Drake’s buzz and co-signs keep getting bigger and bigger. News of this track has been circulating the net over the past few days courtesy of the NMC, and tonight, the track has hit the net. Drake gets features from Eminem, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne on Forever, which is produced by Boi-1da. I guess you could call this the Swagger Like Us of 2009. There’s no doubting Drake’s stardom at this point… Thank Me Later has the potential to be absolutely incredible.
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DJ AM has reportedly been found dead in his New York City apartment, according to multiple media sources, including TMZ and NBC New York. He was 36.
TMZ, citing a police source, reported that DJ AM (real name: Adam Goldstein) was found in his apartment at 5:20 p.m. ET on Friday afternoon (August 28). Citing "sources," the site also claimed that prescription medication bottles had been found near his body. The site also said that Goldstein had not been seen or heard from in days, and that friends who had previously gone to check on him had received no response. When police broke in the door, they reportedly found Goldstein's body.
A New York Police representative told MTV News on Friday that a 36-year-old white male had been found dead at 210 Lafayette Street in New York but had not yet been identified. Calls to DJ AM's rep for confirmation had not been returned at press time.
The news comes just under a year after Goldstein and Travis Barker survived a plane crash that killed four people. Leaving from Columbia, South Carolina, after a performance by the duo, the small Learjet they were on crashed upon takeoff — giving the two musicians serious burns and leaving them in critical condition.
Born in Philadelphia, Goldstein gained fame as a member of the band Crazy Town, best known for their hit song "Butterfly." He performed on albums with the likes of Madonna, Will Smith and Papa Roach, played in concert with Jay-Z, and made a name for himself on the private club circuit while DJing at private parties for the likes of Ashton Kutcher, Jennifer Lopez and Leonardo DiCaprio. Most recently, he had an exclusive contract with a Las Vegas nightclub, and had continued to collaborate with Barker after the crash.
Before his death, Goldstein had filmed a substance-abuse intervention show with MTV called "Gone Too Far" that aimed to warn young people about the perils of drug abuse. The show was scheduled to premiere in October.
Goldstein was a frequent tabloid target because of his relationships with Mandy Moore and Nicole Richie. He was engaged to Richie but the couple split late in 2005.
Joe Jackson, Michael Jackson's father, said that he felt that his son’s death might be the result of “foul play.”
"I just couldn't believe what was happening to Michael. I do believe it was foul play. I do believe that. Yes,” Jackson told ABC News.
A second autopsy on the “King of Pop” has yet to offer any conclusive answers.
Toxicology results have yet to come in, and The L.A. County coroner's office will wait for them before formally listing Michael Jackson’s cause of death. The LAPD is looking specifically at the role prescription drugs may have played in the singer’s death, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Various types of prescription drugs were reportedly recovered from Jackson's home by the detectives, including an anesthetic that's normally used during most surgical procedures. Furthermore, many of MiJac's physicians were contacted for their records, but it's still unclear whether any criminal charges will be filed until the final autopsy reports are revealed.
Joe Jackson has also expressed to ABC News that he has an interest having a "direct role in raising" Michael's three children.
Miami Rapper Pitbull wants the world to be clear on one fact regarding his on-going trial in his hometown: his in court by choice and not by obligation.
The bi-lingual superstar, who recently released his first single "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho), as a Polo Grounds Music recording artist, went on trial in Miami-Dade County Wednesday (July 8) to face DUI charges stemming from a 2007 arrest.
Following several reports in the media about the trial, Pitbull, born Armando Perez, issued a statement through via his attorneys.
“The reports that are circulating in the media regarding my DUI trial are inaccurate and incomplete,” Pitbull told AllHipHop.com. "I’ve chosen to take this case to trial to make sure justice is served.”
The rapper and his legal team maintain that he was “erroneously” arrested on December 21, 2007, when he was clocked driving at 93 mph on the Palmetto Expressway in Miami.
