Archive for June, 2010

Who’s Michael Jackson? You Are, I Am, We All MJ

Monday, June 28th, 2010

It is truly amazing that the tribute single, “Better on the Other Side,” was written, recorded and released on Diddy’s Twitter account within 24 hours after Michael’s death. Wow! The ‘GameBoyz’ got on it with no time to spare! Deeply saddened, and still in a state of shock, inspiration welled up from deep within rappers DJs Skee and Khalil.  Even though MJ’s style of music was not rap, these artists had just lost their mentor and “king” forever. MJ’s influence crossed music genre boundaries. A tribute was quickly in the making. Featured on the song are rapper recording artists, The Game, Chris Brown, Diddy, Polow Da Don, Mario Winans, Usher and Boyz II Men who pooled their talents for the impromptu project.

Read the deeply personal lyrics as the song plays:

These Rap artists totally respected and admired Michael, not only as a mentor, but as a friend. As mentioned in the song, Michael encouraged Game and 50Cent to make amends in their relationship, and “stop the beef.” According to The Game, Jackson had tried to end the feuding and tension between rapper 50 Cent and The Game in 2005.

“I was on tour in Canada, sitting in my room, cutting my hair…Then my road manager knocks on my door. Boom, boom, boom. He told me, I got MJ on the phone. I ran and snatched up the phone.” The Game said Jackson started the conversation by talking about music and complimenting him on his records. Then [Jackson] said, ‘I don’t know how you’re gonna feel about this, but I want to ask you something. I don’t want you to judge me, but I don’t really know everything that’s going on between you and 50. But I want to be the middleman behind you putting this situation to bed.”

This gives us greater insight into Michael, the peacemaker.

Everything about this song is impressive. It is a powerful testimony to the profound influence that MJ had on a wide range of artists, both professionally and personally.

Michael’s REAL Lifetime Achievement Award

Monday, June 28th, 2010

My embarrassment to admit the following is overwhelming. I am horribly guilty, and I am sorry. It took me over a year after his passing to understand the confusion and guilt that I felt on the day of Michael Jackson’s death. On that tragic June 25th, 2009, I asked myself, “Why is it that so many of my intelligent, savvy and educated clients are deeply saddened by the loss of this “bizarre and eccentric entertainer”?

I had been busy raising my family and knew virtually nothing about Michael Jackson after he embarked on his solo career, except for having heard some strange media-hyped gossip about his using “Jesus Juice” to seduce little boys, and the surgical facial changes that I attributed to some kind of psychological weirdness that must have possessed him. I had Michael pegged in the same hole where I kept the likes of Alice Cooper and Madonna. In my opinion, these entertainers were morally skewed in their personal lives, as well as the style with which they expressed their “art.” I don’t mean to step on the toes of their fans, or the fans of Dracula, Godzilla or any other horrific character, but this is the camp, in my mind, where this celebrity belonged. I passed judgment on the caricature who many referred to as “Wacko Jacko,” and in so doing, I joined the throngs who threw sharp arrows at the sensitive soul who was named Michael Joseph Jackson. I thus hurt him. I sentenced him unfairly, and my unjust attitude made his life unnecessarily painful. I now realize my narrow-minded mistake. I now sincerely and humbly repent.

I totally enjoyed We Are The World, and used to dance around the house with my babies singing the song. I never attributed it to Michael, really. I was clueless about who wrote and produced this song. All I knew was that “his kind” of strange influence didn’t have a place in our home…my home was filled with the innocence of five, beautiful children. Unbeknownst to me, I was surrounded by the kind of pure-heartedness that he himself possessed.

A beloved teacher from my past once said, “Children are the flowers in God’s garden.” I now realize that Michael cared deeply about the preservation of a child’s true nature. I believe that Michael was tuned into a much higher consciousness than most, and profoundly understood this Truth.

Michael was a sincere lover of humanity, and he lived his entire life with the intention to “walk the talk.” He gave more money to charitable causes than any other popular artist in history. He did this not for show, or for attention. His motives were authentic. He was the real deal!

