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Archive for the ‘MUSIC & DANCE’ Category

Mariah Carey (l.) and Whitney Houston perform a duet at the 1999 Oscars ceremony. The two pop stars were good friends.

Zimbio is posting what Hollywood stars such as Mariah Carey are saying about Whitney Houston’s death. Check it out. Also Toofab is showing tweets from stars.

Readers: For more on Whitney Houston here on Lisa’s History Room, click here.

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The Hollywood Reporter confirms that Whitney Houston has died at age 48. The news broke at around 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time today, Saturday, February 11, 2012.

The R&B singer and multiple Grammy Award winner was due to make an appearance at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy Awards gala tonight. She was spotted in the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles on Thursday morning where she was overheard chastising an assistant. According to The Hollywood Reporter:

“Later that night, Houston got into an altercation with X Factor finalist Stacy Francis at an R&B appreciation event where she was said to be acting “belligerent.” On Friday night, as THR broke news that Houston had been approached for the judges’ seat on X Factor, she was said to be at a spa, according to her publicist.”

Houston had been at rehearsals for the show on Thursday, coaching singers Brandy and Monica. The Daily Mail Online reported that Houston looked disheveled, was sweating profusely, and liquor and cigarettes could be smelled on her breath.

It is speculated that Houston’s death could be due to a drug and/or alcohol overdose, as it is well known that the singer struggled with substance abuse for decades. Whitney Houston and her ex-husband, Bobby Brown, once had a reality show on which they appeared high on drugs.

She is survived by her daughter with Brown, Bobbi Kristina, 18, who is known as “Krissi.”

Readers: For more on Whitney Houston here on Lisa’s History Room, click here

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Michael Jackson wraps his arms around Whitney Houston

The Los Angeles Times reports that pop singer Whitney Houston died Saturday in Beverly Hills at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Authorities are trying to determine a cause of death.

Houston, 48, was in the Los Angeles area for a musical tribute to music executive Clive Davis and had performed and spoken to reporters earlier in the week. Clive Davis was the person responsible for launching Houston’s singing career. Appearing on Good Morning America, Davis once said of Houston:

“The time that I first saw her singing in her mother’s act in a club … it was such a stunning impact. To hear this young girl breathe such fire into this song. I mean, it really sent the proverbial tingles up my spine.’

Record studio executive Clive Davis poses with singer Whitney Houston whom he discovered singing in a nightclub with her mother.

Whitney’s publicist Kristen Foster told the Associated Press on Saturday that Houston had died but did not provide further details.

The Daily Mail Online reported inaccurately that Whitney was found by her on-off boyfriend Ray J in her hotel room.

It is now believed that Ms. Houston was found by her bodyguard, “Ray.” The Beverly Hills Police Department say that at 3:43 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time), a 911 call was placed from the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The police were on the scene in two minutes. When they got to Ms. Houston’s room on the 4th floor, hotel staff were attempting CPR on her lifeless body. At 3:55 p.m., the singer was pronounced dead. As of 6:10 p.m. PST, Ms. Houston’s body was still in the room. (Radar Online)

Preliminary findings suggest no foul play.

Oddly enough, the Clive Davis preGrammy Award party – the biggest black tie event associated with the record awards ceremony – went on as planned, just hours after Houston’s death. The party was held in the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the same hotel where Houston was found unconscious. It was an eerie incongruency, stars stepping out of limos for the party as Houston fans arrived in tears to lay bouquets of flowers in memory.

Shocked to learn of Whitney Houston’s tragic death, fans flock to the scene at the Beverly Hilton, where they lay flowers and light candles in tribute to the fallen singer

Readers: For more on Whitney Houston here on Lisa’s History Room, click here.

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An homage to the more innocent days of Whitney Houston’s singing career:

“How Will I Know?” My niece sang this to me when she was 12.

Readers: For more on Whitney Houston on this blog, click here.

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Whitney Houston dies at 48.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Whitney Houston, who reigned as pop music’s queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, has died. She was 48.

Publicist Kristen Foster said Saturday that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unclear.

