In 1988 Jeff Koons made three identical porcelain sculptures (statues) of Bubbles and Michael Jackson. At that time each sculpture was claimed to be worth $250,000. The art pieces later became one of Koons' best known works. The statue shows Jackson and the chimp Bubbles wearing gold military-style suits. In 2001, one of the figures was put up for auction and was expected to fetch between $3 million and $4 million. The sculpture was sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for $5.6 million, which was a record for a work by Jeff Koons.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Michael Jackson reportedly purchased the 3-year-old chimpanzee Bubbles for $17 million from a Texas cancer research clinic in 1985. In 1988 Bubbles moved into Jackson's Neverland Ranch, having initially lived at the Jackson family's Encino home.
Bubbles used to sit with Jackson in Neverland's cinema, eating candy. He also ate at the dining table. In 2003, the singer claimed that ‘Bubbles shared his toilet and cleaned his bedroom’.
Bubbles, along with Jackson’s pet snake, sat in for the recording sessions of the “Bad” album and escorted Jackson for the filming of the "Bad" music video.
During the Bad World Tour in September, 1987, Bubbles and the singer shared a two-bedroom hotel suite in Tokyo. At a party to celebrate and promote Bad, Bubbles reportedly "worked the room" and was "the life of the party".
Bubbles reportedly learned to copy some of Jackson’s signature dance moves, including the legendary moonwalk. The chimp had an agent and his own bodyguard.
When Elizabeth Taylor attended the opening of the Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center, she was accompanied by Michael Jackson and Bubbles, wearing identical military-style uniforms. Taylor's eighth wedding to Larry Fortensky was held at Neverland Ranch. The media reported that Bubbles would be the ring bearer, but the story turned out to be false.
Jackson and Bubbles were photographed in 1986 by Kenny Rogers for his book, “Your Friends and Mine”, and the photograph was cited as one of the best taken of Michael Jackson. In the black and white photograph, Jackson is dressed casually in jeans and a simple shirt, and Bubbles in a long sleeved shirt and overalls.
In 1988 Jeff Koons made three identical porcelain statues of Bubbles and Michael Jackson, each sculpture worth $250,000. The statue shows Jackson and the chimp Bubbles wearing gold military-style suits. In 2001, one of the figures was auctioned, expecting between $3 million and $4 million. But the sculpture was sold to a bidder for $5.6 million, which was a record for a work by Jeff Koons.
In November 1986 Jackson launched “Michael's Pets”, a range of soft toys of the animals he owned, a frog, dog, rabbit, snake, ostrich, giraffe, llama and Bubbles. Jackson also appeared as a bear wearing sunglasses and a fedora. Bob Michaelson was responsible for developing the toys. Jackson, while approving the toys, stipulated that the manufacturers donate $1 per sale to a children's charity.
Many media sources mocked Jackson’s friendship with the chimpanzee and reported false stories. The public thought of Jackson as a bizarre, eccentric person, and he was subsequently dubbed "Wacko Jacko".
In the 2003 documentary, “Living with Michael Jackson”, the singer told journalist Martin Bashir that Bubbles had become overly aggressive. So, Bubbles was moved to an animal sanctuary over fears he might attack Jackson's newborn son, Prince Michael II.
In December 2003, it was reported that Bubbles had tried to commit suicide. The chimp was taken to a hospital in time and saved.
Michael Jackson said he regretted removing the chimp, as it can live up to 60 years. During the interview, Jackson also told Bashir of how he had planned to hold a "celebrity animal party" for Bubbles. Cheeta, the chimp from Tarzan, Benji and Lassie were to be invited. The idea garnered much laughter from the media.
“The public perception of what Michael is as a human being has been highly exaggerated. Those articles are hard for me to relate to. For instance, Bubbles is more fun than a lot of people I know. I saw Bubbles at a wedding in a tux. He has great table manners”, said Quincy Jones.
The 26-year-old ape Bubbles is now said to be fully recovered and living at a ranch in Sylmar, California. "Bubbles is an adult chimp and a wild animal," animal trainer Bob Dunn stated. "We don't let him out to play." Jackson and his children used to visit the chimp, and also play with the other animals. "He still acts like a kid around them," Dunn added.
“Bubbles and Michael were close friends and playmates. Their bond was unique,” said Dunn, and continued, “Bubbles missed him when they parted and will miss him now. Chimpanzees remember people and stuff. The last time Michael visited Bubbles recognized him.”
