December 27, 2002
MJNI Exclusive: New Michael Jackson Song
MJNI can exclusively reveal that Michael Jackson has just put the finishing touches to a new song entitled Xscape.
The up-tempo dance track has already been earmarked for a forthcoming project. MJNI will keep you updated with news about this song and the relevant project, as we receive it.
My Comment:Dont get to excited, who knows when and if it will be released. Its just good to know Michael is working on new material.
December 19, 2002
Michael Jackson and Barry Gibb to Collaborate
The website for Billboard (the "bible" of the US recording industry) reports on 18th December that Bee Gees principal Barry Gibb is currently collaborating with Michael Jackson on new material for an as-yet-undisclosed project.
MJNI will bring you more news about this as and when we receive it.
December 13, 2002
MJ Included on Billboard Year End Charts
In Billboard Magazine's annual year-end round-up, Michael Jackson makes a pleasantly surprising number of entries on a number on charts. We say surprisingly because the chart placements don't include 2001 where Invincible did the most damage at US retail - 1.5 million copies sold in two months.
The King of Pop's entries, according to Billboard include:
The Billboard 200
#43 - Invincible Michael Jackson/Epic
Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
#8 - Invincible Michael Jackson/Epic
Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks
#12 - Butterflies Michael Jackson/Epic
Billboard R&B editor writes: "One notable name on this year's recap is Michael Jackson, No. 12 for 2002 with Butterflies (Epic). The last time a Michael Jackson song was this high on an annual summary was in 1983, when Billie Jean was the No. 2 song of the year, and The Girl Is Mine, his duet with Paul McCartney, was No. 6."
Regarding the album, Billboard reports: As on the singles recap, Michael Jackson did well in 2002. Invincible (Epic) made it into the top-10 at No. 8. The top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums artists are Eminem, Nelly, and Ludacris. At No. 4, Ashanti is the top female, followed by Mary J. Blige, and Alicia Keys. The top group is Big Tymers, followed by Nappy Roots and OutKast.
December 9, 2002
Michael Accepts His Billboard Award From Neverland
Michael Jackson accepted his special Billboard award Monday night, via live satellite from his Neverland Valley Ranch.
The King of Pop was given a special honor to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of Thriller, still the world's largest selling album in history.
Comedian Chris Tucker presented the award to Michael at the Ranch in what appeared to be the inside of a recording studio. It was preceded by an introduction that included a video montage of Thriller's videos and live performances.
During the presentation, Chris read a laundry list of Thriller's major accomplishments, including an impressive 37 weeks at #1, 7 top 10 hits, 8 Grammy Awards and the first album to ever reach #1 on the R%B and Pop charts at the same time.
Chris and Michael also had some laughs together, as the Rush Hour star jokingly asked Michael if he could hold onto the award for a few days and telling the superstar that he plans on staying at Neverland.
Michael thanked his friend Chris, Billboard Magazine and his fans. And even though the King of Pop was not in person to accept the award, the thunderous applause from the audience indicated that just a glimmer of the pop legend was enough to satisfy!
December 7, 2002
Michael's Reasons for Absence from Court are Declared Justified
Michael Jackson missed a second day of court on Friday 6th December for medical reasons.
The Santa Maria Times of 7th December reveals that when the Judge announced Michael's absence on Thursday 5th December, it was Mr. Avram's attorney, Louis Miller, who asked for an independent medical evaluation to take place. The judge agreed to this, giving Mr. Miler a choice between three physicians.
The medical examination occurred on Friday morning, after which the judge, Mr. Miller and Michael's attorneys, Steve Cochran and Zia Madabber, gathered in Judge Zel Canter's chambers for a conference call with the physician.
Judge Zel Canter then announced that Michael has indeed had a "medical condition" since the beginning of the trial brought against him by tour promoter Marcel Avram over what he claims was Michael's cancellation of two millennium concerts.
Mr. Miller later told reporters that the judge seems to think it is a spider bite, as Michael had previously said. Meanwhile, Mr. Cochran said he was not at liberty to speak about Michael's medical condition, but that there were "bona fide reasons he could not be in court."
The case continued without Michael. Mr. Avram gave testimony and Wayne Nagin, Michael's former Head of Security and business aide, continued his testimony too. Mr. Nagin supports Michael's statement that it was actually Mr. Avram who cancelled the millennium shows.
However, Mr. Nagin said Michael was in New York City on 6th and 7th October at a time when Michael had said he thought he was in California. This is the time that Michael had said that he received a telephone call from Mr. Avram canceling the two millennium concerts.
Mr. Avram said that Mr. Nagin, and another business representative, told him about the same time that Michael would not plan the concerts.
Mr. Nagin testified that he was at the meeting on 6th or 7th October when Mr. Avram canceled the shows himself.
The trial resumes on Tuesday 10th December and after a break on Wednesday 11th December, will continue on Thursday 12th December until Friday 20th December. A Christmas break will then follow until the New Year.
December 6, 2002
Michael Absent From Court, but Wayne Nagin Testifies
Michael Jackson was absent from court on Thursday 6th December, for medical reasons.
Contrary to some of the media reports, Judge Zel Canter, who is presiding over the case brought against the King of Pop by tour promoter Marcel Avram, had knowledge of the absence and was satisfied with the reasons for it. He has ordered Michael to undergo an medical examination.
In protest at Michael's absence, Louis Miller, Mr. Avram's attorney said: "This is the third time he has either not shown up or been late (for cross-examination)."
Michael's attorney, Zia Modabber, replied: "Mr Jackson is injured and needs medical attention and he's getting it. Today would have been his sixth day on the stand. He's not afraid of this courtroom."
Meanwhile, The Santa Maria Times reported that the attorneys received a gentle warning from Judge Canter about lengthy arguments involving legal issues. "No more speeches," he said. This was an attempt to speed up the trial, slowed by hours of legal disputes that have sent the jury out of the courtroom on several occasions.
The paper also reported on the calling to the witness stand of Wanye Nagin by Mr. Miller. Mr. Nagin is Michael's former head of security and business partner. Although he left Michael's employment on 5th September 2001 to retire, Mr. Nagin testified he was a "a close friend, loyal all the way."
When asked if he followed Michael's directions, Mr. Nagin said "I sure do."
Mr. Nagin said he was present at a meeting in New York City on 6th or 7th October when Marcel Avram postponed the millennium concert. According to the paper, Mr. Nagin referred several times to a postponement, not a cancellation.
December 4, 2002
King of Pop Tells Reporters "Merry Christmas"
Michael Jackson returned to the Santa Maria courthouse today to testify in the Marcel Avram Millenium concerts lawsuit, still limping from a spider bite and sporting a silky blue armband he told reporters symbolizes "power."
Reporters peppered the King of Pop with questions but he only answered them with a "Merry Christmas" as he entered the courthouse for what is expected to be his last day of testimony.