Disney Settles Michael Jackson Documentary Dispute

(FILES) This file photo taken on September 1, 1993 in Singapore shows US pop megastar Michael Jackson performing during his “Dangerous” tour. STR / AFP

 

Disney and Michael Jackson’s estate have resolved a copyright dispute over a documentary about the late King of Pop that saw the Hollywood studio accused of breathtaking hypocrisy and aggressive tactics.

“The Last Days of Michael Jackson”, a two-hour program that aired on Disney-owned ABC in 2018, was accused of using the pop star’s songs, music videos, concert footage and clips of his memorial service without permission.

On Thursday, Jackson lawyer Howard Weitzman said in a statement to AFP: “The matter has been amicably resolved.” No details of the settlement were provided.

The Jackson estate’s lawyers alleged in a complaint filed last year that Disney had ignored copyright law while zealously prosecuting anyone who infringed on its own intellectual property.

“Unable to make a compelling presentation about Michael Jackson on its own, Disney decided to exploit the Jackson Estate’s intellectual property,” read the complaint.

Disney has argued that the documentary — a broad overview of Jackson’s life — made fair use of content including parts of hits “Billie Jean” and “Beat It”, as allowed under copyright law.

But the complaint noted that “Disney has threatened to sue independent childcare centers for having pictures of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on their walls.”

“Disney once sued a couple on public assistance for $1 million when they appeared at children’s parties dressed as an orange tiger and a blue donkey. Apparently, those costumes cut too close to Tigger and Eeyore for Disney’s tastes,” it added.

Jackson is estimated to have sold 350 million records, including “Thriller”, the best-selling album of all time.

He amassed 13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one solo singles in the United States and became the first artist in history to have a top ten single in the Billboard Hot 100 in five different decades.

He died in June 2009 at age 50, while he was in the Los Angeles area practicing for a planned series of concerts in London entitled “This Is It”.

The cause was given as an overdose of the anesthetic propofol. His personal doctor, Conrad Murray, was convicted in 2011 for administering the fatal dose of medication to Jackson.

The Jackson estate this year filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO for “posthumous character assassination” after its documentary “Leaving Neverland” alleged that Jackson molested young boys at his fairytale-themed ranch.

HBO has launched an appeal in its bid to dismiss the case.

In his lifetime, Jackson denied all child sex allegations.

 

AFP

Michael Jackson Art Show Opens In Finland Despite Controversy

file photo

 

An exhibition of art inspired by Michael Jackson opened Tuesday in Helsinki with organisers insisting it was not a “celebration” of the singer, still dogged by abuse allegations a decade after his death.

“Michael Jackson: On the Wall” brings together old and new works depicting the iconic pop star and his impact on popular culture, by artists including Andy Warhol, American photographer David LaChapelle and British potter Grayson Perry.

The show of 90 works first hung in London’s National Portrait Gallery in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim. It then toured in Paris and Bonn before coming to Helsinki.

The German and Finnish shows come after a new raft of allegations that Jackson groomed and sexually assaulted children, detailed in the 2018 documentary “Finding Neverland”.

The exhibition will nevertheless run in the Finnish capital “as planned”, organisers said, with a text at the entrance acknowledging that “current conversations may have changed the way the exhibition is interpreted”.

“We can’t shy away from these difficult subjects and we of course condemn all kinds of abuse,” Arja Miller, chief curator at Espoo Museum of Modern Art, told AFP.

“But we also want to provide a platform for open discussion and for artists’ voices,” she said.

“This exhibition and these artists are not celebrating Michael Jackson, but analysing his meaning in our culture,” Miller added.

Sponsors scared away 

Miller said some organisations refused to sponsor the exhibition over concerns about the controversies surrounding the singer, despite not having seen the show.

“I’m convinced that if everyone would have seen the exhibition they’d gladly be our partner because the exhibition is so diverse,” she told AFP.

Many of the Jackson-inspired works veer between the gaudy and the grotesque, including an oversized golden statue of the megastar with his pet chimpanzee, Bubbles, by Paul McCarthy.

Elsewhere, a life-size portrait by Kehinde Wiley, commissioned by Jackson himself shortly before his death in 2009, features the star in jewelled armour on horseback surrounded by cherubs, after a portrait by Rubens of King Philip II of Spain.