This interview with Michael’s voice coach of over 30 years, speaks about his extremely caring and playful nature:

“He had a great heart. He went everywhere that somebody was in trouble. He went and shelled out money to buy what they needed or to fix their lives… There are a lot of things people don’t understand about Michael. He would never, NEVER upset a child in any way.” ~Seth Riggs, Michael’s vocal coach

In Michael’s musical career, he surpassed all record sales previously set by any other musicians, including The Beatles and Elvis. He broke records with his humanitarian efforts, too. Michael Jackson is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records under Most Charities Supported by a Pop Star, listing the following 39 international organizations to which he consistently gifted.

  • AIDS Project L.A.
  • American Cancer Society
  • Angel Food
  • Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles
  • BMI Foundation, Inc.
  • Brotherhood Crusade
  • Brothman Burn Center
  • Camp Ronald McDonald
  • Childhelp U.S.A.
  • Children’s Institute International
  • Cities and Schools Scholarship Fund
  • Community Youth Sports & Arts Foundation
  • Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)
  • Dakar Foundation
  • Dreamstreet Kids
  • Dreams Come True Charity
  • Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation
  • Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
  • Love Match
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Minority Aids Project
  • Motown Museum
  • National Rainbow Coalition
  • Rotary Club of Australia
  • Society of Singers
  • Starlight Foundation
  • The Carter Center’s Atlanta Project
  • The Sickle Cell Research Foundation
  • Transafrica
  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
  • United Negro College Fund Ladder’s of Hope
  • Volunteers of America
  • Watts Summer Festival
  • Wish Granting
  • YMCA – 28th Street/Crenshaw

This list is not complete. Michael founded The Heal The World Foundation in 1992 as a charitable organization to aid children and the environment. Its many goals included providing medicine for children, and fighting world hunger, as well as drug, alcohol and child abuse. Although no longer operating, Heal The World Foundation worked with established local and national organizations in order to share expertise to deliver needed services to disadvantaged children.

Michael donated massive amounts of money from the proceeds of his concerts toward numerous children’s charitable causes. There were times when he gifted 100% of a given concert tour or promotional work.

Michael Jackson launched a charity initiative that he named Heal the Kids. He stated, “Heal the Kids will help adults and parents realize it’s in our power to change the world our children live in.” As part of the launch of his “Heal the Kids” initiative, Michael delivered a speech at Oxford University about raising children. In the speech, he spoke of his own children saying, “What if they grow older and resent me, and how my choices impacted their youth?…’Why weren’t we given a normal childhood like all the other children?’ And at that moment I pray that my children will give me the benefit of the doubt. That they will say to themselves: ‘Our daddy did the best he could, given the unique circumstances he faced.’ I hope that they will focus on the positives things, on the sacrifices I willingly made for them…”

Listen to Michael speak on these pertinent issues:

Michael’s childlike delivery is endearing. His depth of sensitivity and conscious concern is admirable. Through his music, poetry and preserved movies and interviews, Michael Jackson’s gentle and sincere manner continues to inspire and unite people from all over the world, of all ages and all races, of rich and poor.

Last winter, at the annual Grammy Awards, Prince Joseph Jackson accepted the prestigious  Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of his father, Michael Jackson. A mere seven months after losing his “Daddy,” Prince announced that he and his siblings will continue to spread their father’s message of love, and “help the world.” He concluded with, “We love you, Daddy.”

Michael would have been very proud. He would have valued the simple message, declared by his 13 year old son to the world, more than all his brilliant music and dance accomplishments combined over decades. Michael’s pinnacle achievement, the real ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ was given to him by his son, who promised the whole world to carry out his father’s legacy. It’s no accident that Prince, while clutching that Grammy for Michael, recognized his father’s most significant life achievements.

I and You Are That Magical Child That Was He

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Magical Child ~ poem written by Michael Jackson, published 1992

Instrumental background music, Will You Be There by MJ, accompanies Magical Child poem for viewer reading and reflection.

