Remembering The “King Of Pop” Five Years Later

(Photo: courtesy of drafthouse.com)

(Photo: courtesy of drafthouse.com)

Five years ago today the world lost arguably the most popular and influential pop-rock artist of all time. On June 25, 2009, Michael Jackson, then 50 years old, passed away. His death caused a world-wide emotional outpouring of grief not seen since the death of Elvis Presley in 1977. It seemed as if the world came to a standstill as media outlets dedicated themselves to covering the details of Jackson’s death and the internet slowed to a crawl as websites such as TMZ and the Los Angeles Times became overloaded and crashed due to the overwhelming volume of searches for “Michael Jackson.”

On the 5th anniversary of his death, however, we at Karaoke Cloud would prefer to celebrate Michael’s life and career, and the magic he shared with billions around the world.

It was apparent from a very early age that Michael was destined for superstardom. He began his musical career at the age of 11 joining his brothers as a member of the Jackson 5. Famous for such hits as “I’ll Be There,” “ABC,” and “Dancing Machine,” the Jackson 5 was the first group in music history to have every one of their first four singles reach the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

While his early attempts at a solo career didn’t exactly soar, On August 10, 1979 Michael released Off The Wall, initiating a meteoric rise to the very top of the music industry. Then, three years later, came the record of all records. In November of 1982, Michael released Thriller and ignited a firestorm in pop-culture that still burns five years after his death.

To this day, Thriller, which won a record-breaking 8 Grammy Awards in 1984, continues to hold on to the distinction as the largest selling album worldwide in the history of the music industry with more than 70 million sold. Singles from the album such as “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” and the title track, “Thriller” have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. Yet another record held by the King. And of course, there was THE definitive music video…

From this point forward the name “Michael Jackson” became synonymous with pop music. Including Off The Wall and Thriller, five of Michael’s albums are still considered some of the top selling records of all time (Bad, Dangerous, and HIStory comprise the other three). Throughout his iconic career, Jackson sold an estimated 750 million albums worldwide, released 13 number one singles, won 13 Grammy Awards and the AMA’s Artist of the Century Award, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame… twice!

The songs. The moves. The performances. There’s never been anyone else like Michael Jackson. From little kids born decades after his heyday to pop superstars such as Justin Timberlake and Usher, MJ has inspired millions to dance and sing with all their hearts. While his personal life was filled with controversy, it’s impossible to deny the unrivaled talent and sheer charisma that was embodied by the King of Pop. His music and legacy will live on.

Billie Jean… On Beer Bottles? You’ve never heard MJ like this!

The Bottle Boys covering "Under The Sea" (Photo: courtesy of YouTube)

The Bottle Boys covering “Under The Sea” (Photo: courtesy of YouTube)

Despite his untimely death, Michael Jackson sure has been in the news a lot lately. From the release of his second posthumous album, Xscape, to an amazing, if controversial “live” holographic performance at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, MJ’s ghost is seemingly everywhere. Now, five guys who call themselves “The Bottle Boys” have channeled his spirit with a collection of… beer bottles?

A viral video of the group performing the late superstar’s classic “Billie Jean” on perfectly “tuned” beer bottles has hit YouTube and is quickly becoming a sensation. I think it’s a safe bet to say you’ve never heard Michael Jackson quite like this before.

This is far from the Denmark based quintet’s first performance as they have covered everything from Christmas songs to Lady Gaga. They also appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2013, thrilling the crowd, but receiving less than a warm welcome from perpetual party-pooper Simon Cowell.

OK, so they may never win a Grammy, but that’s not always the goal, is it? These guys are having fun and entertaining people both live and on YouTube. “Billie Jean” is their most recent cover and it has received almost half a million views in eight days. Simon might not be a fan, but then fun is usually best recognized by those who don’t have a stick up their bum.

“Live” Michael Jackson Performance Wows at Billboard Awards!

