Saturday, August 29, 2009

Beyonce To Perform At 2009 MTV VMAs

September 13, the night of the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, was already shaping up to be a pretty busy evening for Beyoncé, who's nominated for a whopping nine Moonmen. Now, it's going to be even busier.

That's because B — who's up for Video of the Year and Best Female Video for her eye-popping, hip-shaking "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" clip — has just been added to the growing list of VMA performers, too.

Beyoncé will take the stage to sing "Sweet Dreams," the latest single off her multi-platinum I Am ... Sasha Fierce album. She joins the likes of husband Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift,

Green Day, Pink and Muse, all of whom have also been confirmed as performers at the '09 VMAs.

This will mark the third time the real-life Sasha Fierce has performed at the show. In 2003, she shared the stage with Jay for "Crazy in Love." Then in 2006, she brought the house down with a fiery version of her single "Ring the Alarm."

Also, while the big show is taking place, there's going to be plenty happening on too. That's where we'll exclusively unveil Death Cab for Cutie's "Meet Me on the Equinox," which has just been tapped as the first single off the "New Moon" soundtrack, which hits stores on October 20.

And if that isn't enough VMA news we've got for you, it's also been confirmed that up-and-coming rapper Wale and the legendary Washington, D.C., go-go band UCB will serve as the official house band for the night. As his work with Lady Gaga on the song "Chillin' " proves, Wale is no stranger to collaborations, so he should feel right at home when he joins forces with the All-American Rejects, Pitbull and 3OH!3 to perform versions of the year's biggest hits.

The 2009 MTV Video Music Awards will take place September 13 at 9 p.m. ET. Additional celebrity presenters and performers will be announced in the coming weeks. To be the first to find out the inside scoop, follow the Inside MTV Twitter account at

Happy Birthday Michael Jackson - King of Pop would've turned 51

On August 29, 1958, the late King of Pop Michael Jackson was born.

Although he died two months before his 51st birthday, the "Thriller" hitmaker will not be forgotten.

Jackson fan are reportedly having tributes throughout the world, including director Spike Lee. The New York native is planning a public block party in Brooklyn, NY today to commerate Jackson's life and groundbreaking accomplishments.

"Michael was great. He had a sense of humor. He worked hard. People talk about how hard Kobe Bryant works; he didn't work harder than Michael Jackson...when you love what you do that much, it's not work. So you can go longer and harder and faster and quicker because it's not a burden. You love what you're doing," Lee recently told Time magazine.

Lee's NY celebration is set to take place at the Nethermead Meadow in Prospect Park from noon to 5pm.

Last year, Michael shared his birthday with his three children: Paris Katherine, Prince Michael and Prince Michael II aka "Blanket".

'I'll just have a little cake with my children and we'll probably watch some cartoons," Jackson told ABC of his 50th birthday celebration.

As previously reported, Jackson will soon be laid to rest at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Although the burial has been delayed several times, its now tentatively set for September 3, 2009. (See: Michael Jackson's burial postponed....again).

Jackson died on June 25, 2009 of a cardiac arrest stemming from a drug overdose. Just last week, the Los Angeles Coroner ruled the "Billie Jean" star's death a homicide. (See: Michael Jackson's death ruled a homicide).

How will you celebrate Michael Jackson's birthday? Please leave a comment below.

DJ AM, who battled drug habit, found dead in NYC

DJ AM, the celebrity disc jockey who publicly acknowledged his history of drug addiction and had filmed a reality show in which he offered to help other addicts, was found dead in his apartment. He was 36.

Police found a crack pipe and prescription pills in the Manhattan apartment, said a law enforcement official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. Paramedics had to break down the door before they found him, shirtless and wearing sweatpants, in his bed around 5:20 p.m. on Friday, the official said.

A friend had called police to say he was unable to get into the home in the trendy SoHo neighborhood. There was no evidence of foul play, and a medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

Last year, he was badly hurt in a South Carolina plane crash that killed four people and seriously injured rock musician Travis Barker.

DJ AM, whose real name was Adam Goldstein, had openly discussed past addictions to crack cocaine, Ecstasy and other drugs, addictions so bad he once tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head — but the gun jammed. However, he claimed he had been drug-free for years, even swearing off cigarettes.

His spokeswoman, Jenni Weinman, said the circumstances surrounding his death were unclear. She pleaded for privacy for his family.