The Romanian artist Dan Mihaltianu’s installation draws on the impact of Jackson’s seminal 1992 concert in post-Communist Bucharest, using newspaper photos alongside concert footage.

Mihaltianu said that interest in his piece, from 1994, has grown again every time Michael Jackson has hit the headlines over the years.

“He will stay as an icon somehow, you cannot just erase him,” Mihaltianu told AFP.

“I remember already when he died, people were kind of, ‘OK, now he’s got to rest in peace.’ But 10 years later, it’s a new story coming up.”

AFP

Michael Jackson Fan Club Sue Alleged Abuse Victims Over HBO Documentary

Parents Vote To Drop Michael Jackson's Name From His Old School Hall
In this file photo American pop music star Michael Jackson sings October 13, 1988 at the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland.  PHOTO: LUKE FRAZZA / AFP FILES / AFP

 

Michael Jackson fan clubs moved to sue two alleged victims of the late singer in a French court on Thursday over their claims in the hit HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland”.

The legal action in the French city of Orleans targets James Safechuck, 41, and Wade Robson, 36, who recount how their idol molested them as boys at his Neverland Ranch in California.

They are the key figures in the hit two-part documentary, which made headlines around the world when it was released by HBO in March, and broke streaming records.

The fan clubs — Michael Jackson Community, the MJ Street and On The Line — have filed a suit in France using defamation laws that make it an offence to wrongly sully the image of a dead person.

US or British laws do not provide such protection.

The French lawyer representing the fan clubs, Emmanuel Ludot, said: “The image of the departed has been damaged, as well as the community of fans of Michael Jackson.”

Safechuck and Robson have snubbed the court action and did not send legal representation to Thursday’s proceedings, which lasted only 10 minutes.

But a statement from Jackson’s estate backed the French legal efforts, which are in addition to a suit filed against HBO in the US by the Jackson family seeking damages of $100 million (88 million euros).

“The Estate is in full support of Mr Ludot’s efforts on behalf of Michael and his beloved fans in France and across the globe that the truth shall ultimately prevail,” John Branca, a co-executor of the Estate of Michael Jackson, said in a statement.

“We remain hopeful that a victory in France will soon fuel a movement in the United States to finally explore changes in the law to afford defamation protection for the deceased,” it added.

The court in Orleans is set to deliver its verdict on October 9 providing the plaintiffs can prove that a summons to attend the court has been delivered to Safechuck and Robson.

The fan clubs are seeking symbolic damages of one euro each.

AFP

Parents Vote To Drop Michael Jackson’s Name From His Old School Hall

Parents Vote To Drop Michael Jackson's Name From His Old School Hall
In this file photo, American pop music star Michael Jackson sings at the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland on October 13, 1988. LUKE FRAZZA / AFP FILES / AFP

 

Parents at a Los Angeles elementary school have voted on whether to drop Michael Jackson’s name from the auditorium after damaging pedophilia allegations made against the late pop singer in a documentary.

Gardner Street school’s Michael Jackson Auditorium has become a thorny issue ever since the airing of “Leaving Neverland”, an HBO documentary which alleges the singer molested two boys when they were seven and 10 years old.

Jackson attended the school in 1969, but left after his family band, The Jackson 5, scored their first big hit, “I want you back”.

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Officials at Gardner Street school would not say when the results of this week’s vote would be released.

“Following remarks by some parents and team members about the current name of our auditorium … we gave the opportunity to parents and employees to decide on the issue,” said principal Karen Hollis.

The auditorium at the school, in the heart of Hollywood, was named for Jackson in 1989 before first allegations of abuse were laid on the singer, who died in 2009 of a drug overdose.

A 13-year-old boy complained about being abused by Jackson in 1993, but the case was settled out of court. The singer was tried in 2005 for the alleged abuse of another minor, but acquitted.

“The name should probably be removed, it’s not right for an elementary school. The documentary gave a very clear picture of the situation”, Robert Fitzgerald, a parent told the Los Angeles Times.

Another parent disagreed, however.

“People in this country have done much worse, have been convicted and still have their names on buildings”, said Myreon Arslan.