From Dancing The Dream published in 1992 ~ Interestingly, poem is written previous to initial allegations and unwarranted accusations

Thank you to fan, AdoreMJ, for creating this lovely video to compliment Michael’s poem

Photo taken during the 2005 trial ordeal ~ such deep emotion

Tomb For a King Recap ~ The Family Laughs and Cries

Saturday, June 26th, 2010
In the aftermath of Michael Jackson’s first year anniversary of passing from this world, Forest Lawn reported that well over 5000 fans gathered yesterday to pay their respects at the 300 acre, meticulously landscaped memorial park where Michael’s physical remains are laid to rest in a large, marble sarcophagus inside the massive mausoleum ~ photo on left. The Great Mausoleum is an ornate, architectural wonder, which entombs thousands. Burial drawers of remains line the walls of endlessly long corridors. The design of The Great Mausoleum was inspired by the world-famous Campo Santo in Genoa, Italy ~ small photo below.  It is the final resting place of many luminaries, including Clark Gable, Nat King Cole, Humphrey Bogart, Carole Lombard, Jimmy Stewart, Mary Pickford, as well as two of MJ’s favorite inspirations, Walt Disney and Sammy Davis Jr.

Michael’s tomb is set back from the main hallway in a gated crypt named Sanctuary of Ascension. The crypt is a spacious alcove at the end of a long corridor called Hall of Inspiration.  The Sanctuary of Ascension is elegantly framed in on all sides by three, very high stained glass windows depicting the Ascension of Christ. The photos below show the windows both inside and outside of the Sanctuary of Ascension. This expansive wing of The Great Mausoleum derives it’s name from the Holly Terrace, a grassy slope right outside it’s gigantic, bolted iron doors.

For Sale: “Ascension Window Sarcophagus” promotional photo circa 1952 Forest Lawn
After Jackson family purchase, Michael was laid to rest in “Ascension Window Sarcophagus”
Hall of Inspiration, Holly Terrace Hall of Inspiration corridor leading to Sanctuary of Ascension
Sanctuary of Ascension stained glass windows ~ exterior
Holly Terrace entrance into corridor leading to crypt where fans routinely leave gifts outside
Click the image to open in full size. The Great Mausoleum © 1939
Holly Terrace [in red] added onto main in 1952

Click the image to open in full size.

There is also a Forest Lawn location in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles where more notables are buried or entombed.  See here a list of the many famous personalities that are interred at Forest Lawn.

Among the Friday visitors were four of the Jackson siblings who spent 3 hours inside the The Great Mausoleum where approximately eighty family members and close friends participated in a private ceremony to honor their beloved Michael. Many fans were disappointed by their inability to enter the tomb site, which is locked to the general public. I was humbled and blessed by the coincidental opportunity to visit Michael’s crypt in the protected confines of The Great Mausoleum last January on a drab and drizzly, cool California winter day.  It was a precious and memorable experience, and a gift that I will forever treasure. 1277501963_jackson-290.jpg

Over 2500 showed up in the Jackson family’s hometown of Gary, Indiana where the city dedicated an 8-foot-tall, 5,000 pound jet-black granite obelisk. Mother, Katherine, unveiled the monument outside the Jackson’s childhood home. The front depicts Michael moonwalking.

Katherine told a reporter from a Britain news source, “I am happy that people are celebrating the anniversary because I know the world is missing and remembering him…Every day is a struggle – I miss him immensely.” At the gathering, she told the crowd, “I’m sure my son would be very pleased, very honored if he were here today. This past year has been a very hard time for us. If it wasn’t for you, the fans, we couldn’t have made it through.”


On the upbeat, Hawaii helped to ease the sting of the occasion for Michael’s sweet children, Prince, Paris and Blanket, who were seen publicly romping in the ocean waves, and coasting down the water slides at Maui’s pearl resort, The Grand Wailea.  I am so pleased to hear that they were removed, and protected, from the throngs of fans paying tributes to their father in groups by the hundreds and thousands. Before our family moved back to the mainland from Maui, we spent the weekend at The Grand Wailea as a farewell gift to ourselves.  My children, too, coasted down those same water slides with the healing joy of carefree abandon.

