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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Michael Jackson's Funeral Date and Location Undecided; Will Names Diana Ross As Guardian; Is First Artist To Sell Over One Million Downloads In A Week

The WaPo reports that a time and location for Michael Jackson's funeral has not been determined:

    Funeral plans remained undetermined, and Jackson's family said in a statement that no public or private ceremony would be held at the singer's Neverland Valley ranch in central California.

However, The Herald Sun is reporting that Jackson's body will lay in state at Neverland for a public memorial on Saturday:

    MICHAEL Jackson's body will make a poignant final journey to Neverland, suggesting the sprawling fantasy retreat could become a permanent memorial.

    A motorcade will escort the body on Friday to the King of Pop's 1000ha estate, which was a monument to Jackson's obsession with childhood.

    Police said the Jackson family planned a public viewing on Saturday, which could draw a crush of fans to the isolated property 240km north of Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Contact Music reports there will not be a memorial service at Neverland and this decision comes from the Jackson family:

    MICHAEL JACKSON's family has confirmed reports a planned public viewing of the King of Pop's remains at his former Neverland Ranch home has been scrapped.

    A new statement from the Jackson family reads, "Contrary to previous news reports... there will be no public or private viewing at Neverland.

    "Plans are underway regarding a public memorial for Michael Jackson."

The Smoking Gun, which has his will on-line, states Michael stipulated that his wishes were for his mother to gain custody of his children, and that if she was unable to care for them or passed away prior to him, custody would go to Diana Ross:

    The will makes no provision for bequests to Jackson's father or any of his eight siblings, and a court filing indicates that beneficiaries of the Michael Jackson Family Trust are limited to his children and mother Katherine. Six other relatives, including his brother Tito's three sons, are named as "contingent remainder beneficiaries" who would share the estate in the event that Jackson's principal beneficiaries died before he did.


    In the case that Jackson's mother were to predecease him (or was unable or unwilling to serve as guardian), Jackson stipulated that singer Diana Ross should be appointed guardian of his minor children.

Michael still continues setting records in the music industry after his death. Digital Media Wire:

    Michael Jackson has sold a record 2.6 million digital songs in one week, up from 48,000 a week ago, according to sales data compiled by SoundScan. The feat makes Jackson the first artist to sell over a million downloads in a single week.

    The number includes both Jackson's solo work, and albums with the Jackson 5.

I don't trust much of the reporting about the date and locations of a memorial service or funeral in stories that list "an anonymous source" as their informant. I think a lot of news outlets are speculating without any solid information for no other reason than ratings or to claim they were "the first" to break the news.


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