Trainer Dunn said, though the ape is now said to be juggling lucrative publicity offers in the wake of Jackson’s death, he would be “upset” never to see Jackson again.
This is a combination of photo of Michael Jackson performing the anti-gravity lean in Smooth Criminal and another photo of a fan trying to practice the anti-gravity lean.
Smooth Criminal is a Funk and Pop rock single by Michael Jackson from the album Bad (1988, the seventh single). It ran at 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became one of Jackson's most popular songs.
Smooth Criminal was also the centerpiece in Jackson's short film Moonwalker. It was presented in a ten-minute long clip in which Jackson dances through a 1930s-style nightclub.
Initially Smooth Criminal almost didn't make into the Bad album, but finally included. Though the original title was Al Capone, the Italian-American gangster, it was re-written as "Smooth Criminal". The song was performed live during the second leg of Michael Jackson's Bad World Tour of 1987-88. The performance featured a dance routine modeled after the scene from Moonwalker.
In the 1992 Dangerous World Tour, Smooth Criminal became a regular feature on Jackson’s tours. By this time Jackson had devised a way to perform the anti-gravity lean, which was featured in the Moonwalker video, on stage. Much like the robot move from "Dancing Machine" to the Moonwalk from "Billie Jean", this showcased Michael Jackson's talent for creating unique moves to enhance stage performances.
Anti-gravity lean effect in the video, when Jackson and other dancers lean forward to an impossible angle, was achieved using special harnesses like wires and magnets. But for the stage show, the props and wires would have been visible to the audience and difficult to use. So, Jackson devised an alternative way to achieve the anti-gravity lean effect on stage, consisting of pegs that rise from the stage and special shoes with ankle supports and cutouts in the heels which can slide over the pegs and be, thereby, attached to the stage temporarily. These allow the performers to lean without needing to keep their centers of gravity directly over their feet.
The instantly recognizable “Anti-gravity lean” was later recreated by dance group Diversity in the third series of Britain's Got Talent.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
The Moon Walk, a dance technique perfected by Michael Jackson, gives the illusion that the dancer is walking forward, while actually he is moving backward. To understand it better, think of a conveyor belt moving fast backward on which a person walks forward at a slower pace. To create this impression on stage, a lot of practice and perfection of movement is required and ordinary dancers may find it impossible to perform. But Jackson could assimilate it with his other movements and perform with ease, while the audience is transported to a magical world.
The dance move became immensely popular after it was performed by Michael Jackson during his song "Billie Jean" on the March 25, 1983, television special “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever”. It eventually became his signature dance move and has become one of the best known dance moves in the world.
The moonwalk was originally known as "backslide", or "walking on toes". Some writers claim the moonwalk was recorded back in 1955 in a performance by tap dancer Bill Bailey. The French mime, Marcel Marceau, used it throughout his career, (1940s-1980s). James Brown used the move in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. Jeffrey Daniel performed a self-made variation of the moon walk in a performance of Shalamar's "A Night To Remember" on Top of the Pops in 1982. A member of the Electric Boogaloos performance group, Timothy 'Popin Pete' Solomon, also performed the dance move in the Talking Heads video 'Crosseyed And Painless', which aired around 1981.
Maybe, as none of the artists above could perfect it or perform it as Jackson could, most people often describe it as an invention by Jackson. However, there is no other entertainer in history who combined the effects of music, dance, theatrics, stage arts and magic in such a way that he became a craze among music and dance lovers worldwide. There was a time when his dance moves were being practiced by people such as prisoners in Philippines prisons to street boys in Peru, and teens from Noida to Nevada.
THRILLER marks the peak of Michael Jackson’s career. The album THRILLER remained in the top 10 of Billboard 200 for 80 consecutive weeks. Seven singles from THRILLER, including "Billie Jean", "Beat It" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin" concurrently hit the Billboard Hot 100 top 10.
THRILLER sold over 109 million copies making it the best-selling album of all time. Jackson’s biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli mused about the album, "at some point, THRILLER stopped selling like a leisure item -- like a magazine, a toy, tickets to a hit movie -- and started selling like a household staple."
THRILLER was an extraordinary success as Michael Jackson’s lawyer John Branca negotiated it for the highest royalty rate ever in the music industry, about $2 per album. Also Jackson made big profits from “The Making of Michael Jackson's Thriller”, a documentary by Jackson and John Landis, which sold over 350,000 copies.