At her peak in the 1980s and ’90s, Houston was the golden girl of the music industry and one of the world’s best-selling artists.

Among her hits were “How Will I Know,” ”Saving All My Love for You” and “I Will Always Love You.” She won multiple Grammy Awards including Album and Record of the Year.

Her success carried her beyond music to movies like “The Bodyguard.”

But by the end of her career, drug use took its toll as her record sales plummeted and her voice became raspy and hoarse.

Readers: For more on Whitney Houston on this blog, click here.

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Elizabeth Taylor in costume as “Cleopatra,” from the 1963, 20th Century Fox production of the same name

Yet another iconic item worn by actress Elizabeth Taylor is on the auction block – a wig she wore in the 1963 film, “Cleopatra.” Ms. Taylor wore many different hairdos in the movie and British wigmaster Stanley Hall made three wigs for each style. The wig for sale is made of real human hair, medium brown, and is adorned with hanging braids and gold beads.

Elizabeth Taylor is photographed with some props from the 1963 film, “Cleopatra.”

In the movie, Ms. Taylor’s character wears this particular wig when she tries to convince Julius Caesar, played by Rex Harrison, to accept supreme control of the empire. (1) The wig is being sold by Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas, and is set to fetch around $11,000.

Elizabeth Taylor in the arms of Richard Burton, from the movie, “Cleopatra,” 1963.

It was during the 1962 filming of “Cleopatra” in Rome that 30-year-old Elizabeth Taylor fell madly in love with her other male costar and onscreen lover, Richard Burton, 36, cast as Mark Antony. The two were both married to others at the time.

At the time, Ms. Taylor was already a big film star being paid the unprecedented amount of a million dollars to play Cleopatra. Mr. Burton, however, who was Welsh, was a Shakespearean stage actor largely unknown outside of England.

Richard Burton (l), talks with Eddie Fisher and his wife Elizabeth Taylor on the Cinecitta set in Rome, early 1962.

When people began to whisper that perhaps Ms. Taylor and Mr. Burton were conducting an illicit affair, the couple denied the accusations. So uncontrollable was their love and lust, that their affair was

“bloody obvious,” to use Burton’s term – so flagrantly on display. (2)

When the director of “Cleopatra” shouted “Cut!” at the end of love scenes, Taylor and Burton would continue to kiss.

They carried on on the movie set, film lot, in their private villas, and took their love to town – to the Via Veneto. But they were not safely in America, where  there was a time-honored tradition not to pry into the private lives of public people and where the studio would have squelched any unflattering press. They were in Rome – the land of the paparazzi.

The Italian “paparazzi” were a new style of journalist. These young, Vespa-riding photographers with cameras with zoom lenses slung around their neck were hungry for a money-making photo that would reveal the affair to the waiting world. With a pack mentality, they were ruthlessly intent upon snapping photos of the jetset enjoying La Dolce Vita, the sweet life, popularized in the film of that same name. And Liz and Dick were getting hot and heavy on the Via Veneto.

From February thru July, paparazzi stalked Taylor and Burton’s every move, hoping for that money-making photo that would expose the lovers to the world. And they got them, too, forcing both Liz and Dick to deal with their respective spouses.

Liz Taylor and Richard Burton emerge from the restaurant Tre Scalini in the Piazza Navona, spring, 1962.

The Burton-Taylor Affair – “Le Scandale,” as Burton termed it – created international interest and thus, international coverage.

Richard Burton leans in for a kiss from Elizabeth Taylor on the Cinecitta sound stage, circa March 30, 1962. Paparazzo Elio Sorci hid under a car across from the movie lot all day to snap this photo which came to be known as the “kissing picture.” It blew the lid off the Taylor-Burton affair, appearing in first the Italian papers before making its way to New York.

The public, it seemed, had an unquenchable appetite to follow the drama. Gone were the days when American readers of Photoplay and Modern Screen were content to read fictional accounts of their favorite movie stars generated by the big movie studios.

Elizabeth Taylor gazes into the eyes of her true love, Richard Burton, as they sail off the Amalfi Coast where the filming of “Cleopatra” was wrapping up. June, 1962. Marcello Geppetti, photographer.