According to reports released to the press after the arrest, Pitbull was visibly intoxicated, demonstrating slurred, rapid speech after initially refusing to step out of his vehicle once stopped.
The police report states that once Pitbull stepped out of the car, officers detected the smell of alcohol on the rapper’s breath, despite his apparent attempt to cover the smell with chewing gum.
Pitbull eventually agreed to a series of field sobriety tests, which he reportedly failed.
His blood alcohol level was not released to the public.
“Mr. Perez is currently in trial defending himself against the untrue and greatly overblown allegations,” added his attorney Joseph Vredevelt. “We intend to finish this trial in the next day and with a favorable result.”
If Vredevelt’s prediction is accurate, a verdict should be handed down later today (July 9).
Longtime fan was among the 8,750 people to obtain tickets.
LOS ANGELES -- For years, Michael Soleta dreamed about seeing Michael Jackson perform onstage, but he was never able to land tickets. Now, Soleta, 19, at least will be able pay his final respects to the late singer.
The California native was one of the 8,750 people to successfully obtain tickets for the public memorial taking place at Staples Center on Tuesday. More than 1.6 million people registered online for the opportunity to attend the service, according to reps for the Jackson family, and a computer-generated program selected who will either see the proceedings live at the Staples Center or in a simulcast across the street at the Nokia Theater.
"I can't believe I'm actually going," Soleta told MTV News not long after he was notified via e-mail, at approximately 6 p.m. PT on Sunday. "Because for most of my life, I always wanted to go to a Michael Jackson concert. And I realized his last tour would be in London, so I wasn't going to that. I was pretty bummed about that, actually. So this is the only way I can be close to him."
Soleta and his mother -- who will be joining him at the memorial -- will be among the thousands heading to the Staples Center on Tuesday. City officials have warned ticket-less fans to stay away from the area, as only those with tickets and the corresponding wristbands will be permitted entry. Reports of a live broadcast outside the arena are false; the best way to view the service is from home, the Los Angeles Police Department has repeatedly urged fans.
Soleta however will be traveling from Fairfield, California, approximately 50 miles north of San Francisco, to see the proceedings. The avid MJ fan (he dressed up like Jackson twice for Halloween, he said) will make the trip to Los Angeles on Monday afternoon, where selected registrants were directed to pick up their tickets at Dodgers Stadium between the hours of 8am and 6pm PT. According to CNN, fans_have already began picking up their tickets and wristbands, one of which is blue and one gold.
Fans were active on social-networking sites like Twitter and Facebook on Sunday as they awaited notification. Posted messages of joy soon began appearing for those receiving tickets; messages dismay for those who didn't.
Soleta was no different. The odds of securing a ticket were estimated at 1 to 182, according to a release sent out by Jackson family reps over the weekend. "I just printed my voucher" Solet Tweeted. "I'm still in shock I was selected."
Additional plans for the public service and a private memorial taking place beforehand were still being developed at press time.
Service will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES — Organizers and representatives for the Jackson family have confirmed memorial services for Michael Jackson will take place Tuesday (July 7) inside the Staples Center. The announcement ended days of speculation about how the King of Pop would be memorialized.
Fans will be able to attend after registering for free tickets at StaplesCenter.com beginning Friday morning, and registration will run until Saturday evening at 6 p.m. On Sunday fans will be notified and receive information on how to pick up tickets on Monday. The registration process is elaborate and has caused the site to crash once already — but the Jackson family insisted on a process that was democratic and fair, taking into consideration the many fans expected to arrive in Los Angeles for the memorial.
"It was our wish to allow as many of Michael's fans to be a part of the memorial, and we wish to thank everyone for their support and understanding at this difficult time," the Jackson family said in a statement.
Only 17,500 tickets will be given away, with 11,000 entrants able to go inside the arena and the remaining 6,500 ushered just across the street to the Nokia Theater where the proceedings will be simulcast. There are no guarantees for fans who register online and only 8,750 people will be selected randomly by a computer-generated program. Each selected fan will receive two tickets and two wristbands.