In October, MTV was to debut his reality show, "Gone Too Far," in which he and concerned families staged interventions for drug abusers. In a recent AP interview, he talked about holding a crack pipe for the first time in years for the show and said he felt as though he had an angel on his shoulder for surviving so much turmoil.

more on Yahoo! News

Friday, August 28, 2009

I Have a Dream

King was a leading figure in the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s. His "I Have a Dream" speech was delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Considered one of the finest speeches in the history of American oratory, it powerfully and eloquently expresses King's desire for a future in which blacks and whites can live harmoniously as equals. What political, cultural, and religious allusions can be found in the speech?More...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Zune marketing exec says good-bye to Microsoft

Chris Stephenson, general manager of marketing for Microsoft's Zune music player, is leaving to join Universal Music Group.

Chris Stephenson

(Credit: Microsoft)

Stephenson was one of the people Microsoft tasked in 2006with trying to cut into Apple's massive lead in music. Despite some early favorable reviews, Zune has so far failed to mount much of a challenge.

Whatever flaws or limitations the Zune did or didn't have, when comparing the music player to the iPod, Microsoft just didn't present enough compelling reasons for owners to switch.

In January, Microsoft reported that Zune sales plunged 54 percent from $185 million in the last quarter of 2007 to $85 million during the same quarter a year later.

Stephenson, whose departure was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, is leaving as the Zune team tries to regroup. The company is in the middle of shifting from a device centered business to one that focuses on the portable player as just one of many places where consumers will be able to access the Zune service. Over time, Microsoft said it will be available on a range of devices, including Windows Mobile phones.

Microsoft is getting behind the launch of the latest version of the device, the touch-screen Zune HD, on September 15.

"I think the latest device and software, which we'll be launching soon, are our best to date," Stephenson told CNET News. "Looking at all the blogs and pre-sales, we've got a great year ahead.

"I think we've established a clear entertainment brand for Microsoft," Stephenson continued. "That's a big win. I'm really proud of our achievements. We've never had a consumer brand in music and video, so coupled with Xbox, we've got a compelling entertainment story and an established internal infrastructure to drive it forward."

Stephenson will become chief marketing officer at Interscope Geffen A&M Records, one of Universal's top labels. His last day at Microsoft is September 4 and he begins working for Interscope three days later.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Michael Jackson's death ruled homicide

The Los Angeles County coroner's finding that the death of Michael Jackson was a homicide could mean criminal charges for his doctor, who told investigators that he administered a mix of powerful drugs to treat the pop star's insomnia hours before his death.

The homicide ruling was based on forensic tests that found the anesthetic propofol combined with at least two sedatives to kill Jackson, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the findings have not been publicly released.

While the finding does not necessarily mean a crime was committed, it means more likely that criminal charges will be filed against Dr. Conrad Murray, the Las Vegas cardiologist who was caring for Jackson when he died June 25 in a rented Los Angeles mansion.

Through his lawyer, Murray has said he administered nothing that "should have" killed Jackson.

Murray told investigators that at the time of the King of Pop's death, he had been trying to wean Jackson off propofol. The doctor said he'd been treating Jackson for insomnia for about six weeks with 50 milligrams of the drug every night via an intravenous drip, a search warrant affidavit said.

Murray said he feared Jackson was becoming addicted to the anesthetic, which is supposed to be used only in hospitals and other advanced medical settings.

The affidavit unsealed in Houston, where Los Angeles police took materials from one of Murray's clinics last month as part of their manslaughter investigation, includes a detailed account of what detectives say Murray told them. Manslaughter is homicide without malice or premeditation.

Murray told detectives that he had lowered the propofol dose to 25 milligrams and added the sedatives lorazepam and midazolam two days prior to Jackson's death, a combination that succeeded in helping the pop star sleep. The next day, Murray said, he cut off the propofol — and Jackson fell asleep with just the two sedatives.

But on June 25, Murray said he tried unsuccessfully to make Jackson sleep with a series of drugs that included a 10-milligram tablet of Valium and repeated injections of two milligrams of lorazepam and two milligrams of midazolam.

When they didn't work, he gave in to Jackson's "repeated demands/requests" for propofol, which the singer called his "milk," according to the affidavit. Murray administered 25 milligrams of the white-colored liquid — a relatively small dose — and finally, Jackson fell asleep.

Murray remained with the sedated Jackson for about 10 minutes, then left for the bathroom, the affidavit said. Less than two minutes later, Murray returned — and found Jackson had stopped breathing.

Cell phone records show three separate calls from Murray's phone for between 11:18 a.m. and 12:05 p.m., the affidavit said. It's not clear who received the calls. Murray had told authorities he was administering CPR during that time.

In a statement posted late Monday on his firm's Web site, Murray's attorney Edward Chernoff questioned the timeline as depicted in the affidavit, calling it "police theory."