AFP

‘Simpsons’ Creators Drop Classic Episode Featuring Michael Jackson

A documentary on pedophilia accusations against Michael Jackson has left some fans grappling with the late superstar’s tarnished legacy.  Photo: LUKE FRAZZA / AFP FILES / AFP

 

The creators of “The Simpsons” have shelved one of the animated series’ classic episodes because it features Michael Jackson’s voice, the show’s executive producer told The Wall Street Journal Friday.

Simpsons producers made the unanimous decision after viewing the bombshell documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which revives pedophilia accusations against the late megastar in excruciating detail.

“It feels clearly the only choice to make,” Simpsons executive producer James L. Brooks told the WSJ.

The move appears to be the first such artistic ban in the United States since the documentary aired on US network HBO earlier this week. Several radio stations in Canada, New Zealand and Australia have stripped Jackson songs from their playlists in light of the film.

The 1991 episode in question sees Homer Simpson meet a mental hospital patient who believes he is the pop star Michael Jackson, and speaks in the star’s signature high pitch.

Entitled “Stark Raving Dad,” the segment that aired on Fox in the show’s third season triggered intense fan speculation because Jackson’s name was not in the credits.

But just last year, Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening confirmed Jackson had indeed done the voice work — but not the song bit.

“When it came time to sing the songs, he had a sound-alike singer,” Groening told Australian television.

“And he stood there and watched the guy who was so nervous, who had to sound like Michael Jackson.”

Brooks told the paper the episode had been one of his favourites — but that pulling it was necessary in light of the documentary.

“This was a treasured episode. There are a lot of great memories we have wrapped up in that one, and this certainly doesn’t allow them to remain,” Brooks said, citing “evidence of monstrous behaviour.”

Prior to his 2009 death, Jackson emphatically denied molesting children, and was acquitted of child abuse charges in 2005 after a dramatic trial.

The late superstar’s estate has smeared the documentary as a “posthumous character assassination,” and is suing HBO for $100 million.

Brooks told the paper the Simpsons episode would be removed from streaming services, TV stations and box sets, a process that “has started.”

“I’m against book burning of any kind. But this is our book, and we’re allowed to take out a chapter,” Brooks said.

AFP

Bombshell Film Reignites Michael Jackson Abuse Firestorm

Two men who say the late King of Pop for years sexually abused them as minors.
Timothy A. CLARY / AFP

 

For his ardent global fan base, the dream of Michael Jackson lives — his art omnipresent, his cultural influence unparalleled, his trail of alleged transgressions swept away.

But an unflinching new documentary on pedophilia accusations against the late King of Pop has shattered the glittering veneer to present in lurid detail the stories of two men who say Jackson sexually abused them for years as minors.

“Leaving Neverland,” a four-hour film by British director Dan Reed, is considered so potentially devastating that counseling was made available at its Sundance Film Festival premiere in January.

US cable network HBO will air it in two parts, starting Sunday.

The documentary centers on James Safechuck, 41, and Wade Robson, 36, who recount separate but consistent accounts of how their idol molested them as boys.

Both describe how the childlike Jackson wooed them: inviting them into his fairytale existence, gaining their families’ trust and manipulating them into keeping their sexual relations secret.

“You and I were brought together by God,” Robson said Jackson told him.

Their mothers offer their own narratives of seduction into the cult of Jackson — and the guilt that haunts them for letting their sons enter so fully into the star’s world.

Now a notable choreographer, Robson, originally from Australia, met Jackson as a five-year-old after winning a dance competition.

The megastar invited the boy to his Neverland Ranch in California, where Robson, by then seven, said the abuse began.

He describes how their sexual relationship “escalated rapidly,” with Jackson telling him: “This is us showing each other that we love each other.”

Safechuck — who said his abuse began at age 10, after he appeared in a Pepsi commercial with Jackson — tells a similar tale.

He says the superstar told him if anyone found out, their lives “would be over.”

Decades of denial

It’s not the first public airing of abuse claims against Jackson but the release marks the first major explosion of the scandal since his fatal overdose at age 50, almost ten years ago.

His estate has vehemently defended Jackson, suing HBO for $100 million over a “posthumous character assassination” it says breaches an agreement made not to disparage the icon, a condition for airing one of his concerts.

Jackson faced accusations in 1993 of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy and settled out of court, with Robson and Safechuck saying Jackson hadn’t touched them.

