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June 25, 2003
Michael Jackson Presents & Performs at BET

Michael Jackson made a surprise appearance at the third annual Black Entertainment Television Awards in Los Angeles on 24th June.

In a ceremony broadcast live on BET, the King of Pop presented James Brown with with the Lifetime Achievement Award - but only after he danced along with the Godfather of Soul, helping him put on his trademark cape.

Michael looked like the consummate rock star, wearing sparkling tight blue and white trousers and a tucked in white shirt that was open to his stomach.

When Michael arrived on stage, the audience - already ecstatic from Brown's performance - rose for a thundering standing ovation.

"Nobody has influenced me more than this man right here," Michael told the crowd as he presented the award. "There's no way I could refuse to give out this award, because no one loves me more than this man."

Michael's elder sister La Toya, who was present at the event, was interviewed by the BET website and said: "I had seen James backstage earlier and we were just talking back and forth. I was just thinking to myself, 'You're gonna be so surprised who's gonna present you with the award.' Then I went back to Michael's dressing room and I said, 'Michael, he doesn't have a clue." It was truly an amazing sight

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June 12, 2003
King of Pop's Whirlwind visit To Hometown, Gary

In a release on 12th June, Indystar.com reports that more than 1,000 people waited to greet the King of Pop at his boyhood home in Gary, Indiana on Wednesday 11th June, whilst 300 more waited to climpse him at the city hall.

According to a Post-Tribune report on 12th June, Gary Mayor, Scott King welcomed Michael back to Gary at a press conference at the city hall as "one of our greatest contributions to the world."

Wearing his trademark sun-glasses, Michael responded by saying "It's great to be home. It's a wonderful feeling. The hospitality is overwhelming. I left here at such a young age."

He continued: "I feel so much love. I love you all so much. Thank you for this wonderful, magical day that I’ll never forget."

Upon presenting Michael with a key to the city, the Mayor quipped, "Now that you have the key, you don't have to be a stranger."

Next Michael stopped at his old home on 2300 Jackson St. where he and his brothers were born. The house, roughly the size of a two-car garage , now belongs to Tim Brown, a cousin of his father, Joe Jackson. Michael embraced Tim upon his arrival in front of dozens or reporters from around the world.

In an interview with the Chicago Sun Times, Essi King, who has lived on Jackson Street for many years, revealed with pride that her children had gone to school with the Jackson brothers.

"Look at the people from all over the world," she said, surveying the crowd at the city hall. "So many people are interested in our town now."

The next visit on the agenda was to Roosevelt High School where more than 1000 people, mostly teens, clamoured for a glimpse of the King of Pop. The school band played a medley of Michael’s hits to which he snaked his neck as the crowd clapped.

The reactions of tough, street-wise kids with chains and plaits revealed the extemt of the King of Pop’s ability to transcend genre, generation and the urban divide.In an interview with the Post-Tribune on 12th June, 18 year old Roosevelt graduate Anthony Lillard said "He goes beyond stereotypes. I like the way he carries himself."

In typical Michael Jackson style, the King of Pop next made an impromptu stop at a KFC fast-food restaurant where he spoke with fans from the safety of his limo whilst several companions went inside to order a huge meal.

Gary resident Selletta Hinton revealed in the Chicago Sun Times on the 12th June how Michael had invited her and her 5 year old daughter, Destiny, to join the feast in his limo saying he was "more afriad of the press than the fans."

After eating, Michael asked an associate to distribute what was left of the meal to the childeren in the crowd outside.

In the evening, the King of Pop spoke briefly at a 'Salute The Troops' celebration at a nearly full Railcats Stadium, nearby.

The King of Pop was anxious to stress the fondness he feels for his hometown and, according to a report in the North West Indiana Times on 12th June, told the 4,000 strong crowd: "Gary, you will always have a special place in my heart. And you are more the just a good friend. You are my family, and I love you very much."

He continued: "After many years of talking about coming home, Gary, I came home."

The crowd showed their appreciation with applause and cheers at which point Michael said Gary is the "soul of America" and that he was "proud to be from Gary."

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Michael Jackson Signs New Business Adviser
Michael Jackson has signed a new business adviser to handle his affairs. As reported by Daily Variety on Wednesday 11 June, the partnership between Michael and music executive Charles Koppelman was announced in New York. Koppelman will advise the King of Pop on how to exploit his assets and breathe new life into his recording career.

Koppelman told Variety, “Michael is going to be at a time in his career where he's going to be making new music and seeing his fans”

"I'm working with Michael on his vast publishing holdings, but also on the record side and the concert side."

Koppelman is also reported to be helping the King of Pop to record and release his next album and arrange concert tours.

The appointment comes after Michael settled out of court in a lawsuit brought against him by his former financial adviser Myung-Ho Lee and his firm Union Finance and Investment Corp.