The immortal Michael Jackson gives an amazing posthumous "live" performance at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards (photo: popsugar.com)

The immortal Michael Jackson gives an amazing posthumous “live” performance at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards (photo: popsugar.com)

It’s as if he never died. Michael Jackson has been turning heads and making headlines over the past several weeks, just like he did before his tragic and untimely death in June of 2009. His new hit single “Love Never Felt So good” (performed with Justin Timberlake) debuted at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100, the official video has reached over 9.5 million views on VEVO, and the parent album, Xscapeis currently vying for the top spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

To top it off, Jackson rocked the Billboard Music Awards last night with a “live” holographic performance of another track from the Xscape album, “Slave To The Rhythm.”

The performance brought out an array of emotional responses, both positive and negative. While many MJ fans were tearful over the chance to see their idol on stage one more time, many others took to Twitter to voice their displeasure over the idea that the music industry continues to exploit Michael and make money at his expense.

This isn’t the first time a deceased music icon has been resurrected via modern technology. Back in 2007, Celine Dion performed a duet side-by-side with “The King,” Elvis Presley on American Idol. And in 2012, Coachella thrilled concert-goers with an amazing holographic performance from Tupac as he walked the stage and performed with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre (NSFW).

With how quickly technology continues to improve and break through previously set barriers, iconic rock stars of the past truly are becoming immortal… whether they want to be or not.

The Sincerest Form Of Flattery: Timberlake’s ultimate video tribute to the “King of Pop.”

(Photo: usatoday.com)

(Photo: usatoday.com)

It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that’s the case, and I tend to agree that it is, then the new video for Michael Jackson‘s posthumous collaborative single, “Love Never Felt So Good,” is the most flattering tribute of all time!

The awesome video features Justin Timberlake along with several talented dancers performing some of Jackson’s most iconic moves. It also shows multiple clips from previous videos of the king himself pulling off the same moves as only he could.

From “Billie Jean” to “Bad,” the moves are all there, and while this is technically a Justin Timberlake video, the focus is on the amazing group of lesser known dancers who fill the screen with their homage to the late King of Pop.

Michael’s popularity shows no signs of subsiding as “Love Never Felt So Good” hit the Billboard Top 20 in its first week of release. The parent album, Xscape, was released Wednesday (5/13) and is expected to sell 140,000-150,000 copies by the close of the week, landing it in the #2 spot on the Billboard charts and proving that we will always remember one of the most beloved entertainers of all time.

 

 

Death Can’t Stop The “King Of Pop!”

MJ is unstoppable! (photo: thrilltheworldnyc.com)

MJ is unstoppable! (photo: thrilltheworldnyc.com)

In June of 2009 the world lost arguably the most popular and beloved pop-music artist of all time… or so we thought. Apparently, death ain’t got $@%# on Michael Jackson or the proliferation of true talent as the “King of Pop” prepares to release his second full album from beyond the grave!

Xscape is due for release on May 13, 2014 and includes eight previously unreleased tracks for which Michael had completed vocals before his death. In a collaboration between top producers such as Timberland and Rodney Jerkins, the tracks have been “contemporized” and prepared for release in the modern market. But why wait?! Check out MJ’s highly anticipated collaboration with Justin Timberlake, “Love Never Felt So Good,” right here!

Jackson accomplished a lot of firsts in his career. He was the first black artist ever to have a music video aired on MTV, the first person to sell more than a million downloads in a single week, and the first to surpass 1 billion (yes, billion) online video views. While he may not be the first artist to release albums posthumously, could he be the first to become even more popular after his death?

According to a Huffington Post article from 2013, indications may lean in that direction. His name is still one of the most popular searched for, beating out the likes of One Direction, Nike, and even Barack Obama. In 2012, three years after his death, he gained 500k Twitter followers. His Youtube channel gets 780,000 views per day.

Say what you will about life after death, Michael Jackson is proving that immortality is much more than just fantasy.

Be sure to check out our huge selection of Michael Jackson karaoke tracks on KaraokeOnVEVO, Karaoke Cloud, and Sing-N-Share and pay tribute to the king in your own way.