Official Music video for Cry released in 2001. Video copyright: Sony music entertainment

Reports of hundreds of tribute gatherings rang in worldwide. Michael Jackson’s music and legacy affects the lives of tens of millions around the globe. His loving memory continues to live in the hearts of his devoted fans.

Michael Jackson sand tribute

A sand sculpture of MJ created on the anniversary of his death on the beach in Puri, India. Credit: Associated Press

On This Good Day, Michael Is Our Man In The Mirror

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Today, one year after his passing from this world, let us remember Michael Jackson, and reflect on his heartfelt messages, and on the intentions that he most valued. Michael would want us to be grateful, and to be mindful that “It’s all for love. L.O.V.E.”

A Phenomenon of L.O.V.E. Michael spoke to the hearts, and the hearts listened…

Thank you to Deborah Camfield for this beautiful Gone Too Soon video tribute ♥♥♥♥

Grieving On The Eve Of Gone Too Soon

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

On this eve of Michael Jackson’s first Gone Too Soon anniversary, my heart is filled with both grief and gratitude.  Remembering MJ’s death, of almost one year ago, stirs the grief of my life’s many losses, as well as the gratefulness found in the comfort and joy of Faith, Hope and LOVE.

*What is Grief?

Grief is the normal response of sorrow, emotion, and confusion that comes from losing someone or something important to you. It is a natural part of life. 

Grief is the internal part of loss, how we feel. The internal work of grief is a process, a journey. It does not end on a certain day or date. It is as individual as each of us. Grief is real because loss is real. Each grief has its own imprint, as distinctive and as unique as the person we lost. The pain of loss is so intense, so heartbreaking, because in loving we deeply connect with another human being, and grief is the reflection of the connection that has been lost.

Grief is the healing process that ultimately brings us comfort in our pain.

*Descriptions on grief from: David Kessler & Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, two well-known experts on grief and loss.

Through my training and experience as a Bereavement volunteer in our local Hospice program, as well as the experience of grief in my own life over the years, I have come to understand that grief comes in waves.  Grief is like the ebb and flow of the ocean tide.  Grief is a living, moving, organic spiral of emotion.

When grief becomes overwhelming, remembering gratefulness can provide a ‘light’ in the darkness.

Gratefulness is the core of spirituality.  Gratitude is at the heart of every religious tradition and the human path of those who do not identify with any religious path.

Rituals make us mindful. Every ritual — graduations, funerals, weddings — has something to do with gratefulness. The Mass or Eucharist in the Catholic tradition literally means “thanksgiving.” In the Hindu tradition a puja, or sacrifice, is a grateful acknowledgment of a gift. Offering the first fruits of the harvest is a ritual. You lift up a part of what you have received to the source from which you received it. This is an expression of gratefulness….

Blessing is a very concrete reality. The word “blessing” is related in English to the word “blood.” Blessing is like the spiritual bloodstream that flows through the universe. When we bless something we are returning what we have received to its source. We know we receive life and breath from a source which is beyond us. We haven’t bought it or earned it. We are just put here and life comes to us from some mysterious source, and we can give it back. That is like the blood coming from the heart and going back to the heart. That blood keeps on flowing and if we tune in to the bloodstream of blessing the world comes alive. The same thing happens if we cut off the bloodstream or drain the sap from a tree; life withers. ~Brother David Steindl-Rast

I feel grateful for the life of Michael Jackson. I feel grateful that, through his death, he is now a part of my life.

I wish for you all spiritual blessings, Michael.  Today, on the eve of the anniversary of your death, I feel grief and gratitude.

I am speechless...

Michael Jackson: King of Academic Literature

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Michael Jackson is more to me than a “pop icon,” a phenomenal entertainer, a “poor, tortured soul” or a bizarre and interesting example of eccentricity. I am intrigued and humbled by the fact that he is, what I am fond of describing as, a sociological phenomenon of tremendous proportions.  To say that MJ’s impact on our culture has been, and continues to be, far-reaching, is an understatement. His influence throughout the world will, assuredly, continue to ripple in currents and waves for as long as we can imagine.