Lee claimed in his lawsuit that he was hired in the late 1990s to put the King of Pop’s financial affairs in order but was not paid for his services. Michael’s counter-suit claimed that the man he called “Lawyer Lee” stole millions from him and destroyed financial records to cover up his misdeeds.

In addition, Court TV were seeking to televise the trial, which could have meant a public airing of records of Michael’s closely guarded finances.

Zia Modabber, the lawyer representing the King of Pop in this suit was quoted in a phone interview as saying, “It just got to a point where we agreed on what we needed to do” adding that Michael “was thrilled”.

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June 11th
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Date
The King of Pop Says “It’s great to be home”

Michael Jackson returns to home town, Gary, Indiana On Wednesday 11th June, Michael Jackson returned to his hometown, Gary Indiana, for the first time in nearly two decades where Gary’s Mayor, Scott L. King, presented him with a key to the city and a ‘Jackson St.’ sign.

Associated Press reported on 11th June that Michael “thanked the Mayor for a wonderful, magical day that he will never forget.” Although he wasn’t expected to speak at the news conference, Michael elaborated that it was a “wonderful feeling” to be back in Gary and said he feels so much love that he feels like a king. Some fans had travelled from as far away as Toronto especially for the King of Pop’s homecoming.

During his visit, Michael signed a promissory note to help build a state of the art Performing Arts Center in Gary. A news release on MJJForum.com on 11th June details the contents of the note in which Major, Scott L. King asks Michael to “assist in the marketing and fundraising aspects of making this facility a reality for Gary.” The note continues saying “the Mayor and the citizens of Gary would like this centre to be named the Michael J. Jackson Performing Arts Center.”

A subsequent AP update on 11th June reported that Michael was presented with an honorary diploma, among other gifts, during a visit to Gary’s Roosevelt High School where he told students that “with a will of iron, with perseverance and determination”, they can do anything they want. Michael also visited his old childhood home spending 20 minutes inside the small white and brick house a few blocks from the school.

AP also reported that, in typical Michael Jackson style, the King of Pop stopped at a KFC fast-food restaurant after being presented with his honorary diploma.

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The King of Pop Says “It’s great to be home”Michael Jackson Completes Court Ordered Deposition
King of Pop is "extremely comfortable" in court on Tuesday

In a article on June 11th 2003, The Star reports that Michael took the stand on Tuesday for nearly 6 hours in a deposition already scheduled for 21st May which was postponed after he fell ill.

The King of Pop's attorney commented afterwards that "Michael was extremely comfortable today" and that "He really surprised me." An attorney for the plaintiffs in the suit commented that Michael's behaviour was "jovial".

The case against the King of Pop hinges on two non-Jackson 5 songs included on a 1996 album entitled "Pre-History: The Lost Steelotown Recordings" which are generally acknowledged to have been written by Gary-based group, Ripples and Waves.

Ivan Woodward, a member of the group says that he grew up with Michael and sand uncredited vocals on the two songs but that he hated to see the issue in court. On Tuesday he commented: "It's not like we're suing somebody for stealing a song that we wrote and they than recorded", "that's us on their CD."

Today, Michael is scheduled to visit his boyhood home where he will receive a key to the city.

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June 7, 2003
The King of Pop Says “It’s great to be home” Michael's Lawyers: Copyright Case is "Absurd"

I have included this news just as an example of why Michael Jackson gets frustrated with all these court cases, this one goes back 30 years and is just a total waste of the Michael's time but an all to familar court case scenrio these days.
A lawyer representing Michael Jackson in the upcoming Gordon Keith copyright case in Indianapolis has said that the allegations made in it against Michael border on "ridiculousness."

In an interview with Associated Press on 6th June, Robert Meyer says of the disputed Steeltown album: "Michael had nothing to do with the record, nor the production of the record, nor what songs went onto the record, nor what the liner notes for the record say, nor anything to do with this record. They may have a lawsuit against somebody, but it's not Michael Jackson."

Continuing, Mr. Meyer said: "The ridiculousness of this whole thing is that when these songs came out, Michael Jackson was nine years old and for him to have a recollection of what was going on 30 years ago, it's absurd."

Crucially, Mr. Meyer tells AP that Michael's attorneys even contacted the album's producers before it was released to tell them that they were uncertain on the copyright status of some of the songs on the compilation.

A central part of the case against the King of Pop is that the two non-Jackson 5 songs in question, Let Me Carry Your Schoolbooks and I Never Had a Girl, are generally acknowledged to be the work of Ripples and Waves, an R&B group led by Elvy and Ivan Woodard.

But Mr. Meyer hits back at the implication that this means Michael himself was dishonest. In an interview in the Indianpolis Star on 7th June, he says: "To try to say that Michael is going to associate himself with a group that no one's ever heard of, for what?! This group clearly was an imitation of the Jackson 5."

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