No further details regarding the service were announced. At a press conference held outside of the Staples Center, Jackson family representative Ken Sunshine said the plans are still being developed. Sunshine said he hopes the ticket process is handed with "dignity" and that tickets not be resold or counterfeited.
L.A. city councilwoman Jan Perry said the city's budget anticipates extraordinary circumstances and will pay for police protection on site. Perry asked interested donors to contact her if they wish to support other anticipated costs. She and a police spokesperson on hand urged fans to not attend the venue without a ticket.
Both parties said should fans not secure tickets, the best place to view the service is from home. Organizers stressed that the services would not be broadcast live outside the venue as previously reported, and again urged fans without tickets to stay away from the area on Tuesday.
MTV, VH1 and VH1 Classic will be airing the Michael Jackson memorial service live beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Jackson's music dominates the Top Pop Catalog, Digital Albums, Digital Songs and Top Comprehensive Albums charts.
Given the news all week of his posthumous sales surge, it comes as no surprise that Michael Jackson is officially the King of Pop charts again.
According to Nielsen SoundScan, Michael Jackson albums and Jackson-related compilations hold the top nine positions on Billboard's Top Pop Catalog chart, all posting remarkable jumps in sales in the days following the singer's death. (SoundScan tracks sales through the close of business on Sunday.)
Jackson himself holds a record eight of the top 10 spots, while a Jackson 5 compilation also landed in the upper tier of the chart. His Number Ones greatest hits package leads the pack at #1, selling more than 108,000 copies, a staggering 2,340 percent sales increase. The Essential Michael Jackson and Thriller follow at #2 and #3, selling more than 102,000 and 101,000 copies, respectively.
His breakthrough Off the Wall album is at #4, selling more than 33,000 copies nearly 30 years after it was initially released. The Jackson 5's Ultimate Collection is next at #5, with sales of more than 18,000 copies. His 1987 Bad album returns at #6 (17,000 sold); Dangerous is at #7 (14,000); HIStory — Volume 1 is at #8 (12,000); and the 2004 Jackson box set, The Ultimate Collection, lands at #9 (11,000).
The lone non-Jackson album in the top 10 is a reissue of the "Woodstock" movie soundtrack, which sold 8,000 copies to snag the #10 spot.
All in all, Jackson's solo albums sold more than 415,000 copies this past week, according to SoundScan, an amazing number, considering his titles sold a combined 10,000 copies in the week prior to his death. The one-week total is also nearly 40 percent more than what his catalog had sold in all of 2009.
Of the 415,000 albums sold, 58 percent were digital downloads, which means Jackson has set another record: He's the first artist to hold six of the top 10 slots on the Digital Albums chart, including the top four spots. He also holds a staggering 25 songs on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs chart, smashing a record set by David Cook last year.
Early SoundScan reports have the Black Eyed Peas' The E.N.D. claiming the top spot on next week's Billboard's Top 200, with sales of more than 88,000 copies. If that figure holds true, this week marks the first time that a catalog album has sold more copies than the album that sits at #1 on the Top 200.
Catalog albums — defined by Billboard as being albums that are more than 18 months old and have fallen below position 100 on the Billboard Top 200 chart — are ineligible to appear on the Top 200 albums chart. They can chart on the all-encompassing Top Comprehensive Albums list, where, once again, Jackson is on top, holding the top three positions on the chart, followed by The E.N.D. at #4.
Michael Jackson's impact on the pop-culture world was so powerful, several celebrities are already reacting to his death, not just with statements, but with songs. On Friday morning (June 26), 50 Cent dropped two songs paying tribute to the King of Pop. And on Thursday night, just after learning of MJ's passing, the Game orchestrated a symphony of performers to give thanks and reflect on Jackson.
Game's tribute track dedicated to Michael Jackson called "Better on the Other Side," debuted this morning on Los Angeles radio station Power 106. To assist on the track the rapper phoned in a few homies, including Chris Brown, Diddy, Polow Da Don, Mario Winans, Usher and Boyz II Men.
