How Long Will Earth Song Be Relevant?

January 26th, 2011

If Michael Jackson and his children have a say in the matter, Earth Song will remain relevant until there is no longer a need for global sustainability, eco-friendliness and humanitarian efforts. The emotional impact of this song and music video continues to increase awareness of our responsibility, as stewards of the earth and of one another, to live accordingly. The rapid and impressive expansion of Michael’s worldwide fan base attests to the fact that his urgent and timely message of L.O.V.E. will continue to spread to the ends of the earth. There is an upcoming generation of inspired ‘tweens, teens and young adults who show themselves passionately dedicated to dance in the footsteps of their newly discovered hero, and to walk the talk of healing Mother Earth and her inhabitants.

“Our father was always concerned about the planet and humanity. Through all his hard work and dedication, he has helped many charities and donated to all of them. Throughout his songs, his message was simple: love. We will continue to spread his message and help the world. Thank you. We love you, Daddy.” ~Prince Jackson at the 2010 Grammy Awards

Earth Song is the third single from HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. It is a ballad that incorporates elements of blues, gospel and opera. When released as a single in 1995, Earth Song sold over three million copies worldwide.

“I remember writing Earth Song when I was in Austria, in a hotel, and I was feeling so much pain and so much suffering for the plight of the planet Earth. For me, this is Earth’s Song, because I think nature is trying so hard to compensate for man’s mismanagement of the Earth. And with the ecological imbalance going on, and a lot of the problems in the environment, I think Earth feels the pain, and she has wounds, and it’s about some of the joys of the planet as well. But this is my chance to pretty much let people hear the voice of the planet. And this is “Earth Song.” And that’s what inspired it. And it just suddenly dropped into my lap when I was on tour in Austria.” ~Michael Jackson

Many considered Michael’s LIVE performances of Earth Song to be a highlight of the HIStory World Tour’s set list. In almost every performance, the stage transformed into a war-stricken environment, reminiscent of the music video. Towards the end of the  performance, a full-sized military tank entered the stage symbolizing the horrific massacre in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square where, in 1989, soldiers opened fire on war protesters, killing hundreds of innocent citizens.

Earth Song LIVE in Munich ~ 1997


Earth Song LIVE in Los Angeles ~ 2009 This Is It rehearsal at Staples Center for the London O2 concerts that never happened due to Michael’s tragic and untimely death which occurred a mere days after the filming of this rehearsal sequence.

Thanks to You Tube Channel mmarishkaa ~ MJ fan from Russia

What about sunrise?
What about rain?
What about all the things
That you said we were to gain?
What about killing fields?
Is there a time?
What about all the things
That you said was yours and mine?
Did you ever stop to notice
All the blood we’ve shed before?
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores?

Aaaaaaaaaah Aaaaaaaaaah

What have we done to the world?
Look what we’ve done.
What about all the peace
That you pledge your only son?
What about flowering fields?
Is there a time?
What about all the dreams
That you said was yours and mine?
Did you ever stop to notice
All the children dead from war?
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores?

I used to dream,
I used to glance beyond the stars.
Now I don’t know where we are,
Although I know we’ve drifted far.

Hey, what about yesterday?
(What about us)
Echo between lines…
What about the seas?
The heavens are falling down.
I can’t even breathe.
What about the bleeding Earth?
Can’t we feel its wounds?
(What about us)
What about nature’s worth?
It’s our planet’s womb.
What about animals?
We’ve turned kingdoms to dust.
What about elephants?
Have we lost their trust?
What about crying whales?
We’re ravaging the seas.
What about forest trails?
Burnt despite our pleas.
What about the Holy Land
Torn apart by creed?
What about the common man?
Can’t we set him free?
What about children dying?
Can’t you hear them cry?
Where did we go wrong?
Someone tell me why.
What about babies?
What about the days?
What about all their joy?
What about the man?
What about the crying man?
What about Abraham?
What about death again?
Do we give a damn?

