Today -- the one year anniversary of Michael Jackson's death -- there is no shortage of scheduled tributes to the King of Pop, especially on TV, with ABC, NBC, CNN, VH1, MTV, BET, E!, Fuse, and even the TV Guide Network all airing MJ related specials today, as well as over the weekend. There are also some new MJ themed books published today or this week. And today, diehard fans of MJ around the globe are planning a simultaneous vigil called World Cry 2010. For this ambitious global event, which is synchronized for between 2:30pm and 3pm (PST), organizers hope to have over a million MJ fans, with candles and the lyrics to MJ's song "Cry" in hand, "Lighting up the world in honor of Michael Jackson's visions and memory!" Each major city is planning certain meeting points for MJ fans to congregate, sing, and honor their hero. For more World Cry 2010 info click here.
Today the new MJ book Thriller: The Musical Life of Michael Jackson, published by De Capo and penned by Nelson George, arrives on bookshelves. Michael Jackson: The Magic, the Madness, the Whole Story by J. Randy Taraborrelli (Grand Central Publishing), which is for now only available in hardcover, is another example of a brand new book about MJ. You can also pick up the recently revised version of Taraborrelli’s 2004 Michael Jackson biography, now including details of Jackson’s final years and the aftermath of his death. Then there is the new satirical book about MJ, Simon Crump's Neverland: The Unreal Michael Jackson Story from Old Street Publishing. Yet another new MJ book published this week is Katherine Jackson's Never Can Say Goodbye which features photos and text by the woman named the guardian of the King of Pop’s three children after his death last summer.
Michael Jackson's mom will also be featured on NBC tonight at 9pm for Dateline: A Mother's Story in which she discusses her son and grandchildren. Meantime, MTV, which has been saluting MJ all week, pulls out all the stops with specials including the 90 minute Michael Jackson’s Top 10 Video Countdown which airs at 5pm today, the one hour Michael Jackson’s Influence on Music at 6:30 pm, and Celebs Discuss the Night Michael Jackson Died and A Retrospective: The Globe Reacts to Michael Jackson’s Death which will run in segments throughout the day. Then tomorrow from 6am through 9:30am MTV will play Jackson videos and concert clips. MTV's sister station VH1, which will be playing MJ videos throughout the day today, will also re-run the miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream at noon.
ABC TV's 20/20 at 10pm tonight will chronicle the Jackson death investigation and look at how his children are adjusting a year later. At 8pm tonight CNN will air Michael Jackson — The Final Days followed by Larry King at 9pm interviewing brothers Tito and Jermaine Jackson. Gone Too Soon is the new MJ special produced by the TV Guide Network that will air at 9pm tonight. BET, which will air Michael Jackson: Life of a Superstar at 1 pm today, is planning a a big tribute to Jackson on Sunday (June 27th) during the BET Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in LA.
On E!, which has been running MJ specials for the past couple of days, they have a ton of MJ themed shows today including E! Investigates: The Last Days of Michael Jackson which airs at 10 am and 3pm today, and E! Special: Michael Jackson which airs at 11am and 4pm today. And at 7pm and 11pm today you can catch E! News’ retrospective on the life of Jackson featuring memories from Kim Kardashian, Sofia Vergara, Usher and others.
Most impressive of all the TV channels is the Fuse music channel, which will unveil two new documentaries today and will run MJ docs back to back all evening. The 90 minute Michael Jackson: The Inside Story, examining his controversial life and the conspiracies surrounding his mysterious death, premieres at 8pm tonight. It will be followed at 9:30pm by the new one hour documentary on the global impact of MJ's music Michael Jackson: A Tribute. At 10:30pm is the bio piece Michael Jackson: Devotion and at 11:30pm is the music video driven Michael Jackson: Remember His Time. These specials will repeat throughout the weekend. More info here.
Today in Las Vegas several prime MJ memorabilia items, including the famous “Beat It” leather jacket and the crystal glove from MJ's performance of “Billie Jean” from 1983's Motown 25 TV special, will be on the block at Julien’s Auction at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. And on Tuesday (June 29th) at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, NY the concert and dance show The Ultimate Thriller Tour, which is choreographed by former Jackson shadow dancer Mic Thompson, who worked with the artist for just under ten years, is happening. Other concert events include the pricey red carpet Forever Michael event at Beverly Hilton Hotel tomorrow night. And it's not for another five months but the gaming company Ubisoft will be unveiling a still untitled MJ dance & music video game featuring such Jackson mega-hits as "Beat It" and "Billie Jean."
That's a lot of Michael Jackson! Of course, in honor of the man today you can always simply go pick up an MJ CD at Amoeba Music, and, if you are shopping at the Hollywood Amoeba, you will not be far from Jackson's star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame where you can be sure many other Michael Jackson fans will be gathered to honor the man on this one year anniversary of his death.