The piano-accompanied soundscape starts off with Diddy testifying about M.J.'s influence. "I believed I can do anything," he says. "You made the world dance. You made the music come to life."
Then a thunderous bass drops in, led by Chris Brown's vocals on the chorus: "This the type of song that makes the angels cry/ Look up in the sky and I wonder why/ Why you had to go, go/ I know it's better on the other side."
The DJ Khalil-produced track made its debut on the morning radio show "Big Boy's Neighborhood" as well as on Game affiliate DJ Skee's satellite radio show, "Skeetox."
"I told Game yesterday that Michael Jackson died, and he didn't believe me. He said, 'I'll call you right back,' " Skee told MTV News. "Then this morning, he hit me with this track, and I immediately started blasting it out. Game was in the studio with Diddy at the time I called. He reached out to Chris Brown and Usher and also got Boyz II Men, who so happened to be recording in the same studio."
On his verses Game reflects on the pop singer's influence on him growing up. "Who's Michael Jackson?/ You're Michael Jackson/ I'm Michael Jackson/ We all Michael Jackson/ I guess what I'm asking is/ Everybody bow their head/ For a legend, don't breathe for a second."
The Game continues with his heartfelt tribute and compares himself to Jackson. "Imma tell you my story/ Never had a family that close/ Never seen Berry Gordy walking through Interscope/ But just like me, they always had Mike in a scope/ No matter what you say imma love him and he's still dope/ Let me take you back to '85 when I was in a zone/ Dancing for my momma, 'Thriller' jacket with the zippers on."
"Other Side" concludes with one last statement from Diddy: "People can say what they want about you. We gonna remember the miracles that you showed us. Through your music, through your dance. You were the one that made us realize that you are the world. Through us your legacy lives on, Mike Jackson."
Rap Phenomenon® TV learns: Show included floating orbs, aerial dancers.
Following Michael Jackson's death on Thursday, 750,000 people who bought tickets to see him perform at the O2 in London will never get the chance to experience the stunning visual and musical spectacle the singer had in store for them. But, according to reports, AEG Live, the promoter of the "This Is It" 50-date residency, recorded enough of Jackson's rehearsal material to release at least one live CD/DVD.
Entertainment industry Web site The Wrap reports that Jackson's final rehearsal at the Staples Center on Wednesday was recorded in multi-camera, high-definition video and multi-track audio. The recording could be released as the singer's final album, according to unnamed sources close to the now scuttled tour, which was reportedly due to go around the globe following the O2 residency. The recordings were made as part of a deal cut by AEG Live with Jackson, which included plans to produce a live album and DVD of the singer performing his greatest hits. If the reports are true, the recording could help AEG Live recoup some of the estimated tens of millions of dollars it is expected to lose as a result of Jackson's untimely death. A spokesperson for AEG Live could not be reached for comment at press time.
The Wrap reported that Jackson had failed to appear at "many" of the scheduled rehearsals over the past two months, but he did appear at the full run-through on Wednesday in anticipation of the July 13 kick-off of the London shows. The final rehearsal reportedly included dancers, musicians and aerial performers, as well as Jackson suspended from a crane at one point and a 3-D view of a "Thriller"-inspired haunted mansion.
On Monday (June 29), USA Today pulled back the curtain on the closely guarded rehearsals, describing an over-the-top Jackson extravaganza that was to feature floating orbs, a flaming bed, lots of pyrotechnics, 20-foot-tall puppets, giant spiders and Jackson breaking out all his signature dance moves.
"He was trying, and succeeding, in structuring the biggest, most spectacular live production ever seen," said Johnny Caswell, co-owner of CenterStaging in Burbank, California, where Jackson worked on the show from late March to early June before shifting rehearsals to larger venues, according to the paper.
