Tag Archives: Michael Jackson news

Michael Jackson Celebrations ‘Round the World

Pop music icon Michael Jackson died on June 25 from a potent cocktail of sleep and pain sedatives, although the Los Angeles coroner’s office is holding firm, not releasing the complete autopsy and toxicology reports pending completion of the homicide investigation currently in progress.   And, of course,  Dr. Conrad Murray, the central figure in the investigation, is mum on commenting further, save his recent YouTube video of self-exoneration. 

Despite the lack of closure, Saturday celebrations for Michael Jackson were heard around the world for the King of Pop.    

Saturday, Aug. 29 would have been Jackson’s 51st birthday. 

 Although the true era of Michael Jackson was mostly over decades before the singer died, a curious and strange eerie aura pervaded the celebrations– it was like he never died. 

With Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman declaring Aug, 29, “Michael Jackson Day,” almost 20 Las Vegas entertainment acts responded in kind by performing a “Las Vegas Celebrates the Music of Michael Jackson” concert at the Pearl Theatre in the Palms Casino & Hotel, spearheaded by Jersey Boys star Erich Bergen, as a tribute to Jackson and his music before a sell-out crowd of 2,600, while raising more $100,000 for music education programs throughout Clark County, Nevada.   

Michael Jackson would most likely have loved it, expressing before his death the desire to perform a thank-you concert to Palms owner George Maloof for enabling him to use the venue earlier for his recording sessions and a secluded family R&R retreat.

 Family patriarch and dad Joe Jackson said he was unable to attend Saturday’s memorial concert in Las Vegas for his son because of a prior commitment, but a friend said it was more a case of the event being too emotional.  He was on hand, however, on Saturday night for a celebrity star dedication at the Brendan Theatres at the Palms. 

Some of the biggest ovations at the Pearl Theatre performance went to:  11-year-old Elijah Johnson of “The Lion King,” performing “Dancing;” the cast members from “Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular” and “Jersey Boys” combining on “Theme from Free Willie,” the Australian groups Human Nature (“I Want You Back”) and Signature (“Billy Jean”) and the Las Vegas Mass Choir, decked out in black pants, white shirts, black fedoras and, of course, the glove on the right hand, singing “Man in the Mirror.” 

Other Las Vegas tribute performances included the American Superstars at the Stratosphere, Hawaiian Tropic Zone, and the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood. 

But Las Vegas was just the tip of the iceberg for worldwide Jackson tributes on Saturday.  A group of Michael Jackson fans in Leicester, England attempted a world record for the most number of people dancing to the singer’s ‘Thriller’ in one place on his 51st birthday. Some 475 people dressed as zombies packed into Orton Square participate in the event. 

Not to be topped, a Michael Jackson impersonator named Hector Jackson (not related) really kicked the competition into overdrive and led what is purportedly the largest gathering of people dancing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in Mexico City, with reportedly 12,937 people dancing and wearing red and gold sequined jackets.   

The current record for a group “Thriller” was performed in May by 242 students of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. The Guinness Book of World Records will determine if the Mexico City performance breaks that record. 

Although the bulk of birthday celebration tributes are largely completed, speculation continues to swirl on what’s next in the after-life career of Jackson. 

Talks reportedly continue on moving parts of Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara, California to Las Vegas.  Other plans call for Jackson-themed show, with the Hilton being considered.   Some even say a Jackson-themed Las Vegas casino would be appropriate.   The great news is that any of these ideas have the potential impact of reviving a sputtering Las Vegas economy. 

But, whoa there, partner, let’s not get the cart before the horse- Jackson hasn’t even been buried yet!  He will be finally laid to rest after two months of patiently waiting this Thursday, Sept. 3 at Forest Lawn Cemetery near Los Angeles, California at 7 p.m. in a private service. 

R.I.P, Michael.

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Suffocating Evidence Mounts Against Michael Jackson’s Doctor

It doesn’t look good for Dr. Conrad Murray.  As the investigation into the death of Michael Jackson continues, the evidence that his personal physician, Dr. Murray may have supplied the pop icon with the powerful anesthetic propofol (also known as Diprivan) continues to mount.

On Thursday, TMZ reported that Murray kept a supply of the drug hidden in a closet in Jackson’s rented Los Angeles home. The site claimed that Murray may have also either “stored propofol elsewhere or had a steady stream of FedEx deliveries” of the drug to the home, since the amount found was reportedly only enough for one night. The site claimed that unnamed law enforcement sources said they found three large bottles of the drug and five smaller vials at Jackson’s home in a closet attached to Murray’s bedroom. According to reports, Jackson was found in Murray’s bedroom on the morning he died.

Jackson reportedly used the drug — which is meant to be used ONLY in a hospital clinical setting to render patients unconscious before surgery — to combat chronic insomnia, and experts told TMZ that the bottles and vials found by police would have only been enough to keep Jackson asleep for eight hours.