The newfound success brought Michael Jackson huge profits from all around. His image became a saleable commodity that raked in enormous sales from articles such as Jackson dolls and other novelties that hit the market.
THRILLER also helped the music industry which was almost on a downslide. All of a sudden importance of albums became more pronounced, and changed the notions about how many prospective hits an album should have. Also THRILLER restored to the industry a sense of confidence in its ability to release high-level artistry, when profits had been sinking.
THRILLER became a huge it in an era when music scene was “white-dominated”, excepting a few talented artists, notably Stevie Wonder. MTV, though in its struggling stages and aired predominantly white music, agreed to air THRILLER and it was a huge success. THRILLER “helped bring MTV into its heyday, even as MTV helped fuel Thriller’s success”.
THRILLER paved the way for other talented artists to become profitable entertainers. As many industry analysts wrote, “Jackson was a one-man rescue team for the music business”. At its 25th anniversary, THRILLER still retained important influence over the music industry, artists, and American culture.
On March 25, 1983, Michael Jackson performed live on the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever television special, both with The Jackson 5 and performed his own "Billie Jean", debuting his signature dance move, “the moonwalk”. His performance was seen by 47 million viewers on its initial airing and it drew comparisons to Elvis Presley’s and The Beatles' appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show.
The New York Times reported, "The moonwalk that he made famous is an apt metaphor for his dance style. How does he do it? As a technician, he is a great illusionist, a genuine mime. His ability to keep one leg straight as he glides while the other bends and seems to walk requires perfect timing".
Michael Jackson has bequeathed up to 200 unpublished songs for his three children, it has been reported by Telegraph.co.uk.
Months before his death, Michael Jackson made a contingency plan to ensure that his children would be well taken care of in the event of his bankruptcy.
200 original songs could be worth as much as $100 million, and cannot be touched by creditors. They have been left to his children Prince Michael, 12, Paris Katherine, 11, and Prince Michael II, 7 (also known as Blanket).
It has also been claimed that Jackson's will, which has not yet been made public, demands that the three of them remain with his 79-year-old mother Katherine in California.
The claims are to be made in a biography of Jackson called The Final Years of Michael Jackson, written by Ian Halperin. The book will also claim that a genetic condition had ruined Jackson's lungs and left him unable to sing. Jackson was reportedly receiving regular injections for the condition, Halperin claims, among several other unknown facts about Jackson.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, died on June 25, 2009, aged 50. The specific cause of death has yet to be determined. Before his death, Jackson had announced a 50-date sell-out comeback tour, in London, England.
Michael Jackson is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. His other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records, including one for "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time", 13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career, more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era, and the sale of 750 million records worldwide.
Born in 1958, Jackson made his musical debut with four of his older brothers in the music band “Jackson Five” before embarking on a solo career.
His 1982 album Thriller, which included the hits Beat It, Billie Jean and Thriller, is still the best-selling album of all time, with more than 26 million copies sold. His lifetime sales tally is estimated at 750 million.
In 1994, he married Lisa Marie Presley, the 26-year-old daughter of the legendary Elvis Presley. The couple separated two years later and Jackson later married Debbie Rowe, a 37-year-old nurse he met while undergoing plastic surgery in 1997. The couple had two children, Prince Michael and Paris Michael Katherine, before divorcing in 1999.
Jackson had the custody of the two children and of a third, Prince Michael II, whose mother's name has never been made public.
Jackson's successful career made him a part of popular culture for almost four decades.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The film, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg (as executive producer) stars Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro. As reports show, going by $19 million it grossed in three days in Britain and Japan (where it was premiered), it can be a huge hit. It could also become one of the biggest hits of the decade. The film introduces many more robots and the scope has been expanded to numerous countries, including France and Egypt.
Revenge of the Fallen is full of naughty jokes, visually stunning and with fierce battle scenes. The film tries to tug the heart by bringing in the parents of our secretive evil fighter (Shia LaBeouf) and it fails to rouse real emotions.
Its well choreographed battle scenes and expertise in demolishing mighty buildings including the pyramids (there was a three-day shooting at the pyramids in Egypt) are really spell-binding.
In Revenge of the Fallen, two years have passed since Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf) and the Autobots saved the human race from the invading Decepticons.
Sam is still an average teenager with problems many teens face as they become adults. He promises to be faithful to his girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox). But how can he really explain his departure to his guardian robot, Bumblebee.
