Library
6/11 – Sonoma, CA at Huichica Festival

Watch: The King of Pop Materializes at the Billboard Music Awards

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A Michael Jackson hologram made an appearance yesterday at the Billboard Music Awards. The deceased’s image materialized, throwing out signature moves, moonwalking its way through pyrotechnics as it performed the singer’s recently released Slave to the Rhythm.

The King of Pop was not the first artist to perform from the grave; let’s not forget Tupac’s 2012 Coachella resurrection. Also, Elvis Presley’s  hologram performed alongside Celine Dion on American Idol in 2007. (Can holograms turn over in their graves?) The reason last night’s performance was different? Neither of the other musical icons’ real-life selves paid over $15 million to settle child molestation charges.

The Billboard Music Award finale was a closely guarded secret, though a spoiler alert went out days before the ceremony when on Friday a federal judge tossed out a patent troll’s lawsuit from tech companies alleging the hologram would violate their patents.

Regardless:

Accompanied by a plethora of background dancers, beaming lights and fire blasts, the Jackson hologram performance apparently looked so real that some members of the audience got emotional.

All I’d suggest is, parents: don’t let you kids go to the wrap party at hologram Neverland Ranch. Now enjoy a clip of last night’s performance.

This Weekend: Work & Play All of Labor Day

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It seems to be happening fast. Last night I felt comfortable going out in my leather jacket; the temperatures easily allowed it. There was a hint of cool air in the wind, and traffic was nonexistent. I could park anywhere in my ‘hood. I had a Kojak spot in front of the house. New Yorkers were off to elsewheres, grasping at the last straws of summer. Union Pool’s patrons included last-gasping college types partying hardy before they were off to dorms in exotic locales where they will surely party just as hardy. The small talk was all about "what are you doing for the weekend?" As for me, I’m headed out Monday to DJ poolside at The Montauk Beach House.

My plan (and I never plan) is to play all surf rock, from Jan and Dean to the Ventures to the Tandems, Beach Boys, and Dick Dale – heavy on the surf guitar instrumental tracks. I’m bringing along a bikini-clad go-go gal for effect. I might drive out on Sunday morning and crash at a friend’s. I want to catch the DJ setfrom Julio Santo Domingo. He is the founder of Sheik ‘n’ Beik parties and record label. They throw events in New York City as well as in Miami, London, Paris, and Barcelona. It’s going to be techno music for the socialites…  not my usual cup of tea but since it is the end of summer… I may upgrade from that cup of tea. Besides, while not teetotaling, I get to hang with pal DJ and The Montauk Beach House booker Terry Casey, fast friend DJ Kris Graham, and the awesome DJ Brigitte Marie who, with a bunch of others, will be on before and after sir Julio. I’ll pop by Ditch Plains Beach, where surfers will be trying to catch that last wave of the season. The trip home should take about seven hours of bumper-to-bumper. Amanda will opt for singing “99 Barrels of Beer” rather than listen to my mixed tapes …again. Although it’s hard to have trouble in bumper-to-bumper please be aware that the roads are dangerously full of party animals who truly believe that they can
drink and drive.

Last night I dined with Marky Ramone, his lovely Marion, Jonny Lennon, and Adam Alpert at Gran Electrica, 5 Front Street, in Brooklyn. It was all fun and games ‘till the food came and then it was hard to concentrate on anything else. It was outside and wonderful and the war stories underneath the ivy were so much fun. Mark, the last of the Ramones as I knew them, is enjoying considerable success in his "post" career with his band Blitzkrieg and all sorts of other spin-offs and endeavors. The best benchmark for success, as I see it when I get to hang with him, is the all apparent love and respect and admiration he shares with Marion. I met them, we figured out last night, over 34 years ago. They have never wavered. He has never allowed the awe I have for his career interfere with our friendship. Jonny and Adam are my DJ agents and they must be good at it because I’m spinning three times this week…The Montauk Beach House on Monday, Hotel Chantelle tonight, and Bantam tomorrow. I will move off my usual rock offerings at all three gigs and serve up some Michael Jackson, who was born on August 29th, 1958. I read that, according to The Guinness Book of World Records, Michael Jackson was the most successful entertainer of all time. I guess that depends on how you define success.

