At last weekend’s Julien’s auction in Beverly Hills, California, featuring memorabilia from the Beatles, Madonna and Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson reigns supreme.

The King of Pop’s red and black calfskin ‘Thriller’ jacket sold for $1.8 million. The late pop star wore the jacket in a scene with a troupe of zombies who rise from their graves and break into a dance routine in his 1983 zombie-ridden “Thriller” video. The 14-minute clip is considered one of the most influential music videos ever made.

The calfskin jacket worn by Michael Jackson in his Thriller video (Photo Credit: Matt Sayles/Associated Press)

Michael Jackson in a scene from the music video "Thriller"

The winning price was exponentially above the pre-auction estimate of $200,000 to $400,000. A portion of the proceeds will go to actress Tippi Hedren's Roar Foundation. The pop star's Bengal tigers, Thriller and Sabu, have been living at the foundation's Shambala Preserve since Jackson left Neverland Ranch in 2006.

The jacket was designed by Deborah Landis, the wife of "Thriller" director John Landis. It was given by Jackson, who died on the 25th of June 2009, to his longtime costume designers Dennis Tompkins and Michael Bush. The inside lining is inscribed "To Bush and Dennis, All My Love, Michael Jackson," and the sleeve is signed "Love Michael Jackson."

Michael Jackson's Thriller jacket sold for $1.8 million

Its sale came exactly two years after the then 50-year-old Jackson was killed by a surgical anesthetic called Propofol, which a Los Angeles coroner ruled killed the singer in combination with several sedatives found in his blood.

Darren Julien, president and CEO of Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills, Callifornia, said the jacket was purchased by Milton Verret, a commodities trader and philanthropist from Austin, Texas.

Verret, who also owns the jacket Jackson wore during his Bad tour, revealed that the jacket will be put on display at Dell Children's Hospital in Austin, before sending it around the world to display as a fundraising tool for children's charities in the spirit of Jackson.

Verret has a history of making pop-culture purchases to benefit the less fortunate. He paid $120,000 at auction for a $20,000 2009 motorcycle signed by Jay Leno to benefit a New York children's charity. He spent another $120,000 on eight "Big Guitars" during the 2009 GuitarTown charitable auction in Austin, donating the pieces to the city afterward.

"It is one of the most important pieces of rock 'n' roll memorabilia in history," Verret said.

The jacket wasn't the only piece of memorabilia from the late King of Pop that was part of the auction. The signature fedora Jackson wore during his Bad Tour was sold for $16,250, his handwritten note to Elizabeth Taylor went for $5,625 and a signed pillowcase fetched $3,584. And a bidder paid out $330,000 -- more than 10 times what Julien's had expected to get -- for one of the famous, shiny, crystal-covered gloves that Jackson wore during the 1980s.

Other pieces of history, from other members of music royalty, were also featured at the auction. While gold records and instruments were common items, others were more practical -- like Frank Sinatra's boots (selling for $2,500) and his 1986 Jaguar car ($19,000) as well as the U.S. Army-issued sewing kit of Elvis Presley's that went for $1,536.

The King of Pop's closest competition at the auction was the Beatles, which had a number of items for sale. A signed postcard from Liverpool's finest sold for $5,504 and Paul McCartney's bass guitar fetched $14,080. But oft-diminished drummer Ringo may have gotten the last laugh, with the cape he wore in the movie "Help!" selling for $37,500 -- about five times the estimate.

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Susan Boyle has become the first solo artist to reach No 1 in the UK and US album charts at the same time twice in a year.

SuBo made history yesterday when her latest album, The Gift, topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

Susan Boyle's second album The Gift

Her first album, I Dreamed A Dream, achieved the same success a year ago.

Simon Cowell, who signed Susan to his label Syco, calls The Britain’s Got Talent runner-up his “superwoman.”

“I’m thrilled for Susan, she has once again defied the odds,” says Simon, 51.

Only The Beatles and The Monkees have equalled single 49-year-old Susan’s incredible feat.

Her popularity exceeds Madonna and even Elvis Presley.

“I’ve never felt happier in my life,” says Susan. “This is an amazing result and one I never expected.”

Boyle released  “The Gift” (Syco/Sony) in the United States on Nov. 9 and a day earlier in the United Kingdom, with Sony Music Entertainment planning an initial U.S. shipment of 1.2 million units. First-week U.S. sales is projected to be about 300,000 units, less than half the 701,000 that her debut, “I Dreamed a Dream,” sold during Thanksgiving week last year, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The continued slump in recorded-music sales means that it may be impossible for “The Gift” to match the phenomenal sales of “I Dreamed a Dream,” which benefited from the YouTube-fueled frenzy over Boyle’s April 2009 debut appearance on “Britain’s Got Talent.”