BAD Year Before Neverland ~ 1987

January 17th, 2011

Toward the end of 1987, Ebony/Jet Showcase aired an interview with Michael by Darryl Dennard that was given during his 16-month, worldwide “Bad” concert tour. Michael talks about his new album, and his feelings about the crazy tabloid stories which had been surrounding him. This interview was given just six months before Michael purchased his Neverland Ranch estate. It was at this time that his humanitarian efforts began to fully blossom. Michael was, at this time, experiencing the height of his career, where his popularity would plateau for many more years.

Ebony interview 1987 Part One

Ebony interview 1987 Part Two

Neverland Was Somewhere Over the Rainbow

January 14th, 2011

This moving, 2-part video truly captures the essence of Neverland Valley Ranch, as it was in it’s prime. It reveals, inside and out, the unique and stunning beauty of the place that Michael called home for almost 20 years. From 1988 to 2003 Neverland was infused with light-hearted laughter, playfulness and joy. This film lovingly attempts to convey the wonder and goodness that emanated from Michael’s childlike character, as well as from his precious refuge and sanctuary. That was until 2003, when dark storm clouds gathered, and eventually  destroyed all sense of privacy and safety for him and his children.

In 2005, after two years of grueling depositions, interrogations and malicious media circus side-shows, Michael said that he would not return to the property because he no longer considered it a home. The fact that 70 police officers had “violated” it in their merciless and relentless searches contributed to Michael’s rejection of his beloved estate.  After Michael was found “Not Guilty” of the erroneous charges of child molestation, he left the United States for a few years with his children.  Neverland Valley Ranch now stands as a bank-owned shadow of its former self. The future of the property remains to be seen.

The insightful video clips below offer a tragically different overview of the infamous Ranch. A new documentary, “Michael Jackson: The Untold Story of Neverland,” has been produced by Larry Nimmer, who worked as a filmmaker for Michael Jackson and his defense team during the 2005 child molestation trial.  Larry was granted unprecedented access to the Neverland Ranch estate while filming footage to be used as evidence during the trial. During his investigations, Larry discovered some of the truth of what had been going on at Neverland as a result of the deceptions of British journalist Martin Bashir’s months-long interviewing of Michael. Larry shows how Michael’s accusers fabricated their allegations. The documentary was completed a week before Michael’s death. Larry  has added new scenes from the Memorials held in tribute to Michael in Los Angeles and at Neverland.

Why Is Michael So Deeply Loved and So Sorely Missed?

January 10th, 2011

Michael Jackson was an extremely sensitive soul who lived his entire life with the sincere goal of bringing happiness to people. People love people who have a great capacity to love. Michael was fond of saying, “It’s all for love.” This powerful truth fueled Michael’s life.

Here are a few inspiring statements made by Michael in the following video:

“Success, fame and fortune: they’re all illusions. All there is that is real, is the friendship that two can share.” This was aptly and lovingly said by Michael’s character, The Scarecrow, in The Wiz, a film adaptation of the 1975 Broadway musical based on L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The Wiz was jointly produced in 1978 by Motown productions and Universal Pictures at the onset of Michael’s solo career when he was 20 years old.

“What I love about being on the stage is making people happy, ’cause I feel I’m here on earth for a reason, and, um, it’s my job to do that.”

“Peter Pan, to me, represents something that’s very special in my heart…children and wonderment and magic are what it’s all about. And, to me, I just have never, ever grown out of loving that, or thinking that it’s very special.”

“The magic, the wonder, the mystery and the innocence of a child’s heart are the seeds of creativity that will heal the world.”

“I know the creator will go. But his work survives. That is why to escape death I attempt to bind my soul to my work.” ~Michelangelo, quoted by Michael Jackson in a 2007 interview with Ebony.