Four Years Later: Remembering Michael Jackson Tonight and Forever

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Yesterday, the streets were filled with people with pride and I was proud to live in a city that has traveled so far since I was a youth. Sure there’s a long road ahead, but yesterday the past I grew up in seemed as long ago as Howdy Doody. I was happy that W.i.P. got reopened for Susanne Bartsch and Kenny Kenny’s Gay Pride party. It will be interesting to see if W.i.P. stays open. I wish I had made it to the Mermaid and Gay pride parades but, alas, I was torn to many other elsewhere’s and must do’s. I did manage to get to the roof of the Standard with interior design icon Karen Daroff and her son Robert. Although it was dead summer and "the" crowd wasn’t supposed to be around, we found wonder in this wonderful place. I texted the manager Emily Rieman after, thanking her for her and the entire staffs’ brilliant hospitality. I told her Le Bain was an "oasis of classy fun in a world of soccer-hooligan saloons.”

Earlier in the evening we caught Lady Rizo’s act over at The Darby. It was classic songs sung with intelligence and grace over coffee, dessert, and some Beau Joie Champagne. We glad-handed all the unusual suspects before hoofing it west to Andre Balaz’ anything-but-standard oasis, dodging desperate suburban youth being hustled by bottle hosts at the joints along the way.

Tonight, after BINGO at the Bowery Poetry Club and after the Inked Magazine soiree at Lit Lounge, me and mine will head over to The Darby for The Fourth Annual Remember The Time Michael Jackson Tribute.

On the night of the day Michael Jackson died, we all headed to the clubs for some sort of reconciliation and grasp on the situation. Some use the expression "it will all come clear with the light of day" and I guess for many things light works, but for some concepts only the dark will help. Many tried to find answers by looking at the bottom of newly-emptied shot glasses…others in the eyes or chatter of friends or strangers. I got an education from DJ Cassidy at 1OAK. Tonight he’ll do it again, offering a barrage of Michael and I won’t miss it.

The day after Michael Jackson died I wrote a piece. It may be a little short on the facts we later learned, as it was written in the confusion of the tabloid headlines and lingering grief of the next morning, but it describes my mood and the love of precious life I found at 1OAK the night before.

Blackbook Magazine Goodnight Mr Lewis, June 26, 2009:

Michael Jackson: The Best Club Songs Ever

An autopsy may reveal it was pills or something similar that shut Michael Jackson down, but the heart really gave out because it once was loved by the whole world and wasn’t anymore. My emotions roller-coastered through a day of death and rumor. A great sadness consumed me as allegations and innuendo, tributes and music bombarded me through open windows and closed doors. From beat box radios and every TV in the neighborhood, I was told to remember, condemn, forgive, or just listen. The complexity of understanding the meaning of Michael Jackson’s death personally and on that grander scale became harder by the hour. I was enlightened by Jesse Jackson, Quincy Jones, Cher, Paul McCartney, and even Celine Dion. Everybody except Elizabeth Taylor was getting into the act — it is an act we and they will find impossible to follow.

From the point of view that I write about – the never neverland of clubs – Michael Jackson’s passing immortalizes the best songs I’ve ever heard on a dance floor. The music will live on as pure and wondrous and as perfect as the man himself was confusing. I won’t dwell on the bawdy stuff; plenty of others will milk that cow. I’ll just say flat out that "Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough" or maybe "Billie Jean" are the best songs I’ve ever heard a DJ offer. To this day they still blow a dance floor up.  Years ago, there were Michael Jackson club rumors. Some claim that he visited from time to time, unrecognizable in prosthetic makeup or with a face wrapped in scarves. The only place I know he went for sure was Studio 54. I asked Carmen D’Alessio about Michael at Studio 54, and she told me, "I of course remember him coming to Studio, 33 years ago. He was a kid releasing his first album. As the VIP hostess, I met everyone my dear, and I do recall clearly a 17-year-old Michael Jackson. He was nice and friendly, and I remember thinking he was very good looking." A quick Wikipedia read finds Michael listed first in a list of Studio 54 attendees. He led over Nureyev, Mick and Bianca, Elton John, Truman Capote, Mae West, Gloria Swanson, Jackie Onassis, and Elizabeth Taylor. Ironically, fair Farrah Fawcett was also listed.

