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Category: Michael Jackson

Poll: Was Chris Brown faking it at the BET Awards?

June 27, 2010 |  9:31 pm

When Chris Brown appeared to fall apart while attempting to perform Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" at the BET Awards, some observers wondered: Was Brown overcome with genuine grief for the loss of Jackson or was he staging a play for sympathy in the hope of being forgiven for beating up Rihanna?

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Or did his breakdown have nothing to do with Jackson or faking a ploy for sympathy? Was he really just overwhelmed that he was back singing legit again at a major industry event?

Chris Brown's performance at the BET Awards was his first major music gig in a long time. He was picked to perform because he's widely considered to be a protégé of Michael Jackson's and there was enormous curiosity over how he'd do — and be greeted by the audience — when he took the stage. If his career is truly over, he might not get a chance like this again to gain sympathetic attention.

After describing what Chris Brown did at the BET Awards, MTV.com solicited comments from readers. Quite a few posters wondered if he was play-acting. A poster named Kelli asked, "Was it for real, or was he trying to get attention for being softer? I'm sure he feels bad about Michael's death, but is he just trying to get away from the bad boy image with the crying thing?"


Photo: Chris Brown at BET Awards. Credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images.

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Farrah Fawcett missing from 'In Memoriam' at Oscars

March 10, 2010 | 12:35 pm

Farrah Fawcett Extremities Oscars Academy Awards Though Farrah Fawcett's main claim to fame was television, the decision to leave her out of the "In Memoriam" segment of the Oscars has caused quite a stir. Fawcett appeared in 14 feature films in her lifetime. Although she was first featured as eye candy in box-office bombs like "Myra Breckinridge" (1970), she went on to earn a Golden Globe nom for her starring role in "Extremities" (1986) and reap an Indie Spirit bid for her performance opposite Oscar nominee Robert Duvall in "The Apostle" (1997). One of her final film roles was as the estranged wife of Richard Gere in Robert Altman's "Dr. T and the Women" (2000).

Among those overlooked by the academy in addition to Fawcett were Bea Arthur and Gene Barry -- also best known for their TV work -- and Oscar nominee Richard Todd ("The Hasty Heart"). Academy executive director Bruce Davis told People, "There's nothing you can say to people, particularly to family members, within a day or two of the show that helps at all. They tend to be surprised and hurt, and we understand that and we're sorry for it." And he said he thought it more appropriate that Fawcett had been honored for her "remarkable television work" by the Emmys last year.

It is understandable that the academy has to winnow a list of over a hundred possible names down to a manageable number -- 33 this year. However, that time constraint makes the inclusion of Michael Jackson -- who starred in just one film in his lifetime ("The Wiz") -- even more questionable. Surely -- using the same logic as with Fawcett -- the tribute to Jackson at the recent Grammys should have sufficed.

Our forum posters have pointed out this is not the first year for oversights in this Oscars segment. In 2002, Oscar nominees Dorothy McGuire ("Gentleman's Agreement") and Peggy Lee ("Pete Kelly's Blues") were left out while R&B singer Aaliyah, who starred in just one film -- "Romeo Must Die" -- before her death, was featured. And in 2004, Oscar nominee Martha Scott ("Our Town") was not included.

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Photo: "Extremities" DVD cover. Credit: MGM

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Oscar voter: Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' will be nominated for best picture

November 1, 2009 |  6:28 pm

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A veteran Oscar voter predicts Michael Jackson's "This Is It" will be nominated for best picture based upon its reception at today's academy screening. He e-mails Gold Derby this report, "Just attended Sunday afternoon screening of 'This Is It' at AMPAS in Goldwyn Theater before a capacity audience (1,000 seats) to experience the most enthusiastic response I've every witnessed in 40 years of academy screenings. Similar to but better than the reaction given to 'Chicago' a few years ago  Audience broke into applause at least 10 times. They were 'mesmerized' and gave film an enormous reception as credits rolled. The editing is brilliant. I predict it will be the first doc to ever make the best picture nomination list, especially now that there are 10 best pic noms. I also consider the work 'a gift to the world.' "

What do other people think? We asked Gold Derby readers in a poll that received more than 1,300 responses. See results here.

Continue reading »

Poll: Do you think Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' will be nominated for best picture at the Oscars?

October 28, 2009 | 11:17 am

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Confusion reigns over whether the Michael Jackson concert documentary "This Is It" may compete at the Oscars. The answer is, well, complicated — like Michael Jackson himself.

As we reported a few days ago, "This Is It" may not compete in the next race for best documentary feature because it missed the deadline — it didn't play in a theater in New York and Los Angeles for seven days prior to Aug. 31.

