The exclusive and shocking true story surrounding the controversial release of the first posthumous Michael Jackson album.
Wanna Be Kickstartin' Something?
For the past three years we have been diligently researching the controversy that surrounded the first posthumous Michael Jackson album, Michael, released by Epic Records and The Estate of Michael Jackson in December 2010.
Our mission with the A Truth Untold Kickstarter campaign is to raise the funds required to complete the research and publish the extensive findings of the investigation as an exclusive tell-all book detailing the shocking true story of what really happened.
For those of you not familiar with the issue we've been investigating and writing about, in November 2010 a song called Breaking News was streamed on the Official Michael Jackson website, michaeljackson.com, by Epic Records (Sony Music).
The song caused an uproar of controversy among the Jackson family, The Estate, the record label, producers, musicians and Michael's fans, with questions being raised over the authenticity of the vocals. The question was: Is it really Michael Jackson singing? The Estate of Michael Jackson and Epic Records said yes, but the Jackson family and many of Michael's fans from all around the world said no!
Even though the questions hadn't subsided, the song was officially released on the posthumous Michael Jackson album titled Michael in December 2010. To this day, questions remain regarding the authenticity of the vocals on Breaking News, as well as two other songs on the album; Keep Your Head Up and Monster.
To put this into perspective: Michael Jackson is the most successful recording artist in the history of popular music. And although controversy constantly plagued his personal life for decades, one thing stood above it all - his artistry. Michael Jackson dedicated 40 years of his life to building an incomparable repertoire of pop perfection guaranteed to stand the test of time, bringing joy to generation upon generation. However, since being posthumously tampered with, it's that very legendary library of music that has now become the source of the controversy it was once immune to.
"Someone is hiding the truth. When will this mystery unfold?"
A successfully funded campaign will allow this mystery to unfold, and for the truth to finally be told. With three years of research already under our belt, we have laid the groundwork for a fascinating and shocking book thanks to the unprecedented access we've been given through dozens of interviews conducted. However, there are still missing pieces.
In order to thoroughly document the case in it's entirety as well as publish our book, we need support. That's where YOU come in! We ask that all of Michael Jackson's fans, music lovers and truth seekers join with us as we raise our voice in a quest for the truth, once and for all!
To put all the posthumous controversy into context, the book will also detail Michael Jackson's final three years in the recording studio, sharing captivating and heartwarming recollections from many of his collaborators from during that period. The reader will be introduced to the genius and perfectionism of the greatest recording artist of all time, and will be left with an overwhelming appreciation for his dedication to his craft.
Your pledge is greatly appreciated and will play a vital role in making this campaign a success. We also need your help in spreading the message. Whether it's through blogs and social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or good old fashion word-of-mouth, we need your help in making sure the truth is heard loud and clear!
"There's nothing that can't be done, if we raise our voice as one. They gotta hear it from ME. They gotta hear if from YOU. They gotta hear it from US!"
As with all Kickstarter campaigns, your generosity won't go unrewarded. Check out a comprehensive wrap up of what's being offered in return for your support!
$10 - Join the community
Thank you for supporting our quest for the truth. For just $10 you will become a valued part of the A TRUTH UNTOLD Kickstarter community. Here you'll gain access to the backers-only comment page on which you can communicate directly with others who have backed our project. You'll also be able to interact with the A TRUTH UNTOLD team and receive real-time updates delivered directly to your email inbox, keeping you in the loop regarding the campaign. If we are successfully funded you'll continue to receive updates as we endeavor to complete the research and bring the book to fruition.
$20 - Digital copy of the book
For $20 you'll receive a digital copy of the book. To show our appreciation for your generosity, you'll receive the book before anyone else, a full one month prior to its official retail release + all items featured in the previous tier.
$50 - Softcover copy of the book
For $50 you'll receive a softcover copy of the physical book. To show our appreciation for your generosity, you'll receive the book before anyone else, a full one month prior to its official retail release. You'll also receive an A TRUTH UNTOLD bookmark + all items featured in the previous tier.
$100 - Hardcover copy of the book (limited-edition)
For $100 you'll receive a LIMITED-EDITION hardcover copy of the physical book packed with exclusive, unreleased photos! Your copy of the book will be personally signed by the author. To show our appreciation for your generosity, you'll receive the book before anyone else, a full one month prior to its official retail release + all items featured in the previous tier, minus the soft cover copy as it's replaced by the signed hardcover. There are ONLY 250 AVAILABLE so get in quick!
$249 - Attend Insider Video Conferences (limited)
Be the first to hear our exciting developments and take part in helping to shape this investigation by attending quarterly video conferences. The A Truth Untold team will report developments as the investigation progresses. Insiders also get to share feedback and be part of the collaborative process as the final book comes to fruition. Please note, due to the sensitive nature of this on-going investigation and to protect our sources, attendance to the video conferences will require a signed non-disclosure agreement by all participants. Please note that there are ONLY 20 SPOTS AVAILABLE! Backers of this tier will also receive an advance hardcover copy of the book.