~Created by k2needja on You Tube

He tried to make them understand
The lonely king of Neverland
The boy that lived inside the man
The one we know as Peter Pan
Who flies above the sea and sand
Who soars to heights that no one can
On shaking ground he tried to stand
Akin to Edward Scissorshands
His Wonka built a factory
For children full of fantasy
Through innocence he could not see
Foreshadows of his tragedy
Instead he built a legacy
A common ground for you and me
For that he paid the ultimate price
Himself a human sacrifice
They raped him of naivety
Forgotten was his prodigy
But from the ashes shown his shimmer
As fresh-faced as a new beginner
Retaining crown to conquer all
Before the war he’d fatally fall
He tried to make us hear the truth
The tale of man who lost his youth
Like ours, his flaws were all too real
But loyals clung to his appeal
And now it’s time to dry our tears
Instead he’d want to hear our cheers
And when we pause let’s bow our heads
To pray to God our daily bread
And give him thanks for the man who gave
The man who lives beyond the grave
The man I love with all my heart
His music it binds us…we’ll never part.

~Gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to Keaston who lovingly wrote this poem

Hold My Hand ~ Akon and Michael

January 1st, 2011

Akon is a very successful American-born Senegalese R&B singer/songwriter, rapper, record producer and businessman. He was born Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Badara Akon Thiam on April 16, 1973. Akon rose to music fame in 2004, and since then has worked with numerous talented performers, and written hit songs for many famous artists.

Akon recorded the song Hold My Hand with Michael Jackson. The song was written and given to him by 27 year old New York native, Claude Kelly, who said, “I wrote the song, and gave it to Akon with the intention of it going to, maybe, Whitney Houston. But Akon said he wanted to cut it himself. I thought, ‘It doesn’t get any bigger than this.’ A few months after, Akon plays the song for me, and all of a sudden I hear Michael Jackson’s voice. I was literally shaking by the time the song was over.”

Hold My Hand was meant to be included in upcoming albums of both Akon and Michael. Unfortunately, or fortuitously, the song was leaked in 2008 by unscrupulous media hounds before it’s intended release. This ruined the official debut of the song, so it was never officially circulated. Akon speaks about the disappointing impact of this leak, as well as his personal and delightful experiences working and playing with Michael:

After Michael’s death, Akon put the finishing touches on the song the way that he and MJ had ultimately wanted it to be. Hold My Hand is featured on the first posthumous album of Michael’s previously unpublished songs. Titled Michael, the album was released on December 14th, 2010. MJ had previously handwritten a note indicating his desire that this song should be the first single on his next project. Akon stated in an interview with MTV News, “The world was not ready to hear ‘Hold My Hand’ when it leaked a couple years ago. We were devastated about it. But its time has definitely come. Now in its final state, it has become an incredible, beautiful, anthemic song. I’m so proud to have had the chance to work with Michael, one of my all time idols.”

He went on to say, “The concept is to bring all the people together as one person linking as one world. At the state of where the world is now, with all these wars and conflict all over the place, I think a record like that is needed. That’s the best time when a voice needs to be heard.  I felt like, ‘What better voice between me and Mike to be able to say something like that at the time we in?’ Outside of trying to do a club record or a record we expect to get thousand of [spins], it was more so, ‘Let’s do a record that fits all formats but also has some meaning to it.”

Earlier in the week, in advance of the launch of Michael, on the Epic label owned by Sony Records, the new music video for Hold My Hand was released. The video is directed by Mark Pellington, and pays tribute to MJ’s legacy with clips of both Michael and Akon amidst Michael’s fans uniquely paying homage to his memory. Producer Mark Pellington said on, “The video is a tribute to all that Michael stands for – life, in all its permutations and love, in its power.  [This is] a video of memory, healing and joy.”

Opening lyrics: “This life don’t last forever. So tell me what we’re waiting for…”

Michael Jackson’s messages to the world are of unity. Always, they were reminders that we need to reach out, embrace one another, and that to give love is to receive love. And because no one knows what the future may bring, we must find it within ourselves to live, love and trust regardless of the risks.

Hold My Hand is parting wisdom from a man who was as enigmatic and contradictory as he was talented and generous.

