Posted in music | pictures on June 30, 2009

Michael Jackson

"PETA US has written to Michael Jackson's estate asking for the rights to the singer's first solo hit, "Ben," which was written for the 1972 film of the same name. This beautiful song is about the friendship between a lonely boy and a rat named Ben, and we hope it can be used to raise awareness about the plight of rats and other animals tormented in laboratory experiments." [PETA]
A tribute to Michael Jackson is taking place today at the Apollo Theater from 2-8pm. "The Reverend Al Sharpton and the president of the theater will give eulogies." People have been on line to get in to the Harlem venue since last night, and the outside of the Apollo has been a gathering place for Michael fans since the night he died. Nearby walls are adorned with personal messages.

AEG, the world's second largest concert promoter, stands to take some sort of hit from the cancellation of Michael's 50 London concerts. Yesterday they announced that, "full refunds, including the service fee charges, will be handed out to those who purchased from authorized resellers, including Ticketmaster, Viagogo, See or Ticketline. For detailed information on the how-to's of claiming the refund, fans are advised to go to from July 1, Wednesday."

AEG also released pictures taken by concert photographer Kevin Mazur at one of Michael's final rehearsals for the 50 shows. One of those pictures is above. A few more, and some old videos of Michael performing "Ben", below...

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson



Comments (45)

So those London shows are still happening, right? The show must go on Michael.

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 9:48 AM

Wonder what the setlist would have been? There was an estimated setlist posted awhile back on a few sites...

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 9:55 AM

Timberlake is better.

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 9:58 AM

Dick Clark has had many a romance with a rat

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 9:59 AM

Kevin MEHzur

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 9:59 AM

Timberlake is for fat ugly moms.

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 10:00 AM

This really is his best song!

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 10:13 AM

Fuck PETA.

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 10:22 AM

I'm calling shananigans on those pictures being recent

Posted by Jim | June 30, 2009 10:27 AM

Thank you! Ben is so the best song - did you know he wrote it about a rat? It's true. Google it up.

Posted by Heather | June 30, 2009 10:28 AM

"did you know he wrote it about a rat? It's true. Google it up."

or read this whole post from start to end.

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 10:30 AM

Oh no, you're right, I realized it after my excitement about seeing Ben posted that it said it there.

Dammit, now I'm going to be beaten by the BV commenters. Go ahead. Just like Pa Jackson.

Stop the violence people.

Posted by Heather | June 30, 2009 10:34 AM

It should also be stated that pretty much everyone in the world knows that song is about a rat.

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 10:49 AM

never heard this song before. amazing. it make me want to cry. if only Michael had a friend like Ben maybe he would be alive today.

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 10:51 AM

yikes, he was thin

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 11:38 AM

yikes, he was plastic

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 12:18 PM

i hum "Ben" to the subway rats all the time
love those little guys

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 1:08 PM

Funny how a guy who built a whole estate for the purpose of kiddy-diddling is now such a hero to many blacks. Then again, large black crowds cheered when O.J. got off scot free, too. Political correctness dictates that blacks are victims and therefore perfect, so when they blow it big time like many of them did on O.J. and now with Jackson, it is overlooked by the media. And can you imagine a "White Entertainment Awards" show?

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 1:51 PM

Yeah it's called the Country Music Awards.

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 2:12 PM

shaking and crying

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 7:57 PM

barfing and puking

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 9:13 PM

barfing and puking

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 9:14 PM

1:51------you nailed it. can you imagine 'Whitey' celebrating their Whiteness? but if Blacks do it, it's hey-man-this-is-our-shit.

Posted by Anonymous | June 30, 2009 9:26 PM


Posted by Anonymous | July 1, 2009 12:40 AM

i HEART BROOKLYNVEGAN WHITE PRIVILEGE. it's not about political correctness you fucking tards.

Posted by Anonymous | July 1, 2009 5:52 PM

i HEART BROOKLYNVEGAN WHITE PRIVILEGE. it's not about political correctness you fucking tards.

Posted by Anonymous | July 1, 2009 5:53 PM

@Anon1:51 - For better or for worse, Michael Jackson is being revered and celebrated worldwide by people of ALL races...not just black people genius. Further, for you to group all black people into vast generalizations of how "they" behave and react exhibits that your ignorance is beyond scope.

@Anon9:26 - Birds of a feather flock together.

Posted by blackhat | July 1, 2009 6:14 PM

@ blackhat

Why then use the designation BLACK entertainment awards? yes MJ's appeal spans all races, but he remains the King of sappy, Black
Pop music. I didn't group all people into how "they" behave, but the fact is many Blacks gave OJ a free pass simply because he was a Black man. same with MJ.

@ blackhat 8:54 (from sunday)

Actually I think I'm more than capable of expressing an intelligent opinion. may not always be pc, but in this case I think it's quite appropriate (and "civilised', your word) to categorize MJ's slop as "sappy, black Pop Music". It's genre unto itself. Just as one would write about "blue-eyed soul' (i.e., David Bowie) or Albanian folk
music, or Haitian Compass, or Jamaican Dance hall. Ethnicity lends a specificity that would otherwise be lacking in a discussion. Nothing wrong with that.