It is hard to overstate the excitement caused at the time by Elizabeth and Richard’s grand passion. Everyone was following the saga, even First Lady Jackie Kennedy, who asked the publicist Warren Cowan in early 1963,

“Warren, do you think Elizabeth Taylor will marry Richard Burton?”(3)

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the glow of their love, caught by paparazzo on a yacht off the coast of Ischia in the Bay of Naples, June 1962.

Initially, the pair were condemned by the press for their public adultery until publishers woke up and realized how much the “Liz and Dick” machine increased tabloid, newspaper, magazine, and book sales.

Photoplay July 1962. Everyone had an opinion about the Taylor Burton affair.

Note to readers: Today also begins the first auction at Christie’s, New York, of  The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor, which I was privileged to view on December 3, 2011. (2)

(1) Source: The Guardian

(2) “Remembering Liz (1932-2011),” Life Commemorative, 2011.

(3) Kashner, Sam and Schoenberger, Nancy. Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2010.

Readers: For more on Elizabeth Taylor on Lisa’s History Room, click here.

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Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning.

Yesterday, as I reported, the coroner at St. Pancras Coroner’s Office, London, released the toxicology report on Amy Winehouse, the 27-year-old British singer found dead in her flat on July 23. The official finding is that Winehouse’s death was due to alcohol poisoning. Her blood alcohol contained five times the legal limit of alcohol, which stopped her breathing and sent her into a coma. Three empty vodka bottles were found near her body in her bedroom.

Ironically, Amy Winehouse burst upon the international music scene with her 2006 hit single, “Rehab,” in which she famously refuses treatment for her alcohol and drug abuse:

“Rehab” became her anthem over the next five years as we watched, played out in the press, her very public spiral downward, in particular, the tumult that led up to her divorce from Blake Fielder-Civil, her husband of two years, whom she had met in a bar:

Blake Fielder-Civil and Amy Winehouse

“In addition to the reported drug use, Winehouse was famously caught on video carving the words ‘I Love Blake’ into her stomach with a shard of glass, and during an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, she displayed photos of the couple passing pills to each other with their tongues.

But the Sid-and-Nancy-style love affair was also accompanied by photos of heated arguments that ended with both sporting bruises and scratches, as well as an arrest in Norway in October 2007 for marijuana possession; the couple were released with a fine. Just months after the wedding, Fielder-Civil was arrested on charges of suspicion of attacking a bar landlord and attempting to bribe him to drop the allegation. Following his incarceration, Winehouse was frequently seen wandering the streets of her Camden neighborhood in a daze, and she subsequently canceled a U.S. tour.” (source)

Some people laughed at Amy’s troubles; others scolded her for her misbehavior. Those familiar with addiction did neither. They knew all too well this predictable pattern. If Amy didn’t get treatment for addiction, she would die.

At yesterday’s inquest, Amy’s parents and friends listened as Amy’s doctor recounted how Amy had been totally resistant to any therapies that could have helped her with her drinking problems. That foolish decision robbed her of her health, beauty, freedom, and happiness, and, finally, her life.

In reporting the inquest’s findings, I have run across some websites with headlines saying, to the effect, that Amy did it to herself, that she deserves no pity: she drank herself to death. You will find none of these attitudes here. Yes, Amy Winehouse is responsible for her own troubles and the suffering she caused herself and others. But Amy was grappling with something she was powerless to control. She was an alcoholic who tried to control her drinking, which she could not.

Amy Winehouse, circled, as a 13-year-old pupil at the Sylvia Young Theatre.

Addiction is an illness. It is chronic, progressive, and, if left untreated, sometimes fatal. Amy Winehouse suffered from an illness she dangerously thought she could manage alone. Rest in peace, Amy Winehouse.

For more on Amy Winehouse on this blog, click here.

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British singer Amy Winehouse lost her battle with addiction.