Hold My Hand ~ Official Video

Cry Out Of Joy ~ written in July 2009 by Akon

In the summer of 2009, shortly after Michael passed from this life, Akon wrote and recorded a moving tribute song for his beloved mentor and friend called Cry Out Of Joy. Below is a particularly moving tribute video made by a Michael Jackson fan from Japan. I am sharing this as an example of the abundant LOVE that flows from uncountable hearts for Michael Joseph Jackson.

You Tube Sawapong’s Channel
Uploader Comments:
“I made this vid ‘n translated into my language. Hope you’ll like it.” July 28, 2009

Almost a year later: “It’s been almost 11 month since I posted this video, and it’s been one year since this world lost Michael Jackson. I’d like to say ‘Thank You’ to each one of you who took time to watch this vid and left sweet comments. It got more than 199,000 views [in the first year]. It’s incredible and I am so happy. Thank you Akon for this beautiful song. And THANK YOU Michael for EVERYTHING. Michael’s beautiful soul and messages he shared with us will LIVE FOREVER. May he will rest in peace.”

You Tube Video & Translation by Sawapong.
沢山再生して頂いて ありがとうございます!!

MJ Art Wire Sculpture

December 27th, 2010

Award-winning, Australian sculptor, Ivan Lovatt, created this unique piece of chicken wire Michael art.

His website describes Ivan as having been born in Nairobi, Kenya. He spent his childhood in Africa, England, Wales and Germany. When not outside enjoying the natural environment, Ivan was drawn to all forms of artistic expression, and began drawing birds and African wildlife. As an adult, Ivan worked mostly in construction, but art was always an important part of his life. Ivan would spend all of his spare time learning about art, experimenting and trying to explore each medium to its potential. Ivan exhibited his sculpture and paintings in group exhibitions at the Guildhall Grantham, before emigrating to Australia in 1994. He now lives in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

Inspired by his new environment Ivan focused his creativity on the hands on reality of sculpture. Ivan is particularly excited by the transformation of such an ordinary medium as chicken wire to a piece of art. He is drawn towards creating work that is accessible, recognizable and meaningful to the public. Ivan’s personality is represented in his sculpture. His work is honest, often quirky and amusing, yet demonstrates compassion for his subject, and above all has great integrity.

“The Last Tear”

December 19th, 2010

~a short story by Michael Jackson from Dancing The Dream: Poems and Reflections (1992)

Your words stabbed my heart, and I cried tears of pain. “Get out!” I shouted. “These are the last tears I’ll ever cry for you.” So you left.

I waited hours, but you didn’t return. That night by myself I cried tears of frustration.

I waited weeks, but you had nothing to say.

Thinking of your voice, I cried tears of loneliness.

I waited months, but you left no sign for me.

In the depths of my heart, I cried tears of despair.

How strange that all these tears could not wash away the hurt!

Then one thought of love pierced my bitterness.

I remembered you in the sunlight, with a smile as sweet as May wine.

A tear of gratitude started to fall, and miraculously, you were back.

Soft fingers touched my cheek, and bent over for a kiss.

“Why have you come?” I whispered.

“To wipe away your last tear,” you replied.

“It was the one you saved for me.”

Light at The End of a Shame-Filled Tunnel

December 11th, 2010

Is there a light at the end of Michael’s tunnel?

Many people remember Michael Jackson as a disconnected, reclusive and perverted character who was strung out on drugs. In truth, the people who knew him throughout his life, recognized him as possessing the opposite qualities.

We, humans, are neurologically wired for connection. Michael spent his entire life connecting. We see this in his music, in his on-stage and film performances, and in his compassionate humanitarian endeavors.

The researcher/storyteller, in the video below, discusses the relevance of shame in our ability to be authentically connected to each other. “The only people who don’t experience shame have no capacity for human empathy or compassion.” says Dr. Brené Brown at the University of Houston.

Michael repeatedly showed himself to be a master of human empathy, compassion and connectedness. As a child he was a willing, obedient and dedicated student in the performing arts; he was an avid and encouraging mentor to budding writers, dancers, musicians and painters; he was a fun-loving, Patch Adams type of humanitarian to countless underprivileged and ailing children; and Michael was an exceptionally empathetic and loving father to his own three children, and to numerous other children upon whom he bestowed fatherly attention.