Btw, did I mention that MJ had a penchant for sleeping with underage boys? you cool with that?

Posted by Ben | July 2, 2009 9:49 AM

the one who says that timberfake is better need to be shot in the neck...

Posted by Anonymous | July 2, 2009 6:17 PM

@Ben9:49 - My job is not to attempt to counsel some misguided idiot on a music blog so I'll just leave it at this...there is no such thing as "black Pop Music." By very definition, "Pop Music" is popular to people of ALL races and ethnicities...that's why it's called Pop Music in the first place.

Also, you're clearly oblivious to the fact that in relatively recent American history, the ownership and control of the majority of mainstream magazines, awards shows and television networks were totally off limits to people of color, so they had no choice but to start their own. Whether or not that necessity still exists is another discussion, but at least be aware of the history of this country.

Posted by blackhat | July 2, 2009 7:00 PM

p.s. Somehow taking the "logical" leap that because I only addressed the quasi-racist portions of your posts, then I might be "cool" with child molestation is yet another example of your foolishness.

Posted by blackhat | July 2, 2009 7:09 PM

@ blackhat

you are a moron. no such thing as black Pop Music ? just like there is no such thing as "Afro-Punk"? labels and ethnicity have always been used to define specific genres of music and art.the same way a ROMAN vase is distinguished from a GREEK one. or CHINESE for that matter. MJ roots are James Brown. it doesn't get any Blacker than that! hence Black (sappy) Pop Music is the correct term to describe (in general) what he does.

my post isn't in any way "racist". but it addresses the fact that a LOT of (not ALL, of course) Blacks do give MJ AND OJ a free pass simply because the color of their skins. to ignore that is to be truly ignorant.

Posted by Anonymous | July 2, 2009 10:24 PM

@"Ben"9:49, Anon10:24 and whatever else you call yourself - Using your same idiotic argument, please define what "White Pop Music" is then. Also, apparently the "free passes" are being given out indiscriminently because not only black people are mourning. Please stop.

Posted by blackhat | July 2, 2009 10:56 PM

@ White Pop? it's called C & W. Or anything by Paul McCartney post Beatles. How many Blacks were into Wings? You could count them on one hand. Simply because one uses ethnic and racial distinctions in labeling various art forms doesn't mean they can't be enjoyed by everyone.

Using your argument why even called it "Pop Music" ? Just refer to everything you hear as just "Music". I guess you've never heard of "blue-eyed soul"? (hint; white guys like D.Bowie attempting to sound like Luther Vandross). Or a sub-genre like "Afro-Punk'?

Haven't taken a scientific poll but I'd venture a guess that the overall Percentage of Blacks who give MJ a free pass is a lot higher than Whites. Even more so with OJ. I'd put money on it.

Posted by Ben | July 3, 2009 9:01 AM

Here's another one: Blaxploitation Films. using (OMG) RACE to define a genre of urban film making.

Posted by Ben | July 3, 2009 9:07 AM

@"Ben" - Please learn to read. I never said that there was nothing in human existence that used race or ethnicity as an identifier. I said that your fictional genre called "black Pop Music" does not exist. order to be considered successful Pop Music such as Michael Jackson's, by very definition such music must globally appeal to people of all races and ethnicities. Your discussions of vases and film genres are totally off point.

Posted by blackhat | July 3, 2009 9:30 AM

@blackhat: '@"Ben" - Please learn to read.' take your own advice.

Yes, I agree: "in order to be considered successful Pop Music such as Michael Jackson's, by very definition such music must globally appeal to people of all races and ethnicities."

Don't agree that "black Pop Music" is a fictional genre. it's "blackness" is derived from it's origins: specifically James Brown. there are other influences but that's the primary could add Disney/Hollywood kitsch too. actually that's what gives his shit such wide appeal. tha's the 'sappy' element I was referring to.

the "vases" and "film genres" are totally on-point. it broadens the discussion of how race and ethnicity are use to identify various art forms, of which music is one. (in case you haven't heard).

I also mentioned 'blue-eyed soul' and 'afro-punk' which you chose to ignore because it collapses your argument.

Posted by Ben | July 3, 2009 11:39 AM

@"Ben" - No..."blue-eyed soul" and "afro-punk" do not collapse my argument because we are discussing POP MUSIC...not vases, films or any other genre of music. By the way, "Afro-Punk" is not a genre either. It was the name of a documentary film discussing the ever present existence of people of color in the punk scene. Since the release of that film, the term "Afro-Punk" has been used by the filmmaker to brand his music Festival and public appearances. Other than that, it has sometimes been lazily used by certain people to try and lump any punk, hard rock or experimental band together that happens to have some or all black members. That doesn't make it a genre. Were the Bad Brains "Afro-Punk" just because they are mentioned in the documentary? I think not. They are a reggae influenced hardcore punk band...and one of the best at that. Period.

