Stop The Presses!

Dec.14-20: Social Networking Plots & Underdog Winners

Stop The Presses!

If it is true, that any press is good press, then are quitea few folks in the music business who should be happy about the media spotlightshown on them this week.

The approach of year's end ushers in sadness as we rememberthe loss of the Michael Jackson, who died in June. Jackson's fans showed their support of hisworks, and spent a lot of money doing it.

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According to reports, Jackson'sestate is believed to have earned $100 million. While that is a good figure,there's a bit of an issue. The estate's administrators, lawyer John Branca andmusic business veteran John McClain, have reportedly not been paid.

The administrators filed court documents Tuesday on behalfof themselves and estate attorneys seeking five percent of the earnings. Theyhave not been paid since Jacksondied on June 25, AP reports.

In a hearing scheduled for January 4, Los Angeles SuperiorCourt Judge Mitchell Beckloff will determine the amount to be paid to theadministrators.

The lapse in payment has posed a hardship for many of theattorneys, some of which have worked up to 14 hours a day on the case. Thefiling asks the judge to make a decision as soon as possible.

Their payments won't include proceeds anticipated from thetribute concert Jackson'sbrother Jermaine was organizing. The event has been canceled.

The celebration scheduled to be held in Vienna this past fall and originally listedMary J. Blige, Chris Brown and Natalie Cole as performers, was called off inSeptember due to poor organization.

The concert was rescheduled for London, but was terminated when the companyorganizing the event shut down.

Martin Schneider, who liquidated World Awards Media GmbH,told Reuters the company was not able to take on any new business. "The companycannot sign any new contracts and will certainly not plan any new events."

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"American Idol" executive producer Simon Cowell is hardly next up for liquidation, but there is a Facebook Group gunning to take him down. There are 750,000 members of the onlinegroup Rage Against The X Factor who are working diligently to stop recent "XFactor" winner Joe McElderry and his cover of Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" frombecoming the U.K.'sNo. 1 Christmas single.

The group instead wants Rage Against The Machine's "KillingIn The Name" to secure the coveted spot. Earlier this week, their efforts weresuccessful. Rage's song had sold 175,000 copies, while McElderry trailed behindwith just 110,000 sales.

Rage guitarist Tom Morello thinks televised talentcompetitions should allow viewers to vote against the competitors. "My hope isthat one of the results of this whole Christmas season is there'll be a newgeneration of rockers who will take on the establishment with the music theywrite," Morello said.

Ironically, Chris Brown launched his own online campaign inattempt to influence record sales. The embattled singer, who has been workingto recover from his February 8 assault on former girlfriend Rihanna, claimedthat Wal-Mart refused to put his album, "Graffiti," on its shelves.

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Brown used his now defunct MechanicalDummy Twitter account tocomplain about the national retail chain. "JUST WAS AT WALMART INWallingford CT, 844 north colony.. the[y] didn't even have my album in theback...," Brown Tweeted. "not on shelves, saw for myself."

A representative from Wal-Mart's corporate communicationsdepartment dismissed his claims. "We do not understand the comments onTwitter, since all Wal-Mart stores carried the CD since its release, includingthe Wallington store in the post," said Melissa O'Brien, Senior Manager PR& Brand Reputation.

Well, you can't blame Brown for trying. Did biased retailersdecline to promote his album in their stores? Did he lose some album buyingfans after the altercation? Maybe it is a little of both. Whatever the case,Brown's "Graffiti" had a disappointing opening week, selling just 102,000copies. To put that in perspective, it is only 13,000 more than Gucci Mane, andthere's no need to even compare it to what Susan Boyle sold on her third weekout.

And if Chris Brown and Rihanna's turmoil wasn't enough forthis year, 2009 comes to a close with an even sadder feud. This one involvesmother Courtney Love and her daughter with her late husband and rock great KurtCobain.

Frances Bean Cobain, 17, filed a restraining order againstLove, and moved in with her paternal grandmother after Love lost custody.

The matter escalated when Love, in Chris Brown fashion, tookto her Facebook page to denigrate her child, calling her "deluded,""deceptive," and a "liar."

The late Cobain's uncle, Charles Fradenburg, said theproblems have been going on for a while. "Courtney is not fit to take care of Frances, she canbarely take care of herself," Fradenburg said. "Courtney wasn't doing anyparenting at all. She was hiring nannies to do all of the work."

Fradenburg added, "This is a wonderful thing for thefamily."

Sometimes shortcomings can have happy endings. Such is thecase for "SoYou Think You Can Dance" winner Russell Ferguson. As if we don't alreadyhate waiting for competition hosts to announce those being eliminated or on theverge of being named the winner, Fergusonhad to so after suffering an injury received after performing a hip hoproutine.

Fergusonwas in so much pain during the first elimination process of the night that hedistracted host Cat from reading the teleprompter.

Ferguson,tearfully leaning on fellow finalist Ryan DiLello, explained, "I messed my kneeup...I mean, my leg up."

Cat offered assistance. "We'll get you some help, OK? Haveyou seen the medic?" she said with concern. "OK, hang in there one second forme and we'll get you off here as soon as possible."

Fergusonendured and ultimately took home the $250,000 prize. Not bad for a krump dancerfrom the streets of Boston.

This week also bore good news for rock n roll legends TheStooges, who after being nominated seven times to be inducted into the Rock AndRoll, finally got their prize.

The Stooges join ABBA, Genesis, Jimmy Cliff and The Hollies.The Armet Ertegun Award for non-performers will be given to David Geffen,songwriting teams Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and Elis Greenwich and JeffBarry, as well as Jesse Stone, Mort Shuman and Otis Blackwell.

The 25th ceremony will take place on March 15 in New York.

This week had its share of challenges, but in the end itworked out. We can only hope that Christmas week might unveils some goodfortune. Be sure to check back for our That's Really Week Christmas Eveedition.

 

THIS WEEK'S TOP 10 NEWS STORIES

 

1) Money,Money, Money - Michael Jackson's estate administrators seek payment.

2) IWanna Rock - ABBA, Genesis among new rock hall inductees.

3) MommyDearest - Frances Bean gets restraining order from mom Courtney Love.

4) TheWriting Is On The Wall - Chris Brown's "Graffiti" opens with disappointingalbum sales.

5) TheUltimate Elimination - Online group plots against Simon Cowell.

6) ChristmasAt The Whitehouse - Obamas join stars for Christmas benefit concert.

7) Party Over - Kid Cudi punches fan, then exits Lady Gaga's Monster Ball tour.

8) A'Dream' Opportunity - 'Idol' creator launches new multimedia show.

9) Rize- Injured dancer Russell Ferguson's bittersweet 'SYTYCD' victory.

10) RepeatOffender - Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist quits, again.

 

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