2008 Archived News

02/20/2008: Michael Jackson Moonwalks Up Music Charts

NEW YORK, Feb. 20 -- Thriller 25 -- the newly-expanded deluxe 25th anniversary edition of Michael Jackson's Thriller, the world's best-selling album of all-time -- is America's #2 Top-Selling Album this week, more than a quarter century after the album's original release. Already shaping up as one of the hottest albums of 2008, Thriller 25 has rocketed into the Top 5 (or better) in a variety of territories across the planet following its worldwide release the week of February 11.

With first week's sales in the United States totaling 165,805 units, Thriller 25 enters the Billboard Top Pop Catalog chart at #1. (During the past 52 week period, the average first week's sales for an album hitting #1 on the Top Pop Catalog chart has been 16.6 thousand pieces; Thriller 25 entered the chart with 10x that number. Because of a technicality in the rules of Billboard charting, Thriller 25 is ineligible to chart on the Top 200. Based on first week's sales, Thriller 25, if eligible, would have entered the Top 200 at #2, nestled between Jack Johnson at #1 and Amy Winehouse at #3.)

Michael Jackson's iconic music film for "Thriller" is currently the #1 music video download on iTunes.

With more than one million copies of Thriller 25 shipped around the world, and re-orders already flooding in, the new edition of Michael Jackson's classic collection has hit #1 in France; #1 in Belgium; #2 in Germany; #2 in Australia; #2 in the Netherlands; #2 in Norway (Thriller's highest position ever in that country); #2 in Sweden; #2 in Switzerland; #3 in the UK; #3 in Denmark; #3 in New Zealand; #4 in Spain; #5 in Austria; #5 in Ireland; #6 in the Czech Republic; and #6 in Italy.

Global response to the release of Thriller 25, the newly expanded deluxe 25th anniversary edition of Michael Jackson's Thriller, the world's top- selling album of all-time, reached a fever pitch across the planet with surprise hit singles, an ongoing 40-episode "ThrillerCast" podcast event, the premiere of the "Thrillicious" Sobe Life Water ad campaign at the Super Bowl, the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Michael Jackson at the NRJ Music Awards at Cannes and a host of upcoming events and surprises.

In one of the most groundbreaking aspects of the Thriller 25 campaign, fans will soon be able to go online and star in Michael's signature "Thriller" video. Using newly developed technology from innovative media company Big Stage, fans can create photo-realistic 3-D avatars of themselves to be inserted into Michael's role in the classic clip. (Full details TBA.)

The Michael Jackson Thriller 25th anniversary celebration runs throughout 2008 with a multi-faceted global marketing campaign featuring high-profile television, radio and online events around the world and the major re-launch of Michael's official website, www.michaeljackson.com

Originally released in the US on November 30, 1982 by Epic Records, Thriller, Michael Jackson's sixth solo album and second with producer Quincy Jones, first entered the Billboard Top 200 album chart at #11 in December 1982. The original Thriller went on to spend an astounding 80 consecutive weeks in the American Top 10, 37 of those at #1, while making history as the first and only record to be America's top-selling album two years running (1983 and 1984). Thriller has been certified 27x platinum by the RIAA, giving it Double Diamond Award status in the US. In 1985, the Guinness Book of Records named Thriller the Best Selling Album of All Time, an achievement which remains unsurpassed to this day.

Source: Legacy Media Relations / Sony BMG

01/17/2008: Kapon Case Against Michael Dismissed

A lawsuit brought against Michael Jackson by a 22-year-old man whose testimony was characterized as "the ravings of an unbalanced celebrity stalker" by the singer's lawyers, was dismissed Monday after the plaintiff failed to show up for the start of his trial.

"I think the judge realized how crazy the lawsuit was," Jackson attorney Thomas C. Mundell told reporters outside the courtroom after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rold Treu granted his motion to toss the case.

In his original lawsuit filed in January 2006 in Orange County, and then refiled in Los Angeles that March, Daniel Kapon accused Jackson of a litany of sins, including child molestation, assault, battery, false imprisonment, plagiarism and fraud.

Kapon stated in his complaint that, starting in 1987, when he was 2, Jackson started molesting him and over the next 12 years subjected him to numerous charges. To add insult to injury, Jackson then stole song ideas from him between 1987 and 1997, Kapon claimed.

Treu tossed out a handful of allegations in December 2006, including everything related to musical thievery, but let accusations of assault, battery, false imprisonment and a sexual battery cause of action stand. On Thursday, the judge granted a motion filed by Kapon's most recent attorney, Barry Fischer, to be relieved as counsel. Fischer said that he hadn't heard from Kapon since November and didn't know whether he is "ill, dead or simply refusing to respond."

The lawyer filed a missing persons report with the L.A. Police Department on Jan. 3 and attached it to his request to step down.

According to court documents filed Dec. 17 by Jackson's camp, Kapon killed what was left of his credibility when he was deposed last month.

At the time, he testified that he fathered Jackson's two oldest children, Prince and Paris. "He was obsessed with geniuses and blood lines and he told me that he wanted to continue my blood line, which he believed to be related to the Rothschilds," Kapon said.

Kapon's mother was in Jackson's "Thriller" video, the plaintiff stated, and the platinum-selling artist later fell "madly in love" with her. He continued to include that his mother swapped vows with the entertainer multiple times. Elizabeth Taylor, Celine Dion, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Beyoncé Knowles and Diana Ross were among the guests at their various weddings, Kapon said.

Per Kapon's complaint, it was after Jackson fell for his mom that he molested Kapon on and off for 12 years, both at Jackson's Encino, California, home and at his famed Neverland Ranch.

Also according to the Dec. 17 filing, at another point during the deposition, Kapon claimed to have seen Jackson dining with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro at a New York restaurant.

"These are not good-faith deposition answers," Mundell wrote in his filing. "They are the ravings of an unbalanced celebrity stalker."

Source: MJJ Community/eonline