It looks like we have an explanation for Amy Winehouse‘s tragic death. A coroner says the singer died from drinking too much alcohol, ruling it a “death by misadventure.” A pathologist says Winehouse (1983-2011) consumed a “very large quantity of alcohol” prior to her death and that her blood registered at 4.5 times over the legal drunk-driving limit. Winehouse, who died this summer at the age of 27, had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for years.

Her doctor says she had resumed drinking in the days before her death after a period of abstinence (which we don’t have to believe).

O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you:
Look with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom.
Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy.
Remove from them the fears that beset them.
Strengthen them in the work of their recovery;
And to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love.
Amen.

source: The Book of Common Prayer

Read the coroner’s report on Amy Winehouse at the Associated Press.

Read about Amy Winehouse last days at the Daily Mail Online.

Read more about Amy Winehouse on this blog by clicking here.

 

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Addiction claims another victim. Amy Winehouse is dead at age 27.

Chemical dependence claimed another victim today: 27 year old Amy Winehouse, British rocker, was found dead at her London flat this afternoon. 

The Definition of Addiction 

Answer yes or no to the following seven questions. Most questions have more than one part, because everyone behaves slightly differently in addiction. You only need to answer yes to one part for that question to count as a positive response. 

  1. Tolerance. Has your use of drugs or alcohol increased over time?
  2. Withdrawal. When you stop using, have you ever experienced physical or emotional withdrawal? Have you had any of the following symptoms: irritability, anxiety, shakes, sweats, nausea, or vomiting?
  3. Difficulty controlling your use. Do you sometimes use more or for a longer time than you would like? Do you sometimes drink to get drunk? Do you stop after a few drink usually, or does one drink lead to more drinks?
  4. Negative consequences. Have you continued to use even though there have been negative consequences to your mood, self-esteem, health, job, or family?
  5. Neglecting or postponing activities. Have you ever put off or reduced social, recreational, work, or household activities because of your use?
  6. Spending significant time or emotional energy. Have you spent a significant amount of time obtaining, using, concealing, planning, or recovering from your use? Have you spend a lot of time thinking about using? Have you ever concealed or minimized your use? Have you ever thought of schemes to avoid getting caught?
  7. Desire to cut down. Have you sometimes thought about cutting down or controlling your use? Have you ever made unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control your use?

If you answered yes to at least 3 of these questions, then you meet the medical definition of addiction. This definition is based on the of American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV) and the World Health Organization (ICD-10) criteria.(1

Read more about the death of Amy Winehouse at the Daily Mail.

Read more about Amy Winehouse’s life at NPR.

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The U.S. Secret Service provided security for Pope Benedict XVI at the Papal Mass in Washington, D.C., on April 17, 2008. Although the agents have no official uniform and can be seen wearing anything from tuxedos to blue jeans, they are often identified by their dark sunglasses, listening devices, and lapel pins bearing the agency's gold star logo.

The United States Secret Service uses code names to refer to the President of the United States, his family, other officials, and places. Originally, these code names were designed to protect sensitive communications, back in the day before restricted communications were routinely encrypted. Nowadays, there is no need to keep these names secret. Nevertheless, The Secret Service who guards the First Family and other U.S. officials continues to use the code names for clarity, brevity, and tradition. (1)

The U.S. Secret Service Star Logo. The U.S. Secret Service protects the President and First Family, other officials of the U.S. government, and visiting dignitaries.

General Code Names

President of the United States:  POTUS

First Lady of the United States:  FLOTUS

Vice President of the United States:  VPOTUS

The Obamas

Barack:  Renegade

Michelle:  Renaissance

Malia:  Radiance

Sasha:  Rosebud

The Bushes

George W.:  Tumbler

Laura:  Tempo

Barbara:  Turquoise

Jenna:  Twinkle

The Clintons

Bill:  Eagle

Hillary:  Evergreen

Chelsea:  Energy

The Bushes

George H.:  Timberwolf

Barbara:  Tranquility

The Carters

Jimmy:  Deacon

Rosalynn:  Dancer

Amy:  Dynamo

Secret Service agents respond to the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley Jr. on March 30, 1981. President Reagan took a bullet in the abdomen but made a full recovery.