I am very excited to learn about the two librarians at Texas Tech University who have released a report for a special issue of The Journal of Pan African Studies. In detailing Michael Jackson’s broad influence in the scholarly community, the researchers found him referenced in psychology, medical, chemistry, mass communications and even engineering journals. They discovered that, “The breadth of Jackson’s influence, beyond his just being a pop icon, is truly astounding. This bibliographic guide to MJ in the scholarly literature just scratches the surface. We do, however, give scholars a place to start exploring the world of the “King of Pop” in academic literature. If nothing else, it illustrates just how pervasive Jackson’s impact is.” The librarians titled their creation, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’: MJ in the Scholarly Literature: A Selected Bibliographic Guide.”

Referring to this bibliographic guide, Newswise posted an article entitled Librarians: Michael Jackson King of Academic Literature.

They described, for instance, how researchers used Jackson to critique the media’s handling of criminal cases. A 911 call made by Jackson prompted an article in Fire Engineering journal, while a British Medical Journal piece written after Jackson’s death discussed ethical issues that arise when a patient is more powerful than the attending physician.

One chemistry professor argued that reframing popular songs such as “Billie Jean” could help students understand difficult chemistry concepts.

“I knew that Jackson permeated pop culture, but academics can be kind of snooty about what they choose to study,” Weiner said. “The fact that someone would take a Michael Jackson song and co-opt it as a means to convey chemistry concepts just shows the pervasiveness of Jackson’s influence.”

Newswise’ message in a nutshell: “Michael Jackson’s influence stretched beyond pop culture into the often dusty halls of academia.”

LISNews, a collaborative blog devoted to current events and news in the world of Library and Information Science, reviewed the library project: “They focused on peer-reviewed or scholarly works with unique Jackson content that might shed light on the way people view larger-than-life celebrities – including one of the most sensational and contentious figures ever to grace the cover of a tabloid.”

An anonymous comment posted to the LISNews site on May 20, 2010 stated, “No surprise at all. What serious scholar wouldn’t study Michael Jackson as the prolific, productive iconic genius that he was. He will stand in the annals of history with all the other extraordinary individuals of the ages and had a great deal in common with them. There will be Michael Jackson scholars and I will be one of them.”

I heartily concur!


Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

• Book review by Georgia Gutierrez

DEAR MICHAEL, WITH LOVE: A Fan Tribute And Dedication To Michael Jackson is a fan-written dedication tribute book that will be released in bookstores on June 25th, marking the anniversary of the King of Pop’s death. I have had the wonderful opportunity to preview the book before it goes on sale. I am an avid reader and Michael Jackson fan and I must say this book is worth every single dime. It is in full-color and beautifully illustrated. The love of each and every fan that contributed to this book pours from its pages.

I have read several of the recent onslaught of fan books that has come out of late and this one by far out shines the rest. This is a must have for any Michael Jackson fan.

Theresa Anne Jordan, the author of the book, really humanizes Michael. Ms. Jordan writes a very eloquent forward in the book and strips away all of the media hoopla that surrounded Michael for decades. I appreciated every word she had to say about Michael Jackson.

The fans that contributed to the book are true Michael Jackson fans. They pour out their heart and souls in their letters and poetry. The artwork that was selected was very well thought out and very beautiful. The book is very well conceptualized. All I can say, I can’t wait to see what this author does next. I will be keeping her name and watching out for more to come! This is a must have book for any Michael Jackson collector. The book is available now from and will be available from other sellers on June 25th.

The Facebook group page for the book is here:

Michael’s Mother’s Newly Published Book ~

Monday, June 21st, 2010

June 21st, 2010

Personal photos of Michael, many never seen by the public, have been newly published in a book written and compiled by his mother, Katherine.  The timing of this release will coincide with the one year anniversary of his death on June 25th.  The coffee table style hard cover book consists of high-gloss photographs of Michael, as well as anecdotes, quotes and Katherine’s inside perspective on raising Michael Jackson.

“I wanted to release a tribute book about Michael to thank his fans for all their love and support over the years…” Katherine states, in an effort to clear the air of negative press that surrounded Jackson’s life, “My son has been misunderstood and this was my way to share what kind of person he really was.”