$499 - Be interviewed by the A Truth Untold team (limited)
Have you got something important to say? We want to give you the chance to say it! Make your permanent mark in this historic investigative process by allowing the A Truth Untold team to interview you regarding the issue. The most relevant and compelling portions of your interview would be quoted within the book. Please note that there are ONLY 6 INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE! Backers of this tier will also receive an advance hardcover copy of the book.
$900 - Once-in-a-lifetime studio experience
We are excited, honored and humbled to announce our Premium Reward to Michael's fans, music lovers and the public.
By pledging $900 toward our Kickstarter campaign you will gain an all-access pass to a truly spectacular one-time only event as two of Michael Jackson's former collaborators, Michael Prince and Cory Rooney, will be exclusively hosting backers of this Kickstarter campaign in a Los Angeles recording studio for this ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME experience!
You will get to personally interact with Prince and Rooney and be given unprecedented insight into Michael Jackson's legendary recording process. You'll spend hours hearing never-before-told stories and asking all the questions you've been dying to ask... with MANY unforgettable surprises sprinkled in! Tentative date: February 8, 2014 in Los Angeles.
As part of the Premium Reward you also get a hardcover copy of the book, a bookmark, and a digital copy the book.
About Michael Prince & Cory Rooney
Michael Prince was one of Michael Jackson's most trusted engineers for 14 years, from 1995 right up until his passing in 2009. His first gig with the King of Pop was the infamously ill-fated Michael Jackson: One Night Only TV special that was to take place on Saturday, December 9, 1995 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. The special was set to include a host of exclusive performances of brand new songs from the recently-released HIStory album as well as a range of Jackson's greatest hits. It was scheduled to be broadcast by HBO on Sunday, December 10. Unfortunately, Jackson fainted during rehearsals on December 6. He was then taken to the hospital and the show was eventually cancelled.
This was Prince's introduction to the world of Michael Jackson. From there he would work with the King of Pop on a variety of live performances, including the HIStory World Tour from July 1996 to October 1997, and the Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration concerts at Madison Square Garden in September 2001.
Prince worked intimately in the studio with Jackson for years on end - mostly with their collaborative partner, musician and arranger Brad Buxer. Together they recorded countless songs, demos and ideas - many of which remain unreleased and unheard by the public to this day.
Prince's most recent collaborations with Jackson were perhaps to be two of the most significant of his career. Prince was again working in the studio with Jackson on what would have been his next set of brand new music (including songs I Was The Loser, Hollywood Tonight and Best of Joy). The other project; Jackson's record-breaking This Is It residency to take place at London's O2 Arena. Unfortunately, like the HBO special in 1995, neither of them were able to be fully realized with Jackson sudden passing on June 25th, 2009.
Cory Rooney is a multi-faceted music industry veteran. He has written, produced, and developed hit songs and careers for artists including Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Destiny's Child and many more. Over the course of his on-going career, he has amassed numerous platinum records, with sales of his music in excess of 100 million units.
Rooney has been just as successful in a suit as he has been in the studio. The success of his early 90s hits as a songwriter and producer caught the attention of Sony Music, who signed him first as a producer, then as the Vice President of A&R at Epic Records, in 1994. Two years later he moved on to become Vice President of A&R at Crave Records. Then, in 1998, after excelling in his A&R role at Crave Records, Rooney was scouted back to the Epic family - this time as Senior Vice President of Sony Music Entertainment.
Between 1999 and 2001, Rooney oversaw the production of Michael Jackson's Invincible album, and was instrumental in nurturing the collaboration between Michael Jackson and Rodney Jerkins.
After a February 1999 listening session, in which Michael Jackson debuted just one song (Break of Dawn, produced by Dr.Freeze) for the Epic Records executives, Rooney was given the opportunity of a lifetime; To produce a track for the King of Pop. Rooney got to work immediately, creating a song called She Was Lovin' Me.
“Michael heard it on the Friday, and I promise you by that Monday he was in New York”, recalls Rooney. “He called my house and he said, ‘I’m ready. I’m prepared. I’m ready to sing the song.’ And he was ready. I was blown away.” Despite already being an accomplished producer, songwriter and record executive, the opportunity to work with the King of Pop was a humbling honor for Rooney. “I had already had so much success in my career with Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Mary J. Blige and Destiny's Child – then all of a sudden you’ve got Michael Jackson calling you and saying, ‘I love your song.’ I couldn’t believe it.”
Rooney and Jackson worked on the song at The Hit Factory in New York City for almost a month - between March and April 1999. “Anyone who has heard that song says it’s one of the best songs they’ve heard from Michael in the last ten years of his career,” says Rooney – and they’re right. It’s the King of Pop rocking out at his best. However, the song was not selected for the Invincible album, and remains unreleased to this day.