The Reagans

Ronald:  Rawhide

Nancy:  Rainbow

The Fords

Gerald:  Passkey

Betty:  Pinafore

The Nixons

Richard:  Searchlight

Pat:  Starlight

The Johnsons

Lyndon:  Volunteer

Lady Bird:  Victoria

Lynda Bird:  Velvet

Luci Baines:  Venus

 

A motorcade carries President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy through the streets of Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. Texas Governor John Connally and wife Nellie ride in front of the Kennedys.

Secret Service agent Clint Hill stood on the running board of the car behind the Kennedy’s limo.
Agent Hill heard the first shot that hit President Kennedy. Mr Hill is the figure in the famous Zapruder film of the killing which shows him climbing onto the back of the president’s limousine. “I heard the first shot, saw the president grab his throat, lurch left, and I knew something was wrong,” recalled Hill in the book, The Kennedy Detail. Jackie Kennedy can be seen crawling out the back of the car onto the trunk to get help for her slain husband, slumped in the seat.

Agent Hill got in the back seat with Mrs. Kennedy and the president and shielded them with his body on the way to Parkland Hospital.

The Kennedys

John F.:  Lancer

Jackie:  Lace

Caroline:  Lyric

John Jr.:  Lark

Other Individuals

Queen Elizabeth II:  Kittyhawk, Redfern

Prince Charles:  Unicorn

Frank Sinatra:  Napoleon

Pope John Paul II:  Halo

Sarah Palin:  Denali

John McCain:  Phoenix

Places

The White House:  Castle

The Capitol:  Punchbowl

 

(1)  Source: Wiki “Secret Service Codename

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Carly Simon in 1973

In 1973, American singer Carly Simon scored the biggest global hit of her career with the release of  “You’re So Vain.” That year, the song hit #1 on the U.S. Pop and Adult Contemporary charts and sold over a million copies in the United States alone. “You’re So Vain”  is ranked at seventy-two on Billboard’s Greatest Songs of All-Time.    

Written and performed by Simon, the hit became her signature song. In it she speaks critically of a self-absorbed lover.    

You’re So Vain Lyrics    

 
You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they’d be your partner
They’d be your partner, and….
  
You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain, I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you? Don’t you?
 
You had me several years ago when I was still quite naive
Well you said that we made such a pretty pair
and that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved and one of them was me
I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee and….
 
 You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you…..
 
Well I hear you went up to Saratoga and your horse naturally won
Then you flew your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun
Well, you’re where you should be all of the time
And when you’re not you’re with
Some underworld spy or the wife of a close friend
Wife of a close friend, and….
 
You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you….. 
  

Carly Simon, "Anticipation." 1970

James Taylor and Carly Simon in an undated photo

Since the year of its release, the public has been obsessed with solving the puzzle in the song:

Who exactly is Simon referring to when she asserts in the song, “You’re so vain”?

Is it a lover from her past?

If so, then who is it?

 Carly Simon has dated many famous men.    

She has turned the speculation into a long-running guessing game, creating an intense media buzz and keeping the spotlight on herself. In countless interviews, she has dropped hints as to whom she is singing about but manages to never reveal his identity.  Her ex-husband musician James Taylor, to whom she was married when she recorded the song, is not in the running, she vows.    

 Interest has focused on four possible candidates, all of whom are Simon’s ex-lovers:    

rocker Mick Jagger (who sings back-up vocals on “You’re So Vain”)    

Mick Jagger marries Bianca De Macias in St. Tropez in 1971.

  actor Warren Beatty 

Actors Julie Christie and Warren Beatty, 1972.

 actor/musician Kris Kristofferson  

Carly Simon and Kris Kristofferson, 1974

 musician/activist Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam

Cat Stevens and Carly Simon in London, 1970, during the recording of Simon's song, "Anticipation." Simon wrote the song while waiting for her first date with Stevens.

The strongest contender is Warren Beatty – who actually phoned Simon and thanked her for writing the song about him.     