Injunction Junction: Sony/ATV sues California-based karaoke distributer

Gavel-Scales-of-Justice-American-flag-square

The war against illegally distributed karaoke continues

San Diego-based Bertrand Music Enterprises is the latest high-profile subject of a lawsuit in the continuing crackdown against illegally distributed karaoke tracks, according to an article published Wednesday (March 26) by the Nashville Business Journal.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing and affiliates have filed the lawsuit through the U.S. District Court for Middle Tennessee claiming that Bertrand sold and distributed thousands of karaoke tracks without first obtaining a licensing agreement.

While no numerical specifics have been reported, we do know that Sony/ATV, which is co-owned by the estate of Michael Jackson, has filed for an injunction, an unspecified amount in damages and profit loss, and separate statutory damages.

Public records show that the New York-based Sony/ATV has filed several claims against karaoke distributors in recent years, all centered around copyright issues. Bertrand Music Enterprises has yet to comment on the case.

Guys, there’s only one way to insure you don’t face legal issues regarding your karaoke library and that’s to make sure you’re using only legally licensed material. Rest assured that DigiTrax Entertainment and Karaoke Cloud will never steer you in the wrong direction. We’re here for you!

Halftime Havoc: The best Super Bowl halftime shows EVAR!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers set to headline this Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show, we thought we’d take a little time to countdown some our favorite halftime performances and moments from past Super Bowls. So take a break from the party prep (the chili-cheese dip can wait) and check out our fav-5!

#5 Janet and Justin: “Wardrobe malfunction” (NSFW) It’s been 10 years since the infamous “Nipplegate” incident at Super Bowl XXXVIII (38), but Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson will never live it down… mostly because we won’t let them. The controversial ending moment may have stolen the spotlight (and pretty much all of the media’s attention), but it’s a shame that it had to detract from what was otherwise a great halftime performance.

#4 Beyoncé: It’s DestinyThe best concerts aren’t limited to glitz, glamour, and special effects, although Beyoncé‘s outstanding halftime performance at Super Bowl XLVII (47) certainly had all that. What really sets a performance apart is the performer him/herself. In today’s music industry Beyoncé is beyond compare in this category and she proved it with last year’s performance. But that wasn’t all! Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the audience was treated to a surprise Destiny’s Child reunion as former band mates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams exploded onto stage and joined Queen Bey for a few unforgettable moments. Amazing.

#3 U2: We will never forget — Music, as an artform, is all about emotion. And nothing brings out more emotion in us Americans than remembering the tragic events of 9/11. Just months after that horrific day U2 kicked off the Super Bowl XXXVI (36) halftime show with their song “Beautiful Day,” but it was their stirring tribute to those lost on 9/11 that will always be remembered. The band performed their classic hit  “Where The Streets Have No Name” as a running list of victim’s names filled the background and brought tears to the eyes of many of us watching at home.

#2 Prince: The artist STILL known as awesome — Only three years after Janet’s infamous wardrobe “malfunction,” tensions were still running high regarding live television performances, so choosing an artist  well-known for his highly sensual music videos and live performances to headline the halftime show at Super Bowl XLI (41) seemed like a risky choice. True to form, however, Prince used the opportunity to prove why he is one of the most legendary performers in music history and once again solidified his status as the “Prince of Rock.” Watch the full performance here!

#1 Michael Jackson: The “King of Pop” is the king of halftime — No auto-tune, no surprize guest appearances, no fancy monitor effects. There is one thing that made Michael Jackson #1 at everything he did; pure talent. Say what you will about his controversial personal life and legal issues, there is no one who rivaled the King of Pop when it came to live musical performances. Jackson’s iconic performance at the Super Bowl XXVII (27) halftime show in 1993 (even if it was lip-synced) proved this even further as it marked the first time in history that Super Bowl viewership increased during halftime.

What was your favorite Super Bowl halftime performance? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to check out Karaoke Cloud and Sing-N-Share (like us on Facebook!) so that you can sing along to hits from several of the artists listed above and many, many more. You may now resume your party preparations.