The debut album has sold 3.8 million units in the United States and 1.8 million in the United Kingdom, according to SoundScan and the Official Charts Co. (OCC), respectively. Sony says “I Dreamed a Dream” has sold 9 million units worldwide, and IFPI cited the album as the global best seller of 2009.

Boyle will also be making a flurry of U.S. TV appearances. She appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” Oct. 19, with further appearances to follow on “Today,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” TNT’s “Christmas in Washington” special and more, although international appearances will be more limited than on the last campaign.

“American TV plays to her strengths,” says Shack, who cites Australia, Canada and Japan as priority international markets. “She’s not that comfortable engaging with European chat show presenters.”

“The Gift” contains 10 tracks, a mixture of seasonal standards like “O Holy Night” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” and covers of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day,” Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

Performing for the Pope was a huge accomplishment for Susan Boyle, but on yesterday’s (Oct. 19) episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” the singer gave what Oprah called the biggest performance the show has ever seen.

Boyle took over Oprah’s stage with a 60-person choir to perform the Crowded House hit “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” which appears on her second album “The Gift,” for Winfrey’s “The Next Big Thing” episode. All of the guests, including Boyle, 10-year-old “America’s Got Talent” sensation Jackie Evancho, and “You Light Up My Life” singer Debby Boone, were named as the “next big thing” when they first took the spotlight.

Boyle was 47 when she catapulted to fame in 2009 after her audition on “Britain’s Got Talent” went viral and paved the way for her debut album “I Dreamed A Dream” to start at  No. 1 on the Billboard 200 a little under a year ago with 701,000 and spent six weeks at the top. The album became the world’s top selling album last year.

You can also read more about The Gift at this earlier post of mine.

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“Imagine” this. Had “Give Peace A Chance” guy John Lennon not been shot dead in New York in 1980, the global icon of anti-Vietnam war activism and youthful rebellion would be celebrating his 70th anniversary today.

"Imagine"mosaic dedicated to the memory of John Lennon

Lennon, who was born Oct. 9, 1940, in Liverpool, northwestern England, was shot dead by Mark David Chapman outside his Dakota apartment building on Dec. 8, 1980. Chapman, 55, has been in jail since the shooting and was recently denied parole for the sixth time.

John Lennon

The seemingly immortal Beatle who died in 1980 at 40, will be honored in a variety of ways — from crowds expected to gather at Strawberry Fields in Central Park, opposite his Manhattan apartment building to sing his songs, to a birthday party at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, a special Google doodle, a new movie “Nowhere Boy” and a peace monument in his British hometown of Liverpool.

The Cleveland party Friday, part of an all-Lennon weekend, also included a time capsule containing a video by fans, a DVD about his life, books and his music. The capsule will be opened on his 100th birthday, 30 years from now.

Other time capsules will be dedicated in Liverpool and in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, site of the Imagine Peace Tower, a tribute to Lennon from his widow, Yoko Ono.

Google’s homepage sports an interactive doodle that links to a 32-second track of Lennon’s popular song “Imagine.” As it plays, the logo generates different pictures including that of a butterfly and flower.

In Liverpool, Lennon’s son Julian and former wife Cynthia will join European ambassadors for the unveiling of the Global Peace Initiative’s peace monument.

“Nowhere Boy,” a biopic tracing his pre-Beatles teen years in Liverpool, opened in select cities yesterday.

77-year-old Ono, whom he married in 1969, is spending his birthday in Reykjavik, Iceland for a concert and the annual Imagine Peace Tower Ceremony.

John Lennon & Yoko Ono

Ono, 77, has been in Iceland for the re-lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower, an installation she created in memory of one of the world’s most influential songwriters.

She said: “It was very hard because it was a sudden thing that happened, he wasn’t ill for a long time or anything, it’s just, we were talking before that you know, and, it was very hard.”

“I think I am getting over it in a kind of way, in my own unique way, but it’s still lingering”.

Ono added: “It’s very interesting, you know, that songs like Gimme Some Truth mean a lot now, and of course Give Peace a Chance and Imagine. All his political songs really have a lot of meaning right now for people.”

The Japanese-born artist believes Lennon, who became a symbol of the anti-Vietnam war movement, would still be politically active were he alive today, but that after his death it was up to her to carry on his message of peace.