The Autobots, who have taken asylum on earth and leading a very secret life, find that they are unappreciated. However, they have to get ready for another big battle, and they fight for not only themselves but also the survival of human beings…
Shia LaBeouf, who has emerged in recent years as one of Hollywood's most bankable young stars, gets little chance to show a side of serious talent. Megan Fox has little to do except look great in a tank top and tight jeans especially in the early scenes. The real scene-stealers are the robots and it is quite exciting and entertaining.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
paris hilton and benji madden at The Bank Nightclub, originally uploaded by lightgrouplv.
Recently Paris Hilton has been getting more practical than ever before to get publicity by inviting the paparazzi to her new home to show off her naked photos, huge collection of dolls and her gym that she converted into a massive shoe closet.
Ever since Hilton, 27, moved into her new house 18 months ago, another recent news report may be recalled, her neighbors were upset with her late night partying at her house, generating high decibels of noise at the dead of night. The neighbors even had to seek police help some weeks ago.
As reports say, Hilton even showed off the Marilyn Monroe portraits that hang over her four-poster bed and shocked the paparazzi with her candid poster-sized naked photos, hugging a toy cat and sitting in a Hummer vehicle with Tinkerbell (her pet, a Chihuahua) poking out between her legs. She said, "That's me in a Hummer with Tinkerbell, in the buff."
88793_paris-hilton-and-doug-reinhardt-sighting-on-march-23-2009-in-hollywood, originally uploaded by firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earlier, Hilton was engaged to fashion model Jason Shaw from mid 2002 to early 2003. Then in 2003-2004 she had a relationship with singer Nick Carter. Ending that, she was engaged to Greek shipping heir Paris Latsis from May 29, 2005 to November 2005. Done with that, she began dating another Greek shipping heir, Stavros Niarchos III, before breaking up in May 2006.
In early 2008, she was spotted with Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden and in May, Hilton announced her intention to marry Madden during an interview with David Letterman. Benji Madden and Paris broke up in November 2008, and now they "remain very good friends". Without wasting time, soon she began dating The Hills star Doug Reinhardt in February 2009 and Hilton had referred to her intention to marry Reinhardt, saying "He's gonna be my husband." But the couple broke up in June 2009. So now enters the soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo to fill the gap!
Paris Hilton descansa en bikini en un hotel de lujo de Dubai, originally uploaded by La Voz Libre.
Recently Paris Hilton was in the Middle East, where Hilton spoke at length about her respect for Middle East culture and values, and stripped down to her bikini for a walk on the Dubai beach front.
Hilton, who was in Dubai for the Asian leg of her reality show 'My New Best Friend Forever', had been forewarned by the producers of the show to avoid her trademark revealing outfits, but Hilton did not heed their advice, as reported by Mirror online.
"Paris had made a big public speech, saying how much she loved the Middle East and respected its culture. But the following day she was prancing around on the beach in her bikini and posing provocatively," said a source in the My New Best Friend Forever production team.
Similarly, Saudi Arabia is a conservative country and Hilton was told that in the past Western tourists had been jailed for breaking the Saudi Arabian society's code of conduct. Still, Hilton raised many eyebrows with her behavior and the producers gave her an ultimatum banning her from creating any further controversy.
Cristiano Ronaldo se marcha de vacaciones al Algarve tras sus fiestas en Las Vegas, originally uploaded by La Voz Libre.
Paris Hilton’s experiments with relationships continue to feed tabloid news and Internet gossips. After breaking with The Hills star Doug Reinhardt, Paris reportedly spent some quality time with the soccer superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, who has finally spoken about his racy tryst with her, saying that he had a ball with the hotel heiress.
Ronaldo celebrated his record move for 80 million UK Pounds to Real Madrid by spending a cozy night with Hilton at posh nightspot My House Hollywood, before some extra time at Nicky Hilton's pad.
"She was a really cool girl and we had a great time talking, "British tabloid The Sun quoted Ronaldo as saying. "I am a young man and Paris a young lady, and us talking in a club is just what normal people our age do", he added.
However, Ronaldo insisted that he and Paris are not getting into a serious relationship any time soon. He reportedly said, "She lives thousands of miles away and is busy, and I am busy in Madrid so I am not sure if we will be able to see each other."
Monday, June 22, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Actress Christina Ricci arrives for the premiere of the film "Paper Man" on the opening night of the Los Angeles Film Festival on Thursday, 18 June 2009 in Los Angeles.