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Jackson Estate Reports $310 Million in Earnings; FOX Premieres 'X Factor'

FILE - In this Aug. 25, 1993 file photo, American pop star Michael Jackson performs during his "Dangerous" tour in Bangkok.
FILE - In this Aug. 25, 1993 file photo, American pop star Michael Jackson performs during his "Dangerous" tour in Bangkok.
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Mary Morningstar

Jackson Estate Earns $310 Million

The Associated Press reports that Michael Jackson’s estate generated $310 million from the time of his death in June 2009 through December 2010.  Executors plan to distribute an initial $30 million to Jackson’s mother Katherine and his three children, Paris, Prince and Michael (a.k.a. Blanket).  Some of the money is also being donated to charities.  A court hearing to approve the plan is set for September 28.

Fox Premieres X Factor

Jackson Estate Reports $310 Million in Earnings; FOX Premieres 'X Factor'
Jackson Estate Reports $310 Million in Earnings; FOX Premieres 'X Factor'

On September 21, the U.S. version of Britain’s singing competition, “The X Factor,” will launch on FOX-TV.  The winner, who will be announced on December 22, receives $5 million and a recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.  The show’s four judges are Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid, Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell.

SuperHeavy CD Features Mick Jagger, Joss Stone

A&M Records released the self-titled debut album by SuperHeavy on September 20.  The group features Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, British soul singer Joss Stone, Indian artist A.R. Rahman and reggae star Damian Marley.  Jagger describes the multicultural collaboration as “an unknown genre,” but adds that “it’s accessible and structured.”

Tony Bennett Drops 'Duets II' CD

Tony Bennett's "Duets II" CD
Tony Bennett's "Duets II" CD

Columbia Records released Tony Bennett’s 17-track collaborative album, Duets II, on September 20.  The collection follows his 2006 million-selling, double Grammy-winning “Duets: An American Classic.”  Artists featured on his new album include Mariah Carey, Faith Hill, Willie Nelson, Michael Buble, Norah Jones and the late Amy Winehouse, among others.  Amy’s duet with Bennett on “Body and Soul” is the album’s lead single.  Proceeds from its sales will go to a foundation Winehouse’s father created in her name.  The foundation offers programs to keep young people off drugs.

New NYC Ballet Show Features McCartney Score

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney

The premiere of the New York City Ballet’s “Ocean’s Kingdom” will take place on September 22.  Its score was written by former Beatle Paul McCartney.  This marks the first time McCartney has written music for dance.  The Ocean’s Kingdom soundtrack, performed by the London Classical Orchestra, will be released on October 4.

In other Paul McCartney news… The MusiCares Foundation has announced that he will be honored as its 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year.  McCartney will be recognized for his creative accomplishments and charitable work at MusiCares’ 22nd annual benefit gala on February 10th, 2012.  McCartney says, “I’ve been given a great gift - a life making music - and it’s my privilege to try to make the world a better place by giving back.  For more than 20 years, MusiCares has helped so many music people in times of crisis - whether with emergency financial assistance or access to addiction recovery resources - and it is an honor to be recognized as the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year.”  And, there’s also good news in McCartney’s personal life.  He and fiancée Nancy Shevell will soon be married.  Although the exact date is unknown, they announced that the ceremony will be held at the Old Marylebone Town Hall.  McCartney married his first wife, the late Linda Eastman McCartney, at the same venue in 1969.

Dean Martin Re-Release Includes Duet with Scarlett Johansson

Dean Martin's "My Kind of Christmas" CD
Dean Martin's "My Kind of Christmas" CD

On September 20, Universal Music released the 2011 edition of the late Dean Martin’s My Kind of Christmas album.  The collection features a newly recorded virtual duet of the holiday classic “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” with actress Scarlett Johansson.

New Album Releases September 20

“Unbroken” by Demi Lovato
“Sweeter” by Gavin DeGraw
“TM103” by Young Jeezy
“Letters From the Fire” by Fuel
“Night of Hunters” by Tori Amos
“Coast To Coast” by Cody Simpson
“The Reckoning” by NeedToBreathe
“Mockingbird Time” by The Jayhawks
“PJ 20” by Pearl Jam

Musical Events/Festivals/Benefits:

Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" CD
Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" CD

The inaugural “iHeartRadio Music Festival” will take place September 23 and 24 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Tickets to the two-day event sold out within 10 minutes.  American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest will host the festival.  Performers include Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, and many others.

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