In 2003 more accusations triggered a dramatic trial: that time, Safechuck kept a distance, but Robson testified for Jackson, who was acquitted.

Despite repeated questioning from the authorities and their families, neither man reversed their stories until recently, after becoming fathers themselves. Both filed their own lawsuits that were dismissed over statutes of limitations.

“You loved him in a lot of ways. And then you know Michael does these things to you that are not healthy,” Safechuck said.

“It’s really hard to have those two feelings together. I still, today, am grappling with that.”

‘Prolific pedophile’

“Leaving Neverland” comes in the wake of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s downfall, and as R&B superstar R. Kelly faces a fresh legal reckoning for his own questionable history with underage girls.

For pop culture scholar Robert Thompson of Syracuse University, the release in today’s #MeToo context is key: Jackson’s trial was relatively recent, but “in so many ways, consciousnesses have been raised.”

“I could certainly see how a documentary this far out could completely change his legacy,” Thompson said.

Jackson’s sprawling homestead is back on the market for $31 million — some 70 percent less than the asking price four years ago, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Diane Dimond, a journalist who covered the Jackson saga for years and has penned a book on the subject, said she expects more men will come forward.

“He was a prolific pedophile, that did what he did right under our noses because he knew he was so adored that he could get away with it,” she said.

‘Ripples of impact’

But the fans, Dimond said, “will forever think that he was like Jesus.”

“Jackson somehow strikes a chord, even today, in the very soul of people,” she added.

Thompson agrees, saying there’s little chance of erasing Jackson’s artistic legacy, even if his reputation is tarnished.

“In any sense of rational history, we cannot retroactively say that no, Michael Jackson didn’t change the history of global pop — because he did change the history of global pop,” Thompson said.

“The ripples of impact that he sent out were not ripples; they were tsunamis.”

For Safechuck, whose trembling hands in the film betray his struggle for calm, it’s a statement that rings all too true.

“They say time heals all wounds,” Safechuck said. “But I don’t think time heals this one. It just gets worse.”

AFP

Michael Jackson Estate Sues HBO Over Documentary

(FILES) This file photo taken on September 1, 1993, in Singapore shows US pop megastar Michael Jackson performing during his “Dangerous” tour. STR / AFP

 

Michael Jackson’s estate filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO on Thursday over plans to air a documentary that alleges the singer sexually abused two young boys.

The 53-page suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims HBO was violating a “non-disparagement” agreement by airing “Leaving Neverland,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year.

“Michael Jackson is innocent. Period,” the suit says. “In 2005, Michael  Jackson was subjected to a trial — where rules of evidence and law were applied before a neutral judge and jury and where both sides were heard — and he was exonerated by a sophisticated jury.

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“Ten years after his passing, there are still those out to profit from his enormous worldwide success and take advantage of his eccentricities,” it adds.

The four-hour, two-part documentary that is set to air next month includes the testimonies of two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who say the King of Pop sexually abused them when they were seven and 10.

In a statement, HBO said it planned to broadcast the documentary as scheduled.

“Despite the desperate lengths taken to undermine the film, our plans remain unchanged,” the statement sent to AFP reads. “HBO will move forward with the airing of ‘Leaving Neverland,’ the two-part documentary on March 3rd and 4th.

“This will allow everyone the opportunity to assess the film and the claims in it for themselves.”

The lawsuit contends that HBO in 1992 aired a concert in Bucharest from Jackson’s “Dangerous” world tour and at the time signed non-disparagement provisions that prevent the streaming service from harming Jackson’s reputation.

“In violation of both basic norms of documentary journalism and the explicit terms of the agreement, HBO has disparaged Jackson’s legacy by airing a one-sided hit piece against Jackson based exclusively on the false accounts of two proven, serial perjurers,” the suit states.

It asks the court to compel HBO to take part in a non-confidential arbitration that could cost the company $100 million if found liable.

Jackson, who died on June 25, 2009 after being given an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, faced multiple allegations of child sex abuse during his lifetime.

In addition to his 2005 acquittal the performer paid a $15 million court settlement in 1994 over allegations involving another child.