Exclusive FULL story on She Was Lovin' Me can be found here.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Anticipated delivery for the book is December 2014. This date is approximate and is subject to change within reason. As this is an investigative piece, securing certain key interviews or obtaining key pieces of evidence, information, or analysis could delay the completion and release of the project. We'll use our best judgment, as well as the feedback from our backers, in determining what may reasonably warrant a delay, or otherwise. Quality, diligence and accuracy are of the utmost importance in our effort to deliver the best final product possible.
That's a great question. If you're thinking $40,000 is a lot of money, you’re right. It is a lot of money and that's why we’re here asking for your help.
First of all, we want to come right out and say that we do not intend to profit from this project.
In setting our funding goal, we can’t ask for anything less than it would take to complete this project because once we reach our goal, we’re not only committed, but also obligated to deliver everything we’ve promised.
So here’s an idea as to what it’s going to take to complete this project:
- Print production and distribution costs as it relates to both physical versions of the book
- First-hand research and expenses related to the investigation, including international travel
- Scientific analysis and forensic musicology
- Licensing fees as it relates to exclusive and relevant photography to be published in the book
- Legal fees as it relates to not only the elevated risks associated with investigative works, but also the legalities associated with a crowd-funded campaign of this nature
- Kickstarter and Amazon Payments commission obligations
There’s a lot to it and the reality is that without your support, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to complete this project. Every little bit helps and even if you’re not able to pledge today, we’d appreciate your likes, tweets, and shares just the same!
Kickstarter allows us to set the length of our campaign, so long as it ends within 60 days. We chose 35 days, and here’s why. There’s a little subtlety in our timing that some of you may have noticed. The track “Breaking News” first debuted on November 8, 2010… exactly three years prior to the start of the A Truth Untold campaign. The ‘Michael’ album was released in the U.S. exactly 35 days later, on December 14, the same day our Kickstarter campaign ends!
Publishing is big business and like any business, its purpose is to profit. A publisher looks to take on works it intends to profit from. A financial obligation to deliver the most marketable and profitable product possible may dramatically shift the focus of this book away from documenting the real truth. It’s that very business model that’s partly being called into question by our investigation. We feel such an arrangement could potentially cloud the integrity of this particular project, even with the best intentions at heart.
What happens if the Kickstarter campaign isn’t successfully funded? Will my credit card still be charged?
The Kickstarter FAQ page has answers to a lot of these general questions as it relates to backing a Kickstarter project. Check them out here:
Basically, if you pledge to back our project and it’s successfully funded, your card will be charged when the campaign ends. If our project does not reach its funding goal, your card is never charged.
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Become part of the A TRUTH UNTOLD Kickstarter community including the backers-only comment page. Interact with the A TRUTH UNTOLD team and get real-time updates delivered directly to your email inbox. Thank you for supporting our quest for the truth.Estimated delivery:
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DIGITAL COPY OF THE BOOK and you get it before anyone else, a full one month before its official retail release + all items featured in the previous tier.Estimated delivery:
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SOFT COVER COPY OF THE BOOK and you get it before anyone else, a full one month prior to the official retail release. Also receive an exclusive A TRUTH UNTOLD bookmark + all items featured in the previous tier.Estimated delivery:Add $14 USD to ship outside the US
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LIMITED-EDITION HARDCOVER COPY OF THE BOOK, PERSONALLY SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR delivered to you a full one month before the official retail release + all items featured in the previous tier. (Note: softcover is upgraded to personally signed hardcover) ONLY 250 SIGNED HARDCOVERS AVAILABLE!Estimated delivery:Add $14 USD to ship outside the US
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ATTEND ATU INSIDER VIDEO CONFERENCES! Be the first to hear our exciting developments and take part in helping to shape this investigation by attending quarterly video conferences. The A Truth Untold team will report developments as the investigation progresses. Insiders also get to share feedback and be part of the collaborative process as the final book comes to fruition. Please note, due to the sensitive nature of this on-going investigation and to protect our sources, attendance to the video conferences will require a signed non-disclosure agreement by all participants. Backers of this tier also receive an advanced hardcover copy of the book.Estimated delivery:
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RAISE YOUR VOICE! Have you got something to say? We want to give you the chance to say it! Make your permanent mark in this historic investigative process by allowing the A Truth Untold team to interview you regarding the issue. The most relevant and compelling portions of your interview would be quoted within the book. Backers of this tier also receive an advanced hardcover copy of the book.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $900 or moreYou selected
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ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME STUDIO EXPERIENCE! Attend this truly spectacular, limited, once-in-a-lifetime studio experience in Los Angeles with two of the King of Pop's collaborators; Michael Prince and Cory Rooney! Attendees will be able to ask questions, hear untold stories and MUCH more! LIMITED TO 40 ATTENDEES ONLY! (Travel expenses not included)Estimated delivery:
- (35 days)