October 26th, 2010
02:45 PM ET
He may be gone, but he's not forgotten. In fact, Michael Jackson has brought in so much bank since his June 2009 passing that he's landed the No. 1 spot on Forbes's Top-Earning Dead Celebrities List.
According to Forbes, Jackson's estate has brought in a whopping $275 million over the past 12 months – more than the combined earnings of superstars Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Madonna, and more than any living artist or group, for that matter.
"[Jackson's] kids are going to have grandkids before that money's gone," estate lawyer Donald David, who handled Tupac Shakur's finances, tells the magazine.
June 24th, 2010
10:58 PM ET
There's a new race in town and it isn't for political office.
President Obama's Facebook page is running neck and neck with Lady Gaga's to become the first page (belonging to a living person) to reach 10 million fans.
Both have topped nine million so far and as of this writing are within 30,000 fans of each other. Surprisingly, Vin Diesel is close to nine million. The actor's popularity has been attributed to his frequent and very personal posts, something people don't necessarily expect from a celebrity.
March 11th, 2010
03:44 PM ET
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) - Lawyers working for Michael Jackson's estate lined up in court Thursday to ask a judge to order that their legal fees be paid.
One firm is billing the deceased pop star's estate about $60,000 a month and another invoice given to the judge was for $1.2 million.
Attorney Paul Hoffman said it is money well spent because "several very interesting projects that break new ground" will be announced soon. He offered no other details. FULL POST
March 8th, 2010
03:37 PM ET
The "In Memoriam" section has become an awards show staple: tasteful music played under images of the past year's notable dearly departed in that particular industry.
There will always be disagreements over the length of the piece, who rated highest on the "death-meter" with the most applause, the music (I'm a huge James Taylor fan, but I heard from people who thought his rendition of "In My Life" was inappropriate or otherwise off) ... and most of all, who is included and who is left out.
This year, the last strains of James' guitar were still lingering and the Oscar telecast had barely gone to commercial when I started hearing from friends: "Where was Farrah Fawcett?" FULL POST
November 2nd, 2009
10:34 AM ET
Michael Jackson's "This Is It" earned over an estimated $100 million dollars worldwide its opening weekend. Not surprising considering the hype around the film after Michael suddenly died in June. I was one of the MJ fans who contributed to the big box office weekend on Friday. So how was it, you ask? In a word…Inspiring. And I don’t mean how the film was put together. I’m talking about what the film showed me about the man.
Michael Jackson was certainly a complicated guy – no movie has to be made to explain that to anyone. But what "This Is It" does is bring forth perhaps the part of the man we all want to remember – the guy who thrilled us with a show bigger than we could ever imagine.
“This Is It” doesn't have narration or a detailed look behind the curtain of this musical wizard’s mind. There's certainly no hint that Michael would've died within days of the footage that was shown except for the fact that he looked so skinny. It simply shows us a glimpse not only of what Michael wanted to give to fans in his London O2 Arena concert series, but also a vivid reminder of why he was the King of Pop.
In every segment of the film, you see music radiating from every part of Michael’s being. He can’t help himself by singing out or dancing while re-arranging one of his classic hits. And, perhaps, what was so revealing about this film was that you could see that Michael was never more at home than on that stage. On stage, surrounded by music is where he knew exactly who he was, what he wanted and his position among his peers. A chill shivered up my spine with every snap of his leg or burst of his pitch-perfect voice (are we certain he was just in rehearsal?).
At the same time, it didn't escape my mind that it was off stage where Michael became the little boy lost in a big, cynical world obsessed with tearing down the famous. He could have screamed from the top of his lungs that he was misunderstood, and no one would have listened. We didn't listen. In our world, he was a child-devouring monster (though, never convicted).
I have to say, as a die-hard fan growing up, my mind and my heart have been in conflict about MJ since he passed away. He's a sicko! Oh, but he was such a genius! Is it possible to separate MJ’s music from what he allegedly did behind closed doors? Can we do that for Chris Brown? R. Kelly? What about this man who was born a musical prodigy? Must I reluctantly erase “Billie Jean” and “Thriller” from the ipod in my brain after what he allegedly did? How can I reconcile that – especially now that he’s gone?
After seeing "This Is It," the 11 year old inside of me wishes she could've witnessed Michael's genius in person. The only thing this movie shows me is that Michael was it. He was the maestro who composed the soundtrack of my generation. I will always struggle with my feelings about MJ's bizarre and disturbing life choices and his alleged behavior with children... Ultimately, I don’t know that I could ever give him the benefit of the doubt and yet, conversely, I will never deny his musical virtuosity. I guess, I’ll have to live with that conflict within me, because “This Is It” proves, Jackson’s music will never die.
October 26th, 2009
03:04 PM ET
As if there wasn't enough controversy surrounding Michael Jackson - the investigation into his death, whether the "This Is It" movie and album are attempts to capitalize on his demise, who wrote the title song, ad nauseum - you might think the last thing at issue is whether that's really Michael dancing and singing on screen. But the late star's father, Joe Jackson (not the most credible source in the world when it comes to his sons), said recently the film would be "mostly body doubles."
Now, Michael impersonators are a dime a dozen, especially here in Hollywood, where you can't swing a sequined glove without hitting a moon-walking wannabe. But using them in a movie called "Michael Jackson's This Is It"? Could a movie studio really be that craven?
Absolutely not, says... the movie studio. Specifically, Steve Elzer, Senior Vice President, Media Relations at Sony Pictures. Here's his quote, which doesn't seem to leave much wiggle room for interpretation:
Good enough for me. Pass the popcorn.
Tell us if you're buying tickets, what opening night looked like in your town and your review of the film here, on iReport.com.
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