Michael Jackson was “a victim of a selfish kind of love.” He courageously faced a life filled with shame. From the insensitive abuses by his own father, to the money-mongering leaches who took advantage of, and preyed off his wealth, to the blatantly disrespectful media journalists who twisted his reputation with lies, as they chewed him up and spit him out, Michael continually faced shame. He struggled to find meaning in his shame. He valiantly wore shame on his collar. Much of Michael’s shame was thrown at him by hecklers and bullies who find sick satisfaction in throwing rotten apples at innocent targets.

Each of us secretly protects our feelings of shame by hiding them in the recesses of our personal tunnels. We often fail to recognize that we are not alone in them. Michael assured us that “You Are Not Alone.” Everybody feels shame to some degree or another.

Like the Man in the Mirror, who Michael introduced us to, let’s turn up the collar of our favorite winter coat, and honestly recognize our own shame and vulnerability with each other. Let’s realize that the shame in and around our dark, hidden, cavernous, secret tunnels not need blind us into bitter apathy, or physical and mental disease. Let us look, like Michael did, for the light at the end of our tunnel!

We, humans, were intended to spread love and good will. As Michael liked to say, “It’s all for love. L.O.V.E.” Michael Jackson’s legacy is rich. By merit of his loving, steadfast and forgiving attitude, with a child’s heart, he marvelously turned the rotten apples thrown at him into gifts of gold.

Spring It ~ Beat It ~ Tweet It

November 23rd, 2010

Inspired creativity transcends time, space and the artist himself. The innovative spirit of Michael Jackson is something to marvel at. It existed before he did, and continues to exist in the realm of pure creativity. “People ask me how I make music. I tell them I just step into it. It’s like stepping into a river and joining the flow. Every moment in the river has its song.”~MJ 1992 Dancing the Dream. This river is a continuum that draws from the wellspring of creativity which is God. In the 1987 Ebony/Jet interview Michael said, “No one can quite say what the creative process is. I have nothing to do with it, almost, because it’s created in space. It’s God’s work, not mine.”

Many aspects of Michael’s music videos, Beat It and Bad remind me of West Side Story, the Broadway play that was also an award-winning movie with music by Leonard Bernstein and choreography by Jerome Robbins. When you watch the ballet, Rite of Spring, you might also recognize that Bernstein and Robbins were inspired by the work of their predecessors, Igor Stravinsky (music) and Nijinsky (choreography).

It seems likely that Michael had an affinity for West Side Story. Someone once said, “The greatest tragedy about the Sharks and the Jets is that they didn’t have Michael Jackson around.” Now they do, thanks to a creative fan on You Tube!

ORIGINAL West Side Story dancing to Michael Jackson’s Beat It and Bad

The choreographed Beat It seems to portray elements that pay homage to the West Side Story dance fight between the Sharks & the Jets. Unlike that of these New York City gangs, and not surprisingly from the psyche of perpetual peace-making MJ, there is redeeming value in the inherent message of Beat It.

If you haven’t seen MJ’s ORIGINAL Beat It video, enjoy it now!

On another note, this is a hilarious, yet respectful PARODY on Michael’s music video, “Beat It.” The story line fight is between the iPhones & the iPads.

THE IMMORTAL World Tour ~ Cirque du Soleil

November 5th, 2010

Cirque du Soleil is a Quebec company recognized all over the world for very high-quality artistic entertainment. Over 5,000 employees and artists from over forty countries work together to produce stellar stage performances of music, dance and acrobatics. For years I have heard about the fantastic performances of Cirque du Soleil, although I have never gone to one. I could have, because they passed through the cities where I lived, but I had not been so moved…until NOW!