However, "This Is It " may compete in other Oscar races this year, including best picture. Why not, eh? Reviews are strong. Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times) calls it "extraordinary." Elysa Gardner of USA Today gave it three out of four stars, calling it "Equal parts thriller, off the wall, HIStory," adding that it "offers glimpses of Michael Jackson's bygone greatness, and poignant suggestions of what might have been."

But, alas, no documentary has ever been nominated in the past. Some quite famously tried and (disastrously) failed, including "Hoop Dreams" and "Fahrenheit 9/11." Michael Moore refused to enter "Fahrenheit 9/11" in the documentary category because he feared that its presence might dilute its chances of landing in the loftier category. That ploy revealed serious Oscar naivete, considering the two categories have vastly different voting systems. Nominees for best documentary feature are chosen by a relatively small screening committee, not the full academy electorate, which selects the best-picture lineup. In other words, it didn't run the risk of appearing twice on the average academy member's ballot, thus splitting its votes.

This year, there will be 10 nominees instead of the usual five, of course, so maybe this could be it for "This Is It"?

Photo credit: Sony

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Michael Jackson uproar: Do you think it will hurt 'This Is It' at the Grammys?

October 13, 2009 |  9:01 am

Michael Jackson This Is It Paul Anka Grammy Awards Entertainment News 2468097 Just hours after the release of the new Michael Jackson single "This Is It" Monday, Paul Anka established his right to co-author credit on the song. Turns out the tune -- then titled "I Never Heard" -- was penned by Anka and Jackson back in 1983 when they were working together on songs for a new Anka album. As Reuters reports, "Both 'I Never Heard' and 'This Is It' share the same vocal and piano line, although the latter track boasts new overdubs from Jackson's brothers."

Paul Anka could be in for quite a payday now that he owns half of the copyright in "This Is It." But will it finally win the veteran singer-songwriter a Grammy Award? Though Paul Anka enjoyed a string of hits in the early years of the Grammys, he has never contended for any of the major awards. He was snubbed even for his 1969 English language lyrics for "My Way" -- a signature song for then Grammy favorite Frank Sinatra.

Critical response to "This Is It" has been mixed at best. Jon Pareles of the New York Times said: "No funk here: it’s the posthumous, all-sweetness-and-light Jackson that his family is determined to sell. But at least he sounds human, especially at the end, where he lets the vocal line take a few tentative leaps." Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune said, "Jackson cycles through a verse, pre-chorus and chorus several times during the track's 3:46 duration but never really develops any of the initial ideas." And for Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times, "His high tenor billows and crests, but never breaks; this is ecstasy without resolution. It feels great, but unfinished. It simultaneously makes you want it to keep going and to become something else, something more."

Photo: Poster for "This Is It" film. Credit: Sony Pictures / AFP / Getty Images

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Michael Jackson news: No Emmy, but maybe Oscar or Grammy?

July 22, 2009 | 11:32 am

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News that the TV networks have balked at AEG's attempt to milk them for $20 million to use Michael Jackson's "This Is It" rehearsal footage for a tube special means there will be no special – so nothing to enter into Emmy competition. The reason the networks pooh-poohed the footage, by the way, was because it didn't feature Michael Jackson. Just outtakes from other scenes!

Rehearsal footage featuring Jackson is being hoarded for the feature documentary, directed by choreographer Kenny Ortega, which will be released to theaters this year, thus being Oscar eligible. The docu will include three music videos, one a newly digitized version of "Thriller," plus two totally new works too. The latter two will certainly be Grammy eligible.

Photo: Joel Ryan / Associated Press

RELATED LINKS

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Continue reading »

Can Jennifer Hudson's duet with Michael Jackson win a Grammy?

July 8, 2009 | 12:25 pm

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Of all the musical highlights at the memorial service to Michael Jackson, none was more bone-chilling than Jennifer Hudson's rendition of "Will You Be There." She belted it out with that same sky-shattering bravado that earned her an Oscar for crooning "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" in "Dreamgirls," and the performance was magically enhanced by the addition of Michael Jackson's whispered words, "In my darkest hour, in my deepest despair, will you still care? Will you be there?"

Not only was it expert song craftsmanship, but it was a cry to heaven freighted with extra poignancy knowing that the tragic loss of the King of Pop was being acknowledged artistically by a major new star who recently suffered the tragic loss of her family members.

Twice in recent years, the voices of living and dead artists were merged into recordings that won  record of the year at the Grammys: "Unforgettable" with Natalie and Nat King Cole (1991) and "Here We Go Again" with Norah Jones and Ray Charles (2004).

Even if Jennifer Hudson's duet with Michael Jackson isn't issued as a single, it will still be Grammy eligible as an electronic recording available via download if released by iTunes and other sources.

