Today would have been the 53rd birthday of Michael Jackson, one of the greatest entertainers this world has ever known. Sadly, though, his life was cut short back in 2009 after he overdosed on Propofol (a case that has yet to see a full resolution). Still, his legacy lives on and, in many ways, has taken on an even greater significance since his passing.
In order to celebrate his remarkable life and his achievements, we took a cue from one of our favorite Tumblr sites, Awesome People Hanging Out Together. We crawled through almost 40 years worth of archive photographs to find these pictures of Michael Jackson hanging out with people from every profession and walk of life: his fellow musicians, actors, directors, politicians, diplomats, and even an inanimate object or two! So as you fire up your favorite MJ tracks today, take a look through our gallery and relive some of his most famous (and most random) celebrity encounters.
No lie, I haven’t missed a live viewing of the MTV Video Music Awards in 21 years. In college, when our dormitory only carried three television stations, I even managed to squat out the TV-set in student union for four consecutive years.
As someone who takes their VMA’s very seriously, here are three things I’m hoping will not happen this Sunday night:
1) We Don’t Lose Power in NYC
Not only am I missing two of my favorite shows for the VMA’s this Sunday night—Curb Your Enthusiasm and Breaking Bad—but I’m hoping to keep my VMA streak intact by actually getting to watch them live. If Hurricane Irene hits NYC hard on Sunday, electricity may be at a minimum, which would even negate a DVR viewing of the VMA’s. Yes, MTV will re-air the show, but I want to see it before it’s edited down into a TV-friendly, two-hour chunk.
Normally, defense lawyers tell their clients to keep their lips publicly zipped when it comes to matters like this, but the always dapper club sensation took to his website, PlanetPit.com, to tell his side of the story. He admits that when he first heard news of the lawsuit, he thought “it was very ironic,” but once he understood the severity of the allegations, he changed his tune. Pitbull claims the whole thing is just a misunderstanding over misheard and misinterpreted lyrics. “I didn’t look to defame, hurt or degrade someone else’s career,” he tells an off-camera honey. Rather, he explains that he was just attempting to keep her “relevant” and, furthermore, it’s considered a compliment to be “locked down” where he comes from. We’re not sure where you stand on this, but after watching Pitbull’s faux deposition, we’re officially on Team Pit on this one.
Though these two writers took different tacts at getting there, each acknowledged that Foster The People’s bouncy anthem has officially crossed over from the “indie” world and into the mainstream. This is further evidenced by the video you see above, in which Vinny Guadagnino of Jersey Shore fame dances to “Pumped Up Kicks” with a coterie of adorable moppets in his living room. (We also noted that it was used to score a scene in the Fright Night remake that hit theaters last week, too.) We knew that when we selected the band as a You Oughta Know artist back in June that they were headed for big things, but we had no idea that they would get this big, this quick. At this point, only one question remains: Will the band be able to build on the success of this smash hit with a second single off this record, or will the band veer off into one-hit wonder status? Regardless of that outcome, there’s no denying that “Pumped Up Kicks” has captured the zeitgeist during the summer of 2011.
Joe Jonas would be incredibly happy if his career followed the same trajectory as Justin Timberlake‘s. Both started out as cogs in the Disney machine, then followed that up with successful stints in boy bands. Timberlake, as we know, was able to parlay his early stardom into a wildly successful solo career, and now Joe Jonas is trying to do the same. In an attempt to gain a new audience, he’s played in front of a bunch of egg-throwing hipsters in Williamsburg and buddied up to Jimmy Fallon, but what he really needs to break through is a hit song, preferably one with a juicy tabloid angle, à la Justin’s cool and calculated Britney takedown, “Cry Me A River.”
Jonas’ first single off his forthcoming Fast Life LP, “See No More,” stiffed; it peaked at #92 in the Billboard Hot 100. However, the single was just released in the UK last week, and the British press inquired as to whether it was directed at his ex, Taylor Swift. You may recall that Jonas dumped Swift during a 20-second phone call in 2008, an event which the heartbroken Swift eventually chronicled in the song “Forever & Always” (“Was I out of line? Did I say something way too honest / That made you run and hide like a scared little boy?”).
After listening to “See No More,” we can’t imagine why anyone would think this song about a “cold” girl who “threw it all away” is directed at the Swift (especially considering Jonas already dissed T-Swizzle on the Jonas Brothers track “Much Better”). That didn’t stop London’s press-hungry Metro from asking the question, though, which Joe flatly denied. “No, that’s not about her,” he tersely stated. “When I write songs I don’t say who they are about because I don’t want the audience to relate to what was going on with me when I wrote it. You say one thing and it becomes a big rumor.” Much to the (likely) chagrin of his publicity team charged with generating interest in his solo career, it appears that this case is closed.
LIL WAYNE SPRINGS A LEAK, THREATENS TO KIDNAP BEYONCÉ
Where’s the beef? On Lil Wayne’s just-leaked Tha Carter IV, that’s where! According to Blackbook, Weezy’s new track “It’s Good” features this bar directed towards Jay-Z: “Talkin’ ‘bout baby money, I got your baby money/Kidnap your b****, Get that ‘how much you love your lady?” This is apparently in retaliation to a verse that Jay sung on “H.A.M.” that dissed Young Money. First Game disses Jay, now Wayne? Sh*t’s about to get real, son! [Blackbook]
JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT PAYS HOMAGE TO KURT COBAIN
The 20th anniversary of Nevermind is just around the corner, so Nirvana-mania is clearly in bloom (drum roll). At a concert in Seattle last night, the Inception star played a cover of “Lithium,” which he punctuated with this off-the-cuff dedication: “You know it seems like everytime people bring up Nirvana, people wanna talk about how Kurt Cobain killed himself. But I gotta say, it doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t matter that he’s dead, it doesn’t matter how he died, his songs are f***ing awesome, that’s what matters.” [Everybody Loves Our Town]
If you were anywhere on the Eastern seaboard in the last hour or so, you no doubt felt the effect of an earthquake that registered 5.9 on the Richter Scale. Here in Times Square at VH1 HQ, we felt the building sway and bounce uncomfortably for a good five or six seconds. Everyone seems to be okay, if a bit freaked out.
What do famously reclusive author Thomas Pynchon, wheelchair-bound theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and beer-drinking third baseman Wade Boggs have in common? No, not a penchant for harrassing flight attendants; rather, each have guest-starred on The Simpsons at one point or another during the show’s 22 seasons. Now you can add world famous pop star, video vanguard and wearer of raw meat Lady Gaga to that list.
EW.com is reporting that the Mother Monster herself is set to appear on The Simpsons this season in an episode called “Lisa Goes Gaga” (air date still TBD). The logline reads as such: “In ‘Lisa Goes Gaga,’ the singer makes a pit stop in Springfield after learning that it’s teeming with low self-esteem, and winds up trying to cheer up a dejected Lisa through the power of speech, song, and a flash mob.” Apparently, the episode will also see Gaga and Marge kiss, which will not be Marge’s first same sex smooch.
Meanwhile, the real takeaway from this photo is this: While Stefani Germanotta may indeed be committed to her character of Lady Gaga, she is most certainly not a Method actor.
TMZ is reporting today that the former lead singer of eighties glam metal band Warrant was found with a handwritten note stating “I am Jani Lane” on his person, a note that also contained the phone number of an as yet unnamed acquaintance of Lane’s. It also appears that the room at the Woodland Hills Comfort Inn in which Lane’s body was discovered was not purchased by Lane, either. It is unclear at this time whether the person who reserved the room was the same person whose contact information was found on the note.