Now I am moved with a purpose and a passion. The thought of experiencing the magic of Michael Jackson’s legendary music, signature dance moves and spectacular showmanship, through the talent of inspired and extremely skilled artists, thrills me. From my perspective, it will be like going to one of Michael’s own concerts. The sure-to-be electrifying production promises to reflect MJ’s unique creative process. It will be easy to imagine Michael being with us one more time. For all those of us who either have or have not experienced Michael Jackson LIVE in concert, this is very welcome opportunity!

A description on the Cirque du Soleil website, states:

A riveting fusion of visuals, dance, music and fantasy that immerses audiences in Michael’s creative world and literally turns his signature moves upside down, Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour unfolds Michael Jackson’s artistry before the eyes of the audience. Aimed at lifelong fans as well as those experiencing Michael’s creative genius for the first time, the show captures the essence, soul and inspiration of the King of Pop, celebrating a legacy that continues to transcend generations.

THE IMMORTAL World Tour takes place in a fantastical realm where we discover Michael’s inspirational Giving Tree—the wellspring of his creativity. The secrets of Michael’s inner world are unlocked—his love of music and dance, fairy tale and magic, and the fragile beauty of nature.

The underpinnings of THE IMMORTAL World Tour are Michael Jackson’s powerful, inspirational music and lyrics—the driving force behind the show—brought to life with extraordinary power and breathless intensity. Through unforgettable performances Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour underscores Michael’s global messages of love, peace and unity.

Michael greatly loved Cirque du Soleil. He had been envisioning a production of this kind for a long while. In fact, when the agreement with his estate was announced last April, Cirque’s president said that he first talked to MJ six years ago about the possibility of a Jackson-themed show. This highly anticipated stage show has been approved by the Estate of Michael Jackson. Michael’s mother, Katherine, released a statement saying, “Our family is thrilled that Cirque du Soleil will pay tribute to my son in such an important way.” The estate and Cirque du Soleil are equal partners. The show will open in Montreal on October 2, 2011. The 27-city U.S. and Canada tour will run through 2012 before going to other continents, and then taking up residence at the MGM Mirage in Las Vegas.

Jamie King, the writer and director of Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour said, “It makes so much sense for these two worlds to come together, because Michael was so into magic and fairy tale and everything that really Cirque is all about. He loved that innocence and childlike kind of creativity which Cirque provides.”

Jamie King is an accomplished dancer/choreographer who has directed some of the highest grossing concert tours of all time. In 2006, he earned significant acclaim from Variety. The publication selected Jamie King as one of the world’s ten most influential people in the music industry, branding him the “Jerry Bruckheimer of tent-pole music tours.”

Beyond his work with the world’s premier entertainers, Jamie King serves as Nike’s official creative consultant and global spokesperson for the Nike Dance Fitness line, and creator of the internationally successful Nike Rockstar Workout.

Jamie worked, early in his career, with Michael on his 1992 “Dangerous” tour. Jamie has choreographed and directed numerous worldwide tours by popular musicians such as Madonna, Celine Dion, Brittany Spears, Rihanna, Avril Lavigne, Ricky Martin, Christina Aguilera, Pink, Kayne West and Spice Girls. Jamie has intensely coached an array of other superstars including Prince, Mariah Carey, Shakira, George Michael, Elton John, Diana Ross, Jennifer Lopez and also Ellen DeGeneres. This is his first show with Cirque du Soleil.

Jamie King is passionate about bringing Michael alive in this, most special tribute.

Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour will also call on the diverse talents of the following creative minds: (click here for detailed impressive bios)

  • Guy Laliberté ~ Creative Guide
  • Jamie King ~ Writer and Director
  • Chantal Tremblay ~ Director of Creation
  • Mark Fisher ~ Set Designer
  • Zaldy Goco ~ Costume Designer
  • Kevin Antunes ~ Musical Designer
  • Martin Labrecque ~ Lighting Designer
  • Olivier Goulet ~ Projection and Video Content Designer
  • François Desjardins ~ Sound Designer
  • Scott Osgood ~ Rigging and Acrobatic Equipment Designer
  • Germain Guillemot ~ Acrobatic Performance Designer
  • Michael Curry ~ Props Designer