London Fans Pay Tribute To Michael Jackson On 60th Posthumous Birthday

 

Fans of Michael Jackson honoured the “King of Pop” on what would have been his 60th birthday on Wednesday by gathering at a temporary monument in the shape of a crown erected in his honour in London.

Braving the rain, fans imitated his famed dance and moonwalk moves around the 13-foot (4 meter) white, sparkling crown erected by record label Sony Music on the south bank of the River Thames.

“The first time I saw him in person, I was 18 years old, he came to London and it was just manic,” said fan Mayah Thomas, now 31. “(Jackson was) really shy, but also really really personable. He would always try and make the fans comfortable.”

Jackson, famed for hits like “Bad” and “Beat It”, had been rehearsing for a series of comeback concerts scheduled in London before his sudden death in 2009 at the age of 50.

The crown monument will stand for just one day.

Eagles Overtake Michael Jackson With Biggest Selling Album

The Eagles – Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Timothy Schmit and Don Henley – have been named as the artists with the best-selling album of all time.

 

A box set of The Eagles’ greatest hits has surpassed Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as the biggest selling album ever in the United States, according to a new ranking by the Recording Industry Association of America.

RIAA said “The Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-75,” a compilation of the country-rock group’s first four albums, has now sold 38 million units, topping “Thriller’s” 33 million.

The set had long held the top spot for US album sales but was overtaken in 2009 by “Thriller” following a surge of sales for the album after Jackson’s death.

“Hotel California,” the Eagles’ 1976 album with the hit single of the same name, was ranked third, with 26 million units sold.

The new ranking includes sales both of discs and via streaming, which had not been calculated for the Eagles since 2006, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

“We are grateful for our families, our management, our crew, the people at radio and, most of all, the loyal fans who have stuck with us through the ups and downs of 46 years. It’s been quite a ride,” Don Henley, 71, the group’s lead singer and co-founder, said in a statement carried by Rolling Stone.

After the death of Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey in 2016 at the age of 67, the group was reconfigured and resumed touring the following year. It has scheduled a series of concerts in the United States in September.

AFP

Michael Jackson Returns Posthumously On Drake’s Album

Late Pop Star, Michael Jackson

 

Nearly a decade after his death, Michael Jackson is out with new music in a guest appearance on the keenly awaited new album by Drake.

The late King of Pop appears in a song on “Scorpion,” the fifth studio album by the Toronto hip-hop star who pulled another surprise by using the release to come clean about his secret child.

True to form for Drake, whose sensibility for catchy beats has made him one of the top-selling artists of recent years, the 25-track album that came out Friday sprawls defiantly, as if resisting the traditional confines of records.

Yet Drake loosely divides “Scorpion” in two — a first “side” in which he hones his rap skills and a second, more unexpected half in which Drake branches further into pop.

“Don’t Matter To Me,” the song with Jackson, belongs firmly to Drake’s pop mode. The 31-year-old proves his bona fides as a singer, his piercing rap delivery giving way to a full-textured silkiness that complements Jackson’s higher ranges.

A dreamy mid-tempo track driven by a synthesized R&B bass, “Don’t Matter To Me” is in line with the adult output of Jackson, whose distinct voice is heard on the chorus.

“All of a sudden you say you don’t want me no more / All of a sudden you say that I closed the door / It don’t matter to me,” Jackson sings.

Drake revealed nothing about the song’s genesis.

But Jackson is known to have left a series of unfinished tracks when he died in 2009. A previous posthumous duet, “Love Never Felt So Good,” came out in 2014 between Jackson and pop star Justin Timberlake.

Like “Don’t Matter To Me,” the Timberlake collaboration was credited in part to the legendary crooner Paul Anka.

Jackson had been working on an album of duets with Anka, the voice behind such classic pop hits as “Put Your Head on My Shoulder,” in 1983.

But the project fell by the wayside as the former child star was propelled to fortune with “Thriller,” which went on to become the best-selling album of all time.

Drake, in a rare interview last year, described Jackson as a longtime model and voiced dismay at being pigeon-holed as a rapper.

The song coincidentally comes out little more than a day after the death of Joe Jackson, the King of Pop’s father and manager who guided his children’s careers but was ruthless in his discipline.

