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New photos show Michael Jackson rehearsing before his death in preparation for his comeback tour. The King of Pop looks in good shape while dancing on stage. Recent leaked autopsy reports claim Michael Jackson was underweight, had only pills in his stomach and suffered broken ribs at the time of his death.When he died, Michael Jackson was in the midst of rehearsals for his planned 50-date residency at the O2 Arena in London. The show, which production company AEG reportedly spent $30 million developing, was set to be a massive spectacle. According to reports, the concerts were going to include 20-foot-tall puppets, pyrotechnics, giant spiders and a flaming bed. AEG hired Kenny Ortega — the director behind the “High School Musical” movies and the cult classic “Newsies” — to oversee the production, which was also going to include an army of dancers, side musicians and effects specialists to handle the visual tricks. Photos from the rehearsal, taken on May 6, show Ortega working with Jackson and a group of dancers on the show. Jackson is also standing behind a camera, as AEG was filming the pre-production process that will likely be turned into a final concert film and album memorializing Jackson. [source]
Investment swindler Bernie Madoff was sentenced to spend 150 years in prison for his ponzi schemes. Some of Madoff's victims feel justice was served while others would like to see Madoff receive a harsher punishment for stealing their money.
Bernard Madoff was sentenced Monday to 150 years in prison for fleecing billions of dollars from investment clients across the country, as his victims said the fraud case is anything but closed.
"There is so much going on with this that we don't know about," said Stuart Borg of Northbrook, a 78-year-old retiree who lost money invested with Madoff.
Borg noted that Madoff's wife, family members and others in his inner circle have not been charged. All witnessed his lavish lifestyle, and sons Andrew and Mark had high positions at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. "He did not do this alone," Borg said.
Another Chicago area victim, executive search consultant William Baker, said the sentence may give Madoff a warped sense of honor for taking the fall while protecting those close to him. "I think he might have attained a personal victory if he can sit there and smirk about his wife and sons," said Baker, whose Madoff losses were "in the millions."
The FBI and securities regulators continue to investigate the extent of Madoff's fraud, estimated at from $13 billion to $65 billion. So far only an accountant has been charged with helping to cook the books. Prosecutors say Madoff has been unhelpful in locating assets.
"I'm happy with the sentence. I'd be happier to see $50-$60 billion returned to investors," Borg said. He placed an individual retirement account with Madoff in 1993 and received regular payouts until the firm's phony account statements were exposed. Losing the money cost him a "security blanket" in retirement and an inheritance for children and grandchildren, Borg said.
U.S. District Judge Denny Chin handed Madoff, 71, his sentence in a Manhattan courtroom, accepting the government prosecutors' recommendation. Madoff's lawyer had asked for 12 years. The sentence was imposed after the judge heard testimony from victims who branded Madoff "a beast," "a psychopath" and "an evil lowlife." The victims primarily were wealthy, but the losses were personally staggering.
Marian Siegman of Stamford, Conn., told the court Madoff "discarded me like road kill" and that she's been forced to use food stamps and scavenge for food from Dumpsters.
In court, Madoff was unflappable, showing little reaction even to the sentence. After the victims' statements, he made his own to the judge, speaking in a monotone for about 10 minutes: "I believed when I started this problem, this crime, it was something I'd be able to work out of. I made a terrible mistake."
Madoff concluded by addressing the victims directly: "I will live with this pain for the rest of my life. I am sorry. I know that doesn't help."
BET aired a new preview for the upcoming reality show "Tiny & Toya". The series stars the baby mamas of hip hop superstars T.I. and Lil Wayne. We know that Tiny never married T.I. but did we miss a wedding between Lil Wayne and his baby mama, Toya? If the rumors are true about Lauren London and Nivea both being pregnant with Lil Wayne's babies, then Toya's support checks are about to get smaller.
This preview is a mess. Why doesn't Tiny get to writing music again? What is happening to homegirl's lips? They're looking swollen from injections.
Give it up for baby mamas! They are having the best week ever.
Not only is Tiny supposedly Mrs. T.I. now, she along with friend and Lil’ Wayne’s ex-wife, Antonia “Toya” Johnson-Carter, have signed on to star in a new BET series. Tiny and Toya is said to chronicle the lives of “two dynamic, young women immersed in the craziness of the Hip Hop world, but striving to find inner strength, peace and purpose.”
If you’re wondering, that inner peace is said to not come in the form of Louis bags and saddity stilettos paid for by child support checks.
Rather, the ladies will be each starting their very own businesses.
The show will also chronicle how each copes with the legal woes of their respective baby daddies, and seeks to offer each woman an opportunity to define themselves outside of their high profile relationships. [BET]
The BET Awards ceremony was turned into a tribute to Michael Jackson. It seems like there was something missing from the performances. It would be great if BET would be able to do a proper tribute to the memory of the "King of Pop".
