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 Pops 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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Michael Jackson isn’t dead, he just moved to Brazil to be a cabbie!

Taxi driver Jean Carlos Ribeiro Machado has become an internet sensation with his pitch-perfect version of Michael Jacksons hit Billie Jean.

Jean Carlos Ribeiro Machado

A passenger who had been tipped off about his amazing vocals filmed Jean performing the song and then uploaded the footage online. The footage shows Jean beat-boxing and singing as he drives his passenger to a bus stop. To date, the YouTube clip has racked up more than 4 million views.

Jean said: "I got a call to pick up a fare, a guy named Diego.

"In the car he told me that the operator had said that I sang the same as Michael Jackson.

"So I sang Billie Jean to him and he recorded the video, I dropped him off at the bus stop and left. It was only afterwards that I saw the video on YouTube."

Jean, from Belo Horizonte, was quickly signed up and is now a megastar thanks to talent shows similar to the X Factor.

Under the name Jean Walker, the 32-year-old has since appeared on national TV with a team of dancers performing an extended version of Thriller.

He has also sung in front of MJs dad Joe, who visited Brazil on a recent book tour, and now hopes to make it big in America.

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Two days ago a good friend of mine passed me a few tickets for last night’s Michael Jackson Impersonator Show at the Eastwood Valley Golf & Country Club’s Music Corridor. The show is part of Miri May Fest in celebration of Miri’s fifth anniversary as a city. I went for the show last night with my wife and Edward Chieng, a nephew of ours.

There was a massive crowd at the hotel and there were a lot of security personnel stationed everywhere. I guessed there must be some VIP coming and my guess was later proven to be correct.

I am not too impressed with the performances of the Michael Jackson impersonators. None of the performances came anywhere close to what the late MJ was capable of doing. I guess I have too high expectation with all the publicity surrounding the show.

Stage backdrop for the show

One of the impersonators

A group of three impersonators

Another impersonator showing his MJ moves

Ohhhh...don't touch that!

Another MJ move

The gloved one

I guess groping the crotch seems to be a popular MJ dance routine

The champion impersonator

The champion receiving the champion trophy

After the performances, the MC announced the arrival of the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud. No wonder there were so many security personnel everywhere! The CM arrived with lots of VIPS in tow, including the Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, Tan Sri Dr George Chan, the Malaysian Minister of Energy, Green Technology & Water, Dato Sri Peter Chin and lots of local dignitaries.

The speeches started. It was hot and humid and I was sweating a lot. Reizo Zen was scheduled to perform after all the speeches by various VIPs. I would have loved to watch Reizo Zen perform but we did not want to sit through all the speeches by the VIPs so we left.

Reizo Zen.....the official Malaysia Michael Jackson impersonator

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By now, all of you would have watched the MJ Memorial or caught glimpses of it from the tv. I stayed up to watch it live early this morning. My time zone is GMT +8 so it was early Wednesday morning here when the memorial started.

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What a memorial it was! There were great performances from Mariah Carey, Usher, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Ritchie, Jennifer Hudson, John Mayer and Shaheen Jafargholi (“Britain’s Got Talent” star). I find Usher’s performance particularly touching when he sang “Gone Too Soon”.

MJ’s brother Marion also tugged at my heartstrings with his speech. He alluded to the controversies that surround MJ in death. “How much pain can one man take?” Marion asked. “Maybe now, they will leave you alone.”  How poignant!

To me, the most memorable part of the memorial was at the very end when MJ’s daughter Paris Katherine Jackson took to the microphone and said, “Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say that I love him so much.”  She broke down in tears after that and buried herself in the arms of her aunt Janet Jackson. I don’t mind admitting that tears just welled up in my eyes after that.  She touched the hearts of millions worldwide with that short tearful tribute. RIP, MJ!

Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say that I love him so much.
Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say that I love him so much.

Paris Katherine consoled by her uncle Marion
Paris Katherine consoled by her uncle Marion

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July 7 2009……will Michael Jackson stop the world?

The MJ public memorial scheduled for today at the Staples Center in Los Angeles will indeed bring the world to a stop! It is likely to become one of the most-viewed events of all time.

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The world has lost one of its most famous entertainers. There will never be another MJ. The frenzy over his death is almost unparalleled in history. And who will ever forget his Moonwalk moves?

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And what a catchy tune ……Billy Jean!

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I will be staying up tonight to watch the memorial on tv. Farewell, King of Pop!

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