Here is a little bit of what Simon has said:    

The Washington Post – 1983

WP: Who was ‘You’re So Vain about? Mick Jagger?    

Carly: No.    

WP: Warren Beatty?    

Carly: It certainly sounds like it was about Warren Beatty. He certainly thought it was about him – he called me and said thanks for the song….    

WP: You had gone with him?    

Carly: Hasn’t everybody?    

WP: No.    

Carly: That only means you haven’t met him, though at the time I met him he was still relatively undiscovered as a Don Juan. I felt I was one among thousands at that point – it hadn’t reached, you know, the populations of small countries….    

 CNN – People In The News – 2004    

Paula Zahn : Long ago, you once admitted that it could potentially be a composite of a number of men that were dear to you in your life. Whether that be Mick Jagger, Warren Beatty or maybe even a little bit of James Taylor in there?    

Carly: Well, I guess for those who are interested in clues – the name of the person it was about had an “E” in it.    

PZ: Oh, well thank you…that’s very helpful Carly. That could be Mick, Warren or James. We still have the same three in the pot.    

Carly: Maybe I could disclose another letter. OK, it also has an “A”.    

PZ: (Laughter) Ok, we’ll be asking you about this for the next thirty years.    

Carly: Well listen, two vowels ain’t bad    

 Regis & Kelly – 2004

Regis : Isnt’ it time for you to tell the world – who’s the guy you’re singing about? Is it Warren Beatty? Is it Mick Jagger? Or is it me? Tell us!    

Carly: If I tell it, it’s going to come out in dribs and drabs. And I’ve given out two letters already, and “A” and an “E”. But I’m going to add one to it. I’m going to add an “R”, in honor of you.    

(End of Interviews) 

An a, an e, and an r – Warren Beatty certainly passes Simon’s letter test – and you can definitely put a checkmark in the vanity column, too.  In the New York Times bestseller, Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood, author Suzanne Finstad recalls a 1960 wrap party for the filming of  “Splendor in the Grass,” in which Natalie Wood starred opposite newcomer Warren Beatty.     

Actors Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood in 1962

At the party, Director Elie Kazan passed out gag gifts to the cast. He presented Warren Beatty with a hand mirror that said, “Good God, Warren.”    

“According to Kazan’s assistant director, Kranze, the mirror was a symbol for Beatty’s vanity during filming. ‘I recall distinctly getting on the set early in the morning and he’s in there before his make-up call….he’s in front of a mirror, a set stage, where the mirror’s right on the stage—and he’s got a straight pin, right? He’s putting that pin into each eyelash, and separating and moving them forward. He’s separating every ___ eyelash! He’s going one by one by one. Oh, my G__, this is six feet of pure ego!'”    

Besides, Beatty’s family comes from Nova Scotia, the place mentioned in the song, adding more credence to those who believe Simon wrote the song about him.    

In the new book, Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America, author Peter Biskind estimates that Beatty has slept with over 12,000 women.

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Little Michael Jackson, age 3, ca. 1961 (Lisa's History Room)

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of Michael Jackson‘s death. In her only TV interview, mother Katherine Jackson reminisced on “Dateline” about her internationally famous son.

She remembered the day she realized Michael had talent:

We had a Maytag washing machine, and it was rickety when the agitators would go, you know how they go [imitates sound]. This one was so rickety that it had a [imitates sound] kinda like that, and Michael was there on the floor wearing his diaper and his little bottle, and he just was dancing to the rhythm of what the washing machine made.” 

Katherine Jackson went on to say that she had never met Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of Michael’s two oldest children, Prince (b. 1997) and Paris (b. 1998), until Michael’s death. Katherine, who raised nine children, is now mother to Paris, Prince, and Blanket, Michael’s third child, born in 2002.

Katherine didn’t always agree with the way Michael (1958-1009) was raising his children:

I never did like the fact that he put, um, scarfs or veils over their faces….” 