Katherine’s story addresses all the defining moments in Michael’s life that shaped and molded him into the mega icon he was, told through the eyes of the woman he was closest to throughout his life. Never Can Say Good By: The Katherine Jackson Archives is about Michael Jackson, the superstar and the son.  Keeping in typical MJ tradition, some of the proceeds from her book will go to a good cause. “I wanted to give a portion of the book to charity because that’s the way Michael would have wanted it.”  The book went on sale yesterday, June 20t h, and is available through Michael Jackson’s Secret Vault.

Katherine Jackson narrates 150 pages of never-before-seen photos from her family’s personal archives.  “She’s very proud of the book,” an inside source reported. Katherine Jackson also gave a two-hour interview Thursday to Michael’s former business partner, Marc Schaffel, in connection with the book’s release. Although, some find it odd that Katherine is dealing with Marc who, after a close business relationship with Michael for many years, was later involved in many lawsuits with him.

“The world knew my son, but then again, they really didn’t… this is my chance to share the stories that are near to my heart. For his fans, and his children.”

There is controversy around Katherine’s new “partnership” with Howard Mann who is publishing this book with her. According to Sawf News:

Estate lawyer Howard Weitzman tells TMZ that Mann “may be using his relationship with Mrs. Jackson to infringe upon Michael Jackson’s copyrights … to the detriment of, among others, Michael’s 3 kids.”

Mann has dubious antecedents, having made his money with online gambling and erotica. He came into possession of Jackson family memorabilia during a bankruptcy sale. Some of the items in his possession could have embarrassed the family, so he struck a deal with Katherine under which he returned personal possessions in exchange for co-developing projects with her.

It is difficult to sort out fact from fiction when it comes to mainstream media reporting.  I feel for Michael’s mother, Katherine.  We do not know what she has had to contend with since the death of her celebrated son.  Raising his children, dealing with the questionable estate executors, managing her maternal emotions around family relationship struggles, not-to-mention her financial affairs, must contribute to a good degree of stress.

Happy Father’s Day, daddy Michael!

Sunday, June 20th, 2010
“Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say that I love him so much.”
~Paris Katherine Jackson (11 yrs old at “Daddy’s” public memorial at the Staples Center, Los Angeles)

I lost my father at age 16. Actually, my father had been ill for many years, so I lost him even before he died. But death was final. I didn’t realize, then, the depth of that loss. As the seasons have turned, and my own children have crossed the threshold into adulthood, I more fully realize the devastating impact of losing a father.

Today, on their first Father’s Day without their daddy, my heart grieves for Prince, Paris and Blanket Jackson. They lost a particularly devoted, nurturing and loving daddy. They lost a rare and invaluable commodity in the world of today.  We can only imagine the grief they feel.

Michael Jackson’s dear children have much to be thankful for in remembering the precious years they shared with the best daddy we could ever imagine.

Happy Father’s Day, daddy Michael.
We hope that you are in a better place, surrounded and filled with L.O.V.E.

Below is a very touching video tribute to Michael the daddy, created by a devoted fan. Slipped Away music and lyrics by Avil Lavigne

Michael’s children were his life ♥

You Are My Life lyrics

Once all alone
I was lost in a world of strangers
No one to trust
On my own, I was lonely
You suddenly appeared
It was cloudy before but now it’s clear
You took away the fear
You brought me back to life

You are the sun
You make me shine
Or more like the stars
That twinkle at night
You are the moon
That glows in my heart
You’re my daytime my nighttime
My world
You’re my life

Now I wake up everyday
With this smile upon my face
No more tears, no more pain
Cause you love me
You help me understand
That love is the answer to all that I am
And I’m a better man
You taught me by sharing your life

You are the sun
You make me shine
Or more like the stars
That twinkle at night
You are the moon
That glows in my heart
You’re my daytime my nighttime
My world
You’re my life

You gave me strength
When I wasn’t strong
You gave me hope when all hope is lost
You opened my eyes when I couldn’t see
Love was always here waiting for me

Another Father’s Day fan tribute to Michael.  May he rest in peace ♥

You Are My Life by Michael Jackson