"Dr. Murray simply never told investigators that he found Michael Jackson at 11:00 a.m. not breathing," Chernoff said. He declined to comment on the homicide ruling, saying, "We will be happy to address the coroner's report when it is officially released."

The coroner's office has withheld its autopsy findings, citing a request from police to wait until their investigation is complete.

It is no surprise that such a combination of medications could kill someone, said Dr. David Zvara, anesthesia chairman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"All those drugs act in synergy with each other," Zvara said. Adding propofol on top of the other sedatives could have "tipped the balance" by depressing Jackson's breathing and ultimately stopping his heart.

The 25 milligrams of propofol "is not a whopping amount," said Lee Cantrell, director of the San Diego division of the California Poison Control System. It was the cocktail of the other sedatives, known as benzodiazepines, that "may have been the trigger that pushed him over the edge," Cantrell said.

"This is horrible polypharmacy," he said, referring to the interaction among the various drugs. "No one will treat an insomniac like this."

The affidavit, signed by a judge July 20, said that the coroner's office chief medical examiner told police his review of preliminary toxicology results showed "lethal levels of propofol."

Besides the propofol and two sedatives, the coroner's toxicology report found other substances in Jackson's system but they were not believed to have been a factor in the singer's death, the official told the AP.

Murray didn't tell paramedics or doctors at the UCLA hospital where Jackson was rushed about any drugs he administered other than lorazepam and flumazenil, a "rescue drug" to counteract problems from too much lorazepam, according to the affidavit.

It was only during a subsequent interview with Los Angeles Police detectives that Murray gave a more full accounting of the events leading up to the 911 call, the document said.

A call to the coroner's office was not returned Monday. A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles District Attorney's said no case had been presented so the office had nothing to comment on.

The line between safe and dangerous doses of propofol is thin, and according to the drug's guidelines a trained professional must always stay bedside. Home use of propofol is virtually unheard of — safe administration requires both a specially trained anesthesiologist and an array of lifesaving equipment. Murray was trained as a heart doctor, not a pain and sedation specialist.

Murray told investigators he didn't order or buy any propofol, but investigators served a search warrant Aug. 11 at a Las Vegas pharmacy and uncovered evidence showing Murray legally purchased from the store the propofol he gave Jackson on the day he died.

Jackson's family released a statement Monday, saying it has "full confidence" in the legal process and the efforts of investigators. It concludes: "The family looks forward to the day that justice can be served."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Randy Jackson, others to testify about deal

Michael Jackson's brother Randy is expected on the witness stand to testify about why a proposed memorabilia tour may not be the best deal for the King of Pop's estate.

Randy Jackson, an accountant and a lawyer are among those scheduled to testify Friday in Los Angeles. Another probable witness is concert promoter Leonard Rowe, who has been critical of the company that would oversee the exhibit, AEG Live.

Jackson's mother, Katherine, has opposed the AEG deal for several reasons.

AEG wants to time the tour to the opening of a film based on footage of Jackson's final rehearsals that will be released in October.

A judge wants to hear testimony about the proposed deal so that he can decide whether to give it his approval.

©Yahoo! News

Friday, August 14, 2009

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R.I.P. King of POP - You`re in our hearts 4ever....

The Boy Who Would Be King

Before his onstage crotch grabbing, his plastic surgeries, his rumored addictions, and, at the lowest point, his child-molestation accusations, Michael Jackson was known for his talent, not his troubles. And for years, Vanity Fair's Lisa Robinson followed his career, getting to know a singer she describes as "one of the most talented, adorable, enthusiastic, sweet, ebullient performers I'd ever interviewed."

Anwar Hussein/WireImage.comSteve Granitz/

Get a preview of Vanity Fair's feature on the King of Pop:

Robinson interviewed Michael for the first time in 1972 interview at his family's home in Encino, California. MJ was 14 years old.

So what do you like to do in your spare time?
Swim ... play pool ... We don't go much out of the gate because we have [everything] here. When we lived in the other house, we would go to the park toplay basketball, but now we have it here.

See Classic Photos of Michael Jackson

(Michael asks me more questions than I ask him; there are discussions about my maroon nail polish, buying antiques on Portobello Road, the Apollo Theater, Madison Square Garden.)

Do you ever get scared onstage?
No. If you know what you're doing, you're not scared onstage.

Robinson pressed Michael about his personal life in a phone interview in 1977.

Do you go out with girls? Any dates?
No, I don't date, no. I'm not really interested right now. I like girls and everything but [laughs] ... Oh, you think I'm one of those? No! I'm just not that interested right now.