Oh...and funny that you mentioned Paul McCartney since, according to you, blacks aren't into him. in your world, what genre does Paul's duet with Michael Jackson "Say, Say, Say" fall under? Michael Jackson is in it so it must be "(sappy) black Pop Music" right? Ooops...Paul's in it too and black people don't listen to him so it must be "White Pop Music" right? Oh no...what do I do since I can't racially segregate this POP music?!?

Posted by blackhat | July 3, 2009 12:25 PM


LOL, just your opinions!

c'mon how many black people were into Wings?!

Paul + MJ: a genre BEYOND sappy!!!!

Posted by Ben | July 3, 2009 12:42 PM

@Ben - Alright buddy...I think you and I have done our dance on this long enough. I think we're two people with our own opinions which we each have every right to have. Now let's both get out there and enjoy this 3-Day Holiday weekend! Hell...maybe I'll even run into ya at the "Afro-Punk" Festival! LOL!

Posted by blackhat | July 3, 2009 12:52 PM

hey, just what I was going say!

take back calling you a moron. all apologies. i may be an old punk,
but i'm a gentleman first!

enjoy the 4th!!!

Posted by Ben | July 3, 2009 12:57 PM

Michael Jackson and OJ were both found not guilty. They had their day in court, the jury was mixed races both guys found NOT GUILTY! Only OJ and God knows if he killed his wife and only Michael and God knows if he molested the kid(s). My point is all the faulty tampering with evidence, set ups, extortion, lies, racist remarks and hate for an individual brought up in both trials got them acquitted. I think OJ did it, if he didn't, then I believe he knows who did it. It's my opinion. I think Michael made bad choices in his lifetime and surrounded himself with personnel that gave him bad advice. He has been sued over 1,000 times. I believe BET is a racist network because all they show is 95% music videos and old black movies. CMT is as well. Videos and CMT & CMA awards shows. This is what divides races and makes people ignorant. I like female country music artist, and all types of music. I'm over here in Iraq fighting for our country, all colors black, white candy stripe out here fighting and dying and we can't get over if a race if a victim or not. If a black or white male walks into a store pulls out a gun and blows the clerk's head off, it's caught on tape, you got witnesses. What's his chance of being found guilty? 100% Let's move on and pay our respect to a great artist. I appreciated his artistry and didn't care about his antics outside music. A poll was taken and 97% of all the people around the world knows who Michael Jackson was. Only 3% have to been living under a rock in a cave. RIP MJ

You are always in my heart

Posted by sxevenom | July 3, 2009 4:14 PM

Michael Jackson was my only idol growing up, im now 21 (and still growing) and he'll remain the only artist i look up to.
Still mourning his death and have not listened to anything other than the albums Bad, Dangerous and HisTory on my iPod. (my personal favorites).
I pray hes in a good place, i pray the press would stop delving into his past and leave him and his children alone, i pray his ex wife and mother of his children to stop making allegations and let him rest in peace and i pray his legacy continue for my children and there children respectively.

"Heal The World, Make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race...."


Posted by Ellen-Jayne-K | July 4, 2009 5:07 AM

on the picture where he wears a raincoat he looks like "the joker"

Posted by Anonymous | July 6, 2009 5:33 AM

I read some of these comments and did not realize ben, brought about controversy. Not ben itself but mj's legacy, and no foolish one that said black people biasedly overlook criminal foolishness to keep adoration for what a person once was; is bias to say. Tons of blacks disagreed with OJ's omitting of sentence. Can I even say more than half, I'm going to say almost all. Their people that didn't care and others that thought an eye for an eye. Should I bring other white high profile gentlemen in to question also. Years of foul politicians and policeman that pardoned for malice. Plain and simple michael is innocent and that's why "black people" stuck with him and fans of other races. When michael started his transformation he became untouchable and like the history of paparazzi since life magazine and new york times; if they couldn't get coverage and you didn't allow it, they smug you. It's fools like you people who love to believe the propaganda, because either you wasn't a fan or he wasn't white enough to be acquitted with the stigma although already proven innocent. The mother of the second child knew it was a lie and ploy plotted by the father for a chance at settlement. They called him the "king" and alot of people couldn't handle that, and the media are the biggest sceptic of all, for people in the entertainment industry. They are there to take the praise away from high profiles and almost a balance. Statements could even have any leverage and people will believe. I can recall news casters from different networks saying completely different things about the same incident. They knew people like you "the haters" would love to hear about this stuff. The bigger the person the bigger the claim. You cannot tell me why everyone close to him, family and visiting child relatives, court and jury believe his innocence. The one group of people who's adverse to these results are simply digging journalist looking for hits for their networks; and lustful sabotagers like you. You gave back paris her light along with other media mongols. Like I said, who's biased really?

Posted by you oughta know... | July 7, 2009 5:54 PM

Leave a Comment