She said: “We were partners and it was almost like we were in a battleground, really struggling you know, for peace, for world peace, against all odds.

“Many people didn’t like us speaking out about war, and war and peace, and then suddenly he was gunned down so I had to continue as a partner.”

John Lennon was born on Oct 9th, 1940 and formed the legendary English music band “The Beatles” with Paul McCartney in 1960. The band also included George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

Lennon was ranked the fifth greatest singer of all time by the Rolling Stones magazine. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame after his death in 1980.

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The “Glee” cast has surpassed the Beatles for the most appearances on the Billboard Hot 100 chart by a non-solo act.

The cast of the Fox television musical series about a high school glee club has six debuts on the chart this week. That gives it a total of 75 songs on the chart to the Beatles’ 71.

Elvis Presley still leads overall with 108 songs to chart on the Hot 100. He’s followed by James Brown with 91, then “Glee.”

The Beatles are sixth, behind Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin. Elton John, Lil Wayne, Stevie Wonder and Jay-Z round out the Top 10.

Nielsen SoundScan says the “Glee” cast has sold 2.8 million albums and 11.5 million downloads.

Glee’s soundtrack got a big boost after the immense success of the episode featuring the music of Britney Spears. Over 13 million people turned in to see Brit and the Glee gang. The Britney Spears episode of GLEE is the highest-rated episode of GLEE ever among Adults 18 – 49. It featured a cameo from the artist and included five of her hit songs including “Baby One More Time,” I’m a Slave 4U,” Me Against the Music,”  “Toxic” and “Stronger.”

Heather Morris portrays Britney Spears in the Britney/Brittany episode of Glee

Heather Morris (Brittany), the lead for this episode, joined Britney in a rendition of “Me Against the Music,” Spears’ hit collaboration with Madonna.

Britney is really happy with how the episode turned out. She thanked all of her fans via Twittter that for watching and said that it was a great opportunity to be able to participate on Glee.

The following video is the promo for the Britney/Brittany episode:

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June 30 2010 was a Wednesday and Christina Perri was at work as a waitress at a café in Los Angeles. She had no idea then that within the next 24 hours, her world would never be the same again. Ever.

Christina Perri

On the June 30 episode of Fox TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance”, Christina Perri’s song “Jars of Hearts” (also known as “Who Do You Think You Are?”) was used as the backdrop track for a dance routine performed by Billy Bell and Kathryn McMormick. The song struck a chord with the audience and broke into the Top 10 on iTunes overnight. And within two weeks, the song entered the Billboard’s Hot Digital Songs with over 100,000 downloads.

The “Jar of Hearts” lyrics has been among the hottest searches on the internet. One listen to the song is all it takes to understand why. The video below is posted by a fan on YouTube.  For those of you who want to get closer to Christina, follow her on her blog.

Christina’s story is uplifting as it proves that if you are truly committed to something you are passionate about, nothing can stop you. Christina believes in herself and in the beauty of her dreams. Since picking up the guitar at 15, she has been dreaming of becoming a singer. An ardent Beatles fan with their names tattooed around her wrists, she left her native Philadelphia for Los Angeles several years ago to pursue her dreams.  Working as a waitress in various restaurants, she spent her free time doing little things in the pursuit of her dreams: a commercial, singing a song for Diane Warren and posting acoustic performances of original tracks and covers on YouTube.

The pursuit of her dreams continues. The 23-year-old will travel to New York soon and meet up with major record labels. Managed by Tom Gates, the singer will be releasing a four-song EP. She says the songs are already written and plans to record within the next two weeks.

The lyrics of her song “Jars of Hearts”:

Jars of Hearts

No I can’t take one more step towards you
Cause all that’s waiting is regret
And don’t you know I’m not your ghost anymore
You lost the love I loved the most

I learned to live half alive
And now you want me one more time

And who do you think you are
Running around leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me
Who do you think you are

I hear you’re asking all around
If I am anywhere to be found
But I have grown too strong
To ever fall back in your arms

I learned to live half alive
And now you want me one more time

And who do you think you are
Running around leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don’t come back for me
Who do you think you are

And it took so long just to feel alright
Remember how to put back the light in my eyes
I wish I would have missed the first time that we kissed
Cause you broke all your promises
And now you’re back
You don’t get to get me back

And who do you think you are
Running around leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
Don’t come back for me
Don’t come back at all

And who do you think you are
Running around leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
Don’t come back for me
Don’t come back at all

Who do you think you are
Who do you think you are
Who do you think you are

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