 According to the search warrant (now posted on TMZ) for the Las Vegas pharmacy raided on Tuesday, authorities were looking for credit card receipts and other documents related to drugs purchased by Murray on May 12, specifically mentioning a type of propofol that was found in Jackson’s rented Holmby Hills home. 

A law enforcement official confirmed to The Associated Press that officials removed evidence this Tuesday that proved Murray bought the propofol from Las Vegas’ Applied Pharmacy Services and that he also administered the drugs from that purchase to Jackson in the hours before his death. 

Although Murray has not yet been charged with any crime and his lawyer has said he did not administer anything to Jackson that “should have” caused his death, Murray  reportedly told investigators that he gave Jackson propofol, along with several other sedatives, in the hours before Jackson died. 

New reports surfaced on Thursday that investigators believe the doctor curiously left the room where Jackson was sleeping to make personal phone calls and call his office and returned to find that the singer was no longer breathing. 

Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Los Angeles Police Department and local jurisdictions have previously served search warrants on Murray’s Las Vegas home and medical offices and on his Houston medical offices and a storage locker. 

The results of an autopsy on Jackson have been completed, but the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office said this week that it is keeping the information under a security hold until police complete their investigation. 

Murray’s lawyer, Edward Chernoff, told the Los Angeles Times this Wednesday that after agreeing to serve as Jackson’s personal physician for $150,000 a month in the lead-up to the singer’s attempted 50-show comeback residency at the O2 Arena in London, the doctor “realized that Michael Jackson had some very unusual problems.” 

“When he accepted the job, he was not aware of any specific requirements regarding medications that Michael Jackson was taking or any addictions that he was suffering from,” Chernoff said. The lawyer criticized what he called a string of leaks by investigators that he said were part of a rush to portray his client as guilty and propofol as the cause of Jackson’s death. 

“From the beginning, they leaked that propofol killed him,” Chernoff said. “It has appeared the investigation was designed to support a conclusion they already made with regard to Dr. Murray.” 

At least five other doctors have been investigated by the LAPD and DEA in connection with the Jackson case, though Murray is the only one to be publicly identified as a strong person of interest in the case, the Times said. 

Chernoff added that it was clear to him from the searches of Murray’s properties in Las Vegas and Houston that investigators thought drugs other than propofol played a role in Jackson’s death and that officials were looking for evidence that Murray prescribed Jackson other medications. “I have no doubt they came up completely empty in that regard,” he said. Chernoff has refused to comment on whether Murray administered propofol to Jackson, but has strongly denied that the doctor supplied any painkillers to the pop star. 

A spokesperson for Chernoff also told CNN that Dr. Murray did not conduct any prior drug tests on Jackson and thus had no way of knowing, other than what the singer told him, whether Jackson was taking other drugs.

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Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch to be Relocated to Las Vegas?

If Michael Jackson is not going to be buried at Neverland Ranch, the ranch may just be relocated to Las Vegas. 

E! News reports the current owner of Neverland has drafted plans to dismantle the King of Pop’s once-adored residence and move it from the outskirts of Santa Barbara, Calif., to Sin City and fashion a Graceland-style tourist attraction. 

Jackson’s estate is “seriously considering” the idea, although still in its preliminary planning stages. 

Colony Capital, the investment firm that saved the property from being auctioned off last year, is reportedly developing a business plan with Jackson’s estate to transport Neverland’s main house and several other structures to what would have to be a pretty large piece of land near the Vegas Strip. 

A source with knowledge of the project says Colony executives are drafting proposals for a museum, theater and, pending approval from the family, a burial plot for Jackson’s body (like the one at Graceland where Elvis Presley was laid to rest) where fans could pay their respects to the fallen iconic singer. 

Michael G. Dave, a California probate attorney, says it would only require the blessing of estate executors John McClain and John Branca to start launching the plans. 

Supposedly it would cost at least tens of millions of dollars to reimagine Neverland in Vegas, sources told E! News. But one insider says Colony Capital founder Thomas Barrack has met with community resistance when it comes to moving forward with development on the current Neverland site, and that moving the whole kit and caboodle to Vegas could end up being the more profitable venture. 

Meanwhile, insiders say Jackson’s estate is also in talks with concert promoter AEG Live—which had been organizing Jackson’s London comeback—to set up a tribute show at a major Las Vegas hotel-casino, such as Cirque du Soleil did with the Beatles-themed LOVE at the Mirage. 

A representative for AEG declined to comment, but executives have publicly stated they are interested in taking the momentum from the 50 sold-out Jackson concerts that never took place and putting it toward a tribute to the fallen pop star. 

When he lived in Las Vegas between 2006 and 2007, Michael Jackson had also worked with businessman Jack Wishna on the idea of a LOVE-style spectacle featuring his music.

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