Politics and a secret child 

Jackson is not the only special guest on “Scorpion.” Rap mega-star Jay-Z lends rhymes on “Talk Up” that denounce President Donald Trump — a rare political display for a song by Drake, who while making clear his disdain for Trump has largely preferred apolitical, crowd-pleasing rhythms.

Drake incorporates his recent input into “Scorpion” — “God’s Plan,” an infectious hip-hop track that has spent the longest stretch on the top of the US singles chart this year, and “Nice For What,” a fast-driving dip into New Orleans’ bounce scene.

But while “Scorpion” is full of feel-good vibes — “Ratchet Happy Birthday” seems destined to be played at many a boisterous party — Drake closes on a serious note as he acknowledges he is a father.

Drake admits the substance of a diss track in May by Pusha T who said that Drake had a son with Sophie Brussaux, a French former pornographic actress.

“I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world / I was hiding the world from my kid,” Drake raps in “Emotionless,” which samples Mariah Carey’s “Emotions.”

Later on the album, Drake hints that he has only seen his child once and is embarrassed he is following the footsteps of his divorced parents.

“Always promised the family unit / I wanted it to be different because I’ve been through it / But this is the harsh truth now.”

AFP

Michael Jackson’s Father, Joe Jackson, Dies At 89

In this file photo taken on October 28, 2009, Joe Jackson speaks during a press conference at the Brenden Theatres inside the Palms Casino Resort to announce plans to build a performing arts center in Gary, Indiana in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Joe Jackson, the father of Michael Jackson, who created the Jackson 5 music family with an iron will, died on Wednesday, family members confirmed. He was 89.

Entertainment sites TMZ and ET said Jackson died on Wednesday morning in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer.

Family members confirmed the death on social media. Grandson Randy Jackson Jr tweeted, “RIP to the king that made everything possible!!! I love you grandpa.”

Fellow grandson Taj Jackson asked on Twitter for space to grieve, saying his grandfather was “loved by our ENTIRE family” and criticizing media portrayals of the patriarch.

In this file photo taken on March 4, 2018 Talent manager Joe Jackson attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation 26th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party at West Hollywood Park, California.  TARA ZIEMBA / AFP

 

Representatives of family members did not immediately respond to requests for details on his death, but Jackson himself hinted at his impending death in a tweet two days ago.

“I have seen more sunsets than I have left to see. The sun rises when the time comes and whether you like it or not the sun sets when the time comes,” he wrote.

A strict disciplinarian father of 11 children, the steelworker in Gary, Indiana turned into one of music history’s most unlikely but most successful managers as he created The Jackson 5 from his family.

His most famous child, King of Pop Michael Jackson, would later break down in tears even as an adult when recalling his father beating him with his belt and, while publicly forgiving him, wrote him out of his will.

In this file photo taken on March 14, 2005, Michael Jackson (C) with his father Joe Jackson (2nd-L) and mother Katherine Jackson (2nd-R). CARLO ALLEGRI / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

AFP

Detroit Cancels Ceremony To Name Street After Michael Jackson

Late Pop Star, Michael Jackson

 

An honorary street naming in Detroit for the King of Pop was cancelled Wednesday.

Michael Jackson Avenue was supposed to be officially unveiled Friday in Motor City, just as the late artist’s surviving brothers prepared to perform at a weekend concert.

But the ceremony was called off, as members of the Jackson 5 — the family act where Michael Jackson got his start — wondered why the entire group wasn’t being honored.

Under city rules, honorary street names cannot be granted to groups or organizations, only persons, the Detroit Free Press newspaper reported.

A city official told the newspaper that the naming ceremony was called off while a solution is sought.

“We’re still working through the process,” Stephen Grady told the Free Press.

The street naming was announced in mid-May with much fanfare and two of the Jackson 5 present at a news conference.

The tribute was to come 50 years after the family group birthed their career with a successful recording contract audition in Detroit, which has a rich history of nurturing American artists.

But Marlon and Jackie Jackson told reporters at the May event that they wanted the entire group to be honored.

Michael Jackson, who started with the group, went on to become one of the most famous performers in pop music history.

He died in 2009 at the age of 50 from a fatal dose of drugs, including the powerful anesthetic propofol.

Had the street naming gone ahead, the King of Pop’s honorary stretch of road would have been near the one named after the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. Her street naming was last year.

AFP