I went to 1OAK, as a tribute was hastily put together with superstar DJ Cassidy only playing M.J. hits to a packed house of the beautiful. O’Neal McKnight danced and lip-synched to tunes, and Robin Thicke sang "Human Nature" in tribute. Cassidy asked over the mic, "Michael, why did we lose you this night?" When I arrived I was skeptical, thinking the idea of this tribute was almost cheesy — and it might have been if not for the sincere efforts by the 1OAK family. We were swept up in Michael’s massive talent as every single impeccably-produced tune held the packed house and dance floor. What other artist could have a catalog of songs that would hold a floor for hours?

I stood with Scott Sartiano and Ronnie Madra surrounded by a stunning and smart crowd. Sparklers announced bottles, and Cassidy offered, "We are here to celebrate the music and the life of Michael." The crowd roared and the waitrons poured, and I became a corny mush. I thought of the immense sadness that must have been consuming him at his end. I wondered if he indeed had just ended it, if he indeed had stopped cause he had enough. I thought of that traffic song, "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" — the lyrics, "If you just had one minute to breathe and they granted you one final wish, would you ask for something like another chance? Or something similar as this, don’t worry so much it will happen to you as sure as your sorrows or joys."

I wondered what Michael would have done with another chance. What would he have changed? What did he want that he, with all the fame and riches, never got? "We Wanna Be Starting Something" whipped the beautiful crowd into a frenzy, and the scope of our loss drove me to leave and find some summer air. It’s impossible to measure the wattage of the light that went out yesterday.

I remember watching James Brown’s funeral on TV and seeing Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton manipulate a frail Michael to the mic for a speech that was brilliant and eye-opening. He eloquently spoke of the soul icon’s love, contributions, and forgiveness as the Brown estate vultures loomed all around. The world that seemed to be tearing him apart will now fight for his bones, and it won’t be short or pretty. None of them will stop until they get enough, yet Michael Jackson’s life and much-talked about excesses leave us with a great lesson.

Is there ever enough? Can you ever stop? Is it human nature not to be happy with what you have and to keep pushing and fighting till the heart eventually bursts? If there is anything I’ve learned, it’s that all you have can be torn from you in an instant.

Rest in peace, Michael Jackson.

Justin Bieber & Lady Gaga Lookalikes Appear In Celebrity Gossip Musical

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Clubs with themes have migrated to Times Square to cash in on their financial base: tourists. Hayne Southern moved her Lucky Cheng’s to The Drag Queen Capital of the Universe, from her longrunning First Ave. location to 240 W. 52nd Street where the old Touch nightclub once showed everybody how not to be cool. The old Lucky Cheng’s space has new operators gearing it up to be wonderful. After many years catering to the hip, Lucky Cheng’s became completely dependent on tourists, bachelorette parties, and gatherings like this, so a move to the center of that universe, Times Square, was in the cards.

Culture Club, an ’80s-themed nightclub, thrived on Varick Street for eight years. It also enjoyed a large and loyal following, with tourists being a big part of that. Culture Club moved to 20 W. 39th Street, the former home of Club Speed which, according to neighbors and anyone else with social responsibility, could not close fast enough. Culture Club is fun and attracts a crowd looking to play along. Owner Robert Watman is a theme machine, having offered up the 70s-themed Polly Esthers club and ‘90s-themed joint Nerveana.

Culture Club is now offering a new off-Broadway musical-meets-nightlife interactive show.” Totally Tubular Time Machine (TTTM)  blasts onto our scene last Saturday and from all accounts was a blast. From what I can gather, it’s a time machine that has imitation pop icons performing as themselves and in unusual pairings: "Britney Spears, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Beiber, Vanilla Ice, and more…right there with you, and in front of you, and all around you!"

The pitch goes on to tell us that:

"Totally Tubular Time Machine is an immersive, radical pop music experience filled with live performances, party favors, and celebrity gossip, including a fun battle of the pop stars, i.e. Lady Gaga vs. Madonna. Guests witness 2013 Madonna warn 1989 Madonna of a pop star named Lady Gaga who will steal the beat to “Express Yourself,” while Justin Bieber went back in time and fulfilled his dream of dancing with Michael Jackson. Guests also re-lived the time when JLO and Puff Daddy were a couple and watched them perform her recent hit “On the Floor” together. It’s Back to the Future meets the MTV Music Awards, and you’re the star in this totally immersive, radical mash-up of pop music from the ‘80s, ‘90s and today!"

It’s Saturday nights. I’m there. They got me at Bieber.