The general consensus is BET did not produce a show that adequately consoled the Jackson family or acknowledged Michael Jackson’s musical genius. Many of the performances, and the constant production errors made throughout the show, were unprofessional and inappropriate for the theme of the evening. Considering the credentials of the production and corporate staff, there were many ways the show could have been appropriately altered to pay homage to the deemed “King of Pop.” Yet the show did succeed in one thing: getting people talking about Michael Jackson and not the controversy that surrounded him. Even though the show fell short of the expectations of many of its viewers, it is great to have people express feelings on how Michael should have been honored rather them digging up Michaels over-emphasized personal life. As for BET, I pray this award show is just a reflection of overwhelming grief and evidence that situations often get worse before they get better.
Angelsgate Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 07:31 AM EST
I could use several words to describe the BET awards show, but i decided to keep it simple The word i have chosen is HORRIBLE. It was totally embarassing. The artist of today are talentless, unlearned and disrespectful. And we say this our future? God help us....
latrice Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 07:29 AM EST
tacky bleeping words i thought bet awards was a family show ving rhames is he on drugs or drunk last night. very disappointed. first time in years that i looked at awards. now i know why
nicole pace Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 07:28 AM EST
First and formost, the show did what they could for the time alloted of learning of "The King's" death. If anyone WHO Watched, noticed they cut back and rearranged the whole show for the tribute. Yes, I feel Chris Brown should have been there to honor Micheal as well. But EDDIE LAVERT requested that the host from Soul Train come and introduce him. It was just giving them what the OJAYS Wanted. As for Jaime and the nose comment he said that he loved Micheal with the color he was born with and the color he became. He also referred to the nose changes as we. As a memeber of the BLack race he told it like it was and with class. The truth aint always pretty.He sang so much because he had to fit the format Debra Lee and Stephen Hill changed with in days. How many Host can you say would or could have done that. As for the ohter music , it's us. It is what would have went on if Mr Jackson hadnt died.So when you say you hated the show, well..sadly you hate us and the show from jump!
John Quince Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 07:17 AM EST
I was so embarrassed by the BET award show last night. This was the perfect opportunity to step up and do right by MJ, but they simply failed. If they failed to such horrific proportions, what about our other heros such as Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, and others. I don't normally take things like this personal, but I am still feeling this way 24 hrs later.
Saucy Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 07:03 AM EST
How dare you say this show was a tribute to Michael Jackson. This was just GOD awful. This is not the type of setting Michael would have liked nor would his family. Some parts were appropriate i.e. Beyonce, Tyrese, Treyshon, Johnnie Gill, Tevon Campbell, the Ojays, Ne-yo. Others were just awful. T-Pain and Lil Wayne has no tack. Debra Lee, I must say I am disappointed in you.
2hurt4words Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 06:59 AM EST
BET read all of the comments. NOBODY thought this was a well planned or executed show. MJ was a showman. What the heck did YOU think you were producing? I know MJ and his entire family are appalled and embarrassed, cuz if they ain't I sure am. What a disgraceful production. This attempt to pay homage to the King of Pop, was a sure disaster. BET let me remind you, that Michael Jackson was the FIRST, and in no way is this the way you pay tribute to a LEGEND. DAMN y'all got it all wrong!!!!!!!!!!! [EW]
The BET Awards became the official Michael Jackson TV celebration on Sunday, with joyous tributes to the King of Pop from a New Edition medley of Jackson 5 songs to host Jamie Foxx's tender monologue delivered in that classic red leather zipper jacket and white glove.
"No need to be sad. We want to celebrate this black man," said Foxx, who kicked off the show with a re-enactment of the choreography from Jackson's iconic "Beat It" video in front of the star-studded crowd, on its feet from the start of the show.
Joe Jackson, the singer's father, was on hand to represent the grief-stricken family. "I just wish he could be here to celebrate himself," he said. "Sadly, he's not here, so I'm here to celebrate for him."
Already an affair of major star wattage, the night's show at the Shrine Auditorium was thrown under a white-hot spotlight in the wake of Michael Jackson's death Thursday, adding attendees and guests, doubling the number of media requests, adding an extra half-hour to the telecast and even lengthening the red carpet to accommodate all who wanted to take part.
Backstage, Ciara recounted talking on the phone with her idol and her regrets that she never got to meet him. As she talked, she started to cry. "He meant so much to me," she said through tears.
While Jackson's incredible influenced stretched across genres, races, and cultures, he had a very unique place in the world of black entertainment. His influence is arguably most visible in urban music, seen in stars like Usher who mimic his dance moves, to Ne-Yo, whose music is marked by its Jackson-isms. But that influence went beyond music: Jackson was black America's biggest star, who broke racial barriers that allowed for so many other superstars to follow.