Photo: Elektra Records

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Poll: What is Michael Jackson's greatest song?

July 8, 2009 | 10:58 am

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Only two of Michael Jackson's tunes won the Grammy for record of the year ("Beat It," "We Are the World") and he only, technically, received the trophy for one of them ("Beat It – the prize for "We Are the World" went to USA for Africa). Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie shared the Grammy for best song (bestowed to the songwriter; best record goes to the recording artist) for "We Are the World." Those were his only top Grammys for individual tunes.

Did the Grammys get it right? Is either "Beat It" or "We Are the World" Jackson's greatest song, or does another one beat them?

Not included among choices below are songs Michael Jackson didn't write:  "I'll Be There" (Berry Gordy, Bob West, Hal Davis, Willie Hutch), "Man in the Mirror" (Glen Ballard, Siedah Garrett), "Rock With You" (Rod Temperton), "She's Out of My Life" (Tom Bahler), "Thriller" (Rod Temperton) and "You Are Not Alone" (R. Kelly).


Photo: Joel Ryan / Associated Press

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Was Michael Jackson cheated at the Grammys?

July 8, 2009 | 10:55 am

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Michael Jackson may have sung "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," but did he get enough Grammy Awards? Michael Jackson won 13 times, including best album ("Thriller"), record ("Beat It") and song ("We Are the World").

But three artists won twice as much – or more. Chicago Symphony Orchestra conductor Georg Solti holds the record (31), followed by Quincy Jones (27) and Alison Krauss (26).

It's hard to begrudge some artists their Grammy bounty: Vladimir Horowitz (25), Stevie Wonder (22), U2 (22), Henry Mancini (20), Aretha Franklin (18) and Itzhak Perlman (15). Others just seem rather Grammy greedy, if you ask me: Vince Gill (20), Pat Metheny and the Pat Metheny Group (17) and – biggest outrage in the music-awards game – Jimmy Sturr (18). The National Academy of Recording Artists has been so embarrassed by Sturr's automatic wins for best polka album every year that it just nixed the category completely.

But then maybe Michael Jackson's Grammy take isn't so modest, considering that the Beatles won only seven times. And the King of Pop reigned much higher than music's other King: Elvis Presley won only three Grammys, all in the gospel category for now-forgotten recordings.

Photo: Ken Hively / L.A. Times

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Flashback: Michael Jackson's historic Grammy triumph for 'Thriller'

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Flashback: Michael Jackson's first solo Grammy nominations

July 7, 2009 | 10:36 am

After receiving two losing Grammy bids during the 1970s as part of the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson competed solo for the first time at the ceremony held in January 1980.

Jackson reaped two nominations for "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" – best male R&B vocal performance and best disco recording. He won the R&B prize, but lost the latter trophy to disco's first queen, Gloria Gaynor ("I Will Survive").

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Flashback: Michael Jackson at the 1988 Grammys

Flashback: Michael Jackson's historic Grammy triumph for 'Thriller'

Will Michael and Janet Jackson help the BET Awards to win an Emmy?

 

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Quiz: Can you name Michael Jackson's Grammy noms for best album?

July 6, 2009 |  9:02 am

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Only once did Michael Jackson win the top Grammy Award for best album of the year — for "Thriller" (1983), which beat "Let's Dance" (David Bowie), "An Innocent Man" (Billy Joel), "Synchronicity" (The Police) and "Flashdance" (soundtrack).

Two of Michael Jackson's other LPs were nominated for best album. Can you name them? Were they "Off the Wall," "Bad," "Dangerous," "HIStory: Past, Present or Future" or "Invincible"? To see the answer, click the "Continue Reading" link below.

Jackson won a total of 13 Grammys, including best record ("Beat It," 1983) and best song ("We Are the World," 1985). "We Are the World" also won best record, but the award, technically, went to USA for Africa. The Grammys noted its music credit as "various artists."

Continue reading »

Michael Jackson Grammy quiz: Can you beat it?

July 5, 2009 |  3:43 am

Michael Jackson only won the Grammy for best record of the year once – for "Beat It."

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Well, OK, maybe twice, if we count "We Are the World," which we should. Michael Jackson shared the separate, mirror award for best song with Lionel Richie for having penned the tune, but the official winner listed for best record (which goes to the recording artist) that year was "USA for Africa (various artists)."

Only one other time was Michael Jackson ever nominated for best record at the Grammys. For which tune?

1.) "Billie Jean"
2.) "Just Can't Stop Loving You"
3.) "Heal the World"
4.) "Man in the Mirror"
5.) "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"
6.) "You Are Not Alone"

To see the answer, click the "Continue Reading" link below.

Continue reading »

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