"By the time he left my facility, he had graduated through several studios and was on a soundstage taking up 10,000 square feet," Caswell said. "They moved to The Forum, outgrew that and needed the height at Staples. The show was getting so damn big, they couldn't finish it in time. That's why they had to delay." Caswell said reports that Jackson had delayed the start of the engagement due to health problems were "nonsense," explaining that the ballooning size of the production caused the push back.
While it has been reported that Jackson had been taking a number of powerful prescription medications prior to his death and that he died following cardiac arrest, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office has deferred determining his cause of death pending further toxicology tests.
Despite some suggestions that the frail singer with a history of medical problems might not have been strong enough to complete his first full-fledged tour in 12 years, according to USA Today, he was very engaged during Wednesday's final rehearsal at the Staples Center, where he worked with a crew of more than 80 dancers, choreographers, band members and crew to polish the show.
Jackson began what would be his final rehearsal by putting on a headset and walking to an elevated platform to sing the song "Dangerous," at first a cappella, then joined by his band.
"Misfits of Magic" founder Ed Alonzo, who worked on illusions for Britney Spears' Circus tour, joined the Jackson show six weeks ago. He said he designed a number of stunning effects for the King of Pop, including a glowing glass sphere that would float around Jackson and then into the crowd during the opening song, 1982's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'." A version of "Dirty Diana" was to feature a flaming bed with a pole-dancing aerialist "playing the part of the fire," Alonzo said. After the fire woman pursued Jackson around the bed, she would tie him to the bed posts with gold rope, and a sheet of red fabric would spring up in front of him as he struggled in silhouette. When the sheet fell, it would be revealed that it was the woman struggling, not Jackson, and he would then materialize on a stage in the middle of the arena.
"It was an amazing show," Alonzo said. "The thing was just days away from being perfected. It was incredible. Even though it was just a walk-through with the dancers, his moves were dead-on — the same Michael Jackson we (saw) through the years in music videos." Alonzo said that while Jackson seemed underweight, he appeared to be in good health and was energetic during the rehearsal. Jackson's manager, Frank DiLeo, told the Hollywood Reporter that after finishing the final run-through around midnight on Wednesday, Jackson was feeling good about the show. "He found me and said, 'Frank, I am so happy. ... This is really our time.' He put his arm around me," DiLeo said.
Katherine Jackson appointed legal guardian of Prince, Paris and Prince Michael II.
Among the many unresolved issues that have emerged since Michael Jackson's death on Thursday is what will become of his three children, Prince, 12; Paris, 11; and Prince Michael II, 7. The children were under the full custody of their father, and since his death, they have been staying with their grandparents, Katherine and Joseph Jackson, at the couple's Encino, California, estate.
A short time later, The Associated Press reported that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff approved her request for temporary guardianship of the children but did not grant her authority to serve as guardian of the children's estate.
In making the case for guardianship, the petition filed on Monday reportedly states that the children have "no relationship with their biological mother" and that they are currently in the care of Katherine, with whom they have a "long-established relationship." Debbie Rowe, the mother of the two elder children, was briefly married to Jackson but gave up her custody rights after she and Jackson divorced in 1999, and the petition lists her whereabouts as "unknown." The identity of the mother of Jackson's youngest child, commonly referred to as "Blanket," has never been publicly revealed, and on the petition, the box next to mother is checked as "none."
The petition says that the value of Jackson's assets is not known yet and does not mention if he left a will, but it states that Katherine would be the best guardian for the children because they are "currently residing with paternal grandmother. They have a long-established relationship with paternal grandmother and are comfortable in her care." According to the petition, it is "not known at this time" if Rowe agrees with the action. A hearing to determine whether Katherine will be the children's permanent guardian is set for August 3.
UsMagazine.com reported that Katherine Jackson was spotted at a Los Angeles Target store over the weekend, stocking up on toys, sleeping bags and other supplies, and an attorney for the family said they had not yet heard from Rowe in the wake of Jackson's death. Her former attorney told the magazine last week that she was "inconsolable" about the death of her ex-husband.
For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit "Michael Jackson Remembered."