Producers of the annual awards show — which recognizes the best in music, acting and sports — revamped the show to meet the moment. While Beyonce and T.I. were the leading award nominees with five apiece, giving out trophies was an afterthought: Honoring Jackson was became the show's main focus.
While some performed their own hits, most made sure to incorporate some of the man who influenced them in their performances. A chant of "Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson" was heard while Keri Hilson performed, and Foxx's "Blame It" incorporated some of the Jacksons' dance hit "Blame It On the Boogie."
Throughout the night, Foxx also regularly turned up in some of Jackson's signature looks, like the wide-collar black leather outfit from "Billie Jean."
New Edition, the 1980s teen sensations who were considered that generation's Jackson 5 with their own version of bubble-gum soul, ran through several of the Jackson 5's greatest hits, from "I Want You Back" to "ABC," mirroring their idols right down to the group's original choreography. Ne-Yo sang one of Jackson's most sensual songs, "Lady in my Life."
"He's the man who made it possible for me to be on the stage; I love you and I miss you," he said later.
Ciara sang Jackson's humanitarian anthem, "Heal the World," dressed in a jacket that had Jackson's signature military epaulets.
And winners acknowledged Jackson when they received their awards.
"This is for you, Michael Jackson," said Beyoncé, as she held her trophy for best female R&B artist skyward. "I have to thank Michael for being my future and my hero." [source]
Janet Jackson and her father Joe Jackson attended the 2009 BET awards. The television production was retooled to be a tribute to Michael Jackson after the "King of Pop" died from cardiac arrest. Janet Jackson spoke on behalf of the Jackson family members and thanked everyone for their well wishes.
Janet Jackson took the stage at tonight’s BET Awards in Los Angeles looking visibly shaken. Just three days after the death of her brother, Michael, she told the audience after a long pause to gather herself, “My entire family wanted to be here tonight, but it was just too painful. So they elected me to speak with all of you.” Promising to keep it short, she added, “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. Thank you so much.” Her speech was followed by host Jamie Foxx singing “I’ll Be There” with a pianist and Ne-Yo. [ ROLLING STONE]
"We miss Michael endlessly, our pain cannot be described in words. But Michael would not want us to give up now. So we want to thank all of his faithful supporters and loyal fans worldwide, you – who Michael loved so much. Please do not despair, because Michael will continue to live on in each and every one of you. Continue to spread his message, because that is what he would want you to do. Carry on, so his legacy will live forever."
Lilo posted a Twitterpic photo of herself dressed as the King of Pop while wearing bikini panties. We get the hat but you will have to use your imagination to figure out what Lindsay is doing with her fingers. Lindsay posted on Twitter : "MJ was playing when this was taken, I'm not that much of narcissist."
Mays was on the US Airways flight from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Tampa on Saturday that had a hard landing at Tampa International Airport when the plane's front tire blew out. There were no reported injuries on Flight 1241, US Airways told CNN.
According to a local Tampa TV station, Mays said: "All of a sudden as we hit you know it was just the hardest hit, all the things from the ceiling started dropping. It hit me on the head, but I got a hard head." Airline spokesman Jim Olson told CNN Sunday there were no reported passenger injuries from flight 1241. The airline vowed to "cooperate fully" with authorities in the investigation.
"We were very sad to learn of Billy Mays' passing and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family," Olson said. Tampa officials say the Medical Examiner's Office expects to complete an autopsy by Monday afternoon. In a statement, Deborah Mays said that although "Billy lived a public life," the family does not plan immediate public statements about his death.
Mays was a spokesman for Orange Glo and detergent OxiClean and appeared in commercials for other products.
He is featured on the reality TV show ''Pitchmen'' on the Discovery Channel, which follows pitch people in their jobs.
"It is with incredible sadness that we have to report that Billy Mays died in his sleep last night," said a statement from the Discovery Channel. [CNN]
The dancing prisoners in a prison located in the Phillipines paid tribute to Michael Jackson's memory with a special dance. The criminals became famous after they posted a video of their group performing Michael Jackson's "Thriller". Fans gathered to mourn the King of Pop and honor a musical legend with vigils all over the world. We are glad that Michael Jackson received a proper tribute during his lifetime in Monaco at the 2006 World Music Awards. Michael Jackson was praised for the record breaking "Thriller" album which sold over 750 million records world wide. "Thriller" was the best selling album of all time.
It's sad the Michael was not hailed as a musical genius in the US until his passing. Let us all honor and cherish his memory.
The youtube video by the Phillipines prisoners earned over 25 million views and made them famous all over the world.
The tribute video is performed by 1,500 CPDRC Inmates on June 27, 2009 in memory of Michael Jackson. Completed in 10 hours after receiving word that the King of Pop passed away. May he always be remembered. "Ben" and "I'll be there" were sung by Michael when he was still younger! "We are the World" was composed and organized by MJ. Michael Jackson would have been happy that his music was used to change the world. Dancing Inmate's Michael Jackson tribute
Watch the original "Thriller" prisoner dance that started it all.