Michael Jackson with daughter Paris (l) and son Prince (r), circa 2001-02 (Lisa's History Room)

Michael Jackson covered son Blanket's face with a mask, ca. 2004-05 (Lisa's History Room)

Katherine says the children are doing fine except that they have no friends. Prince, 13, Paris, 12, and Blanket, 8, have previously been tutored at home. Katherine is trying to give her grandchildren a more normal upbringing, free of the bizarre restrictions imposed by their father. In September, the three children will be enrolling in school for the first time in their lives, reports the Daily Mail.   Below are pictures of the children enjoying their first carefree Hawaiian vacation a few days before returning to the continental U.S. for a Gary, Indiana, hometown memorial for their father.

Michael Jackson's eldest son, "Prince," 13, whose full name is Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. Hawaii, June 1010. (Lisa's History Room)

Michael Jackson's daughter, Paris, age 12, whose full name is Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson. Hawaii, June 2010. (Lisa's History Room)

Michael Jackson's youngest son, "Blanket," 8, whose full name is Prince Michael Jackson II, enjoys a water chute at a Hawaii resort, June 2010 (Lisa's History Room)

Readers: Click here for more posts on Michael Jackson.

sources: Dateline, The Daily Mail

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Michael Jackson is seen visiting burn victim Keith Perry in the burn center at Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, Calif., on Feb. 4, 1984. The pop star was recuperating in the hospital after suffering from a burn to his head while filming a commercial for Pepsi-Cola. (Lisa's History Room)

Readers: Click here for more posts on Michael Jackson.

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Michael Jackson's "Blue Eye" - a never-before-seen photograph of Michael Jackson that was considered but rejected as the cover for Jackson's 2001 album "Invincible" (Lisa's History Room)

“As the one-year anniversary of Michael Jackson‘s death approaches, a very special picture of the pop star will be up for grabs at a memorabilia auction to take place in December, reports The Daily Mail.

The portrait, taken in 1999, is an uncommonly subdued shot of the late King of Pop, who was as known for his extravagance as he was for his music.

Titled “Michael Jackson’s Blue Eye,” the photo features Jackson dressed in a black suit jacket with small mirrors scattered across his chest. His eyes are closed, with one covered with a brilliant patch of blue makeup. His hair is pulled back behind his head, and the makeup makes the singer appear healthy and vibrant.

The portrait is a stark contrast from the image of a painfully skinny Jackson most commonly associate with his death, and serves as a reminder of Jackson’s enduring appeal as a larger-than-life figure.

The portrait was reportedly shot by then-23-year-old French photographer Arno Bani, who told the paper that Jackson was a fan of his fashion photography and commissioned him for the shoot.

The portrait was on the short list to make the cover of Jackson’s 2001 album, “Invincible” (his final studio album), but ultimately lost out to a similarly themed (but less eerie) Warhol-esque photo of Jackson’s face.

The portrait’s unveiling comes amid renewed insistence from Jackson’s family that his death was no accident. According to Us Weekly, Jackson expressed concerns to his mother, Katherine, that people “wanted him dead.”

“He would always say that. For him to say that, he must have known something,” said Katherine, who appears on a “Dateline” special this Friday titled “Michael Jackson: A Mother’s Love.”

The “Blue Eye” portrait, along with 11 other unpublished shots of Jackson and 50 contact boards, will be put up for bidding by auctioneers Pierre Berge & Associates in December.”

source: NYDailyNews.com

Readers, I’ve written many more posts on Michael Jackson. Click here for more.

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Diego Rivera shown with wife, Frida Kahlo. Frida's mother called them "the Elephant and the Dove."

Elvis Presley at his shiniest

What did Mexican muralist Diego Rivera and rock sensation Elvis Presley have in common?

They both had twin brothers who died.

Diego Rivera and his twin brother Carlos were born on December 8, 1886 in Guanajato, Mexico. Carlos, however, died eighteen months later.

"The Flower Carrier" by Diego Rivera (1886-1957)

On January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, Gladys Presley gave birth to identical twin boys. The first one, Jesse Garon Presley, was stillborn. Thirty-five minutes later, Elvis Aaron (Aron) Presley entered this world. Gladys told Elvis that, as the surviving twin, he had been destined for great things.

READERS: For more posts on Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, click here.

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