Hear Clips From Lisa Robinson's Interviews With Michael Jackson

Robinson was surprised when he declared in 1984 that the original mix of Thriller, his hit 1982 album, had "sounded like crap."

Oh, it was terrible. And I cried at the listening party. I said, "I'm sorry -- we can't release this." I called a meeting with Quincy [Jones], and everybody at the [record] company was screaming that we had to have it out and there was a deadline, and I said, "I'm sorry, I'm not releasing it." I said, "It's terrible." So we re-did a mix a day. Like a mix a day. And we rested two days, then we did a mixing. We were overworked, but it all came out OK.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Jackson film greenlit; merchandise gets a yellow

LOS ANGELES - A judge greenlit a major Michael Jackson movie deal Monday, and the film is scheduled to be in theaters later this year. The accompanying Michael Jackson merchandise will have to wait — for now.

The film, crafted from hundreds of hours of behind-the-scenes and rehearsal footage shot in Los Angeles weeks before Jackson was to kick off his 50 "This is It" concerts in London, will also feature interviews with Jackson's friends and collaborators. Portions of the movie will be shown in 3-D.

"People who have seen this footage are astounded by the amazing quality of Michael Jackson's performance," said Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. "This historic recording of the last time he sang and danced on stage shows the legendary artist in an incredibly powerful way, with crystal clear images and sound."

Fans will have to wait a bit longer before official Jackson merchandise hits store shelves or a museum exhibit of the singer's memorabilia is displayed.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff delayed approving a pair of lucrative contracts after attorneys for Jackson's mother, Katherine, raised a series of objections. Attorneys spent hours trying to work out a deal, but Beckloff ultimately delayed a ruling and appointed an independent attorney to represent Jackson's three children in estate matters.

It is unclear how much the deals are worth, but attorneys for the companies advocating them said the delay could cost Jackson's heirs a substantial amount of money. Katherine Jackson and her grandchildren are set to receive a combined 80 percent of the pop superstar's estate.

The estate will grow richer with a deal Beckloff approved between Jackson's estate, concert promoter AEG Live and Columbia Pictures, which is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Under the terms of the proposed contract, the film, slated to arrive in theaters on Oct. 30, will have to be screened for Jackson's estate and cannot include any footage that puts the superstar in a bad light.

Burt Levitch, an attorney for Katherine Jackson, expressed concerns that the film will feature Jacksons' three children, but an attorney for AEG Live denied the youngsters were included in the footage.

Columbia Pictures paid $60 million for rights to the film, and the contract states Jackson's estate is slated to receive 90 percent of its profits.

Jackson died on June 25, days before he was set to embark to England for his comeback shows.

Beckloff had until Monday to approve the film and allowed Jackson's mother, Katherine, to review the contracts and raise any objections. Katherine Jackson did not object to the film, but her attorneys have raised questions about other agreements concerning AEG Live and merchandiser Bravado. The estate wants to enter into agreements with the two companies for a museum show of Jackson memorabilia and merchandising.

The memorabilia show would be on display in three cities which have not yet been announced.

A proposed agreement calls for Bravado to receive worldwide rights to Jackson merchandise, including items such as trading cards, apparel and cell phone themes.

Levitch, an attorney for Katherine Jackson, said he has raised several issues with the proposed agreements. He said the he was "not sure (AEG) would have been the first choice" to put on the museum tour.

Katherine Jackson's attorneys have frequently cited possible investigations into AEG's conduct and conflict of interests during court hearings.

Attorneys for the promoter and the current administrators of Jackson's estate say they are unaware of any investigation by police or government regulators. Kathy Jorrie, an attorney for AEG, said the company would comply with any investigative inquiries.

Katherine Jackson's attorneys argued Monday that the singer's estate should own the footage and have control over who uses it after the movie deal is complete.

"Under no circumstances would AEG agree to such a thing," Jorrie said.

As part of agreements pending before the judge, AEG would have rights to use the footage indefinitely.

Howard Weitzman, an attorney representing the estate's current administrators, said some of Katherine Jackson's suggestions are "not acceptable." He said the contracts were aggressively negotiated and there was little room to strike a better deal.

"We feel that we're being second-guessed," Weitzman said. "I'm not sure why."

© Yahoo! Movies

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Alice in Wonderland

ALICE was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, "and what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?'

So she was considering, in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.......

Bruno drops in on Eminem at MTV Awards

Sacha Baron Cohen's newest character, Bruno, landed on top of Eminem at last night's MTV awards - while 'Twilight' took the award for 'Best Film'..

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