We love you and we miss you Michael Jackson.!!!
Amid the tropical heat of a Philippine prison, convicted murderers, rapists and drug dealers on Saturday paid tribute to Michael Jackson with a reprise of their YouTube dance hit, "Thriller."
A rendition of Jackson's 1980s smash hit by prisoners at the Cebu Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the central Philippines garnered more than 24 million views since 2007, when prison supervisor Byron Garcia first uploaded it to the video-sharing Web site.
The prison has since posted other dance videos, including performances to Van Halen's "Jump," Queen's "Radio Ga Ga," and Phil Oakey and Giorgio Moroder's "Together in Electric Dreams."
Jackson, known as the "King of Pop," died Thursday in Los Angeles, less than two weeks shy of the first in a series of comeback concerts in London, England.
When he heard the news, Garcia, himself a fan of the 50-year-old pop icon, organized a free tribute performance by inmates for local people in the prison courtyard.
Dancing was introduced at the prison in 2007, as a means of rehabilitating prisoners at a facility once notorious for its gang problem. [CNN]
Michael Jackson's ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley wrote a myspace blog post about her love for Michael Jackson and the death of the King of Pop. Lisa Marie confesses that Michael Jackson knew that he might tragically die at a young age like her father Elvis Presley. Lisa Marie also admits that her marriage and love for Michael Jackson was for real and far from a publicity stunt.
It is sad that Lisa Marie Presley did not follow her heart and stay married to her soul mate who she now admits was the love of her life .
Friday, June 26, 2009
Years ago Michael and I were having a deep conversation about life in general.
I can't recall the exact subject matter but he may have been questioning me about the circumstances of my Fathers Death.
At some point he paused, he stared at me very intensely and he stated with an almost calm certainty, "I am afraid that I am going to end up like him, the way he did."
I promptly tried to deter him from the idea, at which point he just shrugged his shoulders and nodded almost matter of fact as if to let me know, he knew what he knew and that was kind of that.
14 years later I am sitting here watching on the news an ambulance leaves the driveway of his home, the big gates, the crowds outside the gates, the coverage, the crowds outside the hospital, the Cause of death and what may have led up to it and the memory of this conversation hit me, as did the unstoppable tears.
A predicted ending by him, by loved ones and by me, but what I didn't predict was how much it was going to hurt when it finally happened.
The person I failed to help is being transferred right now to the LA County Coroners office for his Autopsy.
All of my indifference and detachment that I worked so hard to achieve over the years has just gone into the bowels of hell and right now I am gutted.
I am going to say now what I have never said before because I want the truth out there for once.
Our relationship was not "a sham" as is being reported in the press. It was an unusual relationship yes, where two unusual people who did not live or know a "Normal life" found a connection, perhaps with some suspect timing on his part. Nonetheless, I do believe he loved me as much as he could love anyone and I loved him very much.
I wanted to "save him" I wanted to save him from the inevitable which is what has just happened.
His family and his loved ones also wanted to save him from this as well but didn't know how and this was 14 years ago. We all worried that this would be the outcome then.
At that time, In trying to save him, I almost lost myself.
He was an incredibly dynamic force and power that was not to be underestimated.
When he used it for something good, It was the best and when he used it for something bad, It was really, REALLY bad.
Mediocrity was not a concept that would even for a second enter Michael Jackson's being or actions.
I became very ill and emotionally/ spiritually exhausted in my quest to save him from certain self-destructive behavior and from the awful vampires and leeches he would always manage to magnetize around him.
I was in over my head while trying.
I had my children to care for, I had to make a decision.
The hardest decision I have ever had to make, which was to walk away and let his fate have him, even though I desperately loved him and tried to stop or reverse it somehow.
After the Divorce, I spent a few years obsessing about him and what I could have done different, in regret.
Then I spent some angry years at the whole situation.
At some point, I truly became Indifferent, until now.
As I sit here overwhelmed with sadness, reflection and confusion at what was my biggest failure to date, watching on the news almost play by play The exact Scenario I saw happen on August 16th, 1977 happening again right now with Michael (A sight I never wanted to see again) just as he predicted, I am truly, truly gutted.
Any ill experience or words I have felt towards him in the past has just died inside of me along with him.
He was an amazing person and I am lucky to have gotten as close to him as I did and to have had the many experiences and years that we had together.
I desperately hope that he can be relieved from his pain, pressure and turmoil now.
He deserves to be free from all of that and I hope he is in a better place or will be.
I also hope that anyone else who feels they have failed to help him can be set free because he hopefully finally is.
The World is in shock but somehow he knew exactly how his fate would be played out some day more than anyone else knew, and he was right.
I really needed to say this right now, thanks for listening. [source]