Breaking News (Michael Jackson song)
|Promotional single by Michael Jackson from the album Michael|
|Released||November 8, 2010|
|Recorded||2007 (basic tracks)
2010 (Additional overdubs & mixing)
|Writer(s)||Michael Jackson, Eddie Cascio, James Porte|
|Producer(s)||Michael Jackson, Teddy Riley, Eddie Cascio|
|Michael track listing|
"Breaking News" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. The song was written by Jackson, Eddie Cascio and James Porte, produced by Teddy Riley, Cascio and Jackson, and was included on his posthumous album, Michael. The R&B song talks about the media wanting a piece of the pop star, which drew comparisons to Britney Spears' "Piece of Me" (2007). An instrumental snippet "Breaking News" was unveiled in a promotional video which features a montage of various TV journalists reporting breaking news about Jackson, and refers to the tabloid stories and legal troubles that plagued Jackson in the years leading up to his death. Since the release of the song on November 8, 2010, it has become controversial with regard to its authenticity. "Breaking News" achieved minor success, peaking at number one on Billboard Bubbling Under Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
"Breaking News" was written by Jackson, Eddie Cascio and James Porte, and produced by Teddy Riley, Cascio and Jackson. The song was released by Sony Music Entertainment to precede the announcement of Michael. On November 5, 2010, a video "teaser" for "Breaking News" was made available on Jackson's official website. The video opens with a montage of various TV journalists reporting breaking news about Jackson. The musical introduction follows, ending before the vocals start. The video refers to the tabloid stories and legal troubles that plagued Jackson in the years leading up to his death. Three days later the full length version of the song appeared on Jackson's website and was subsequently played on some radio stations. The song was included on the posthumous album, Michael (2010).
A twenty-four second sample of Jackson's song "Breaking News".
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"Breaking News" was recorded by Michael Jackson in New Jersey in 2007 when Jackson was living with the Cascio family. Other tracks recorded during that time include "Monster" and "Keep Your Head Up", which were also included on Michael. The song delivers Jackson’s now-requisite anti-tabloid screed, albeit with satisfyingly melodic gall. Jackson also refers to himself by name in several lines. Elena Gorgan of Softpedia compared the song to "Piece of Me" (2007) by Britney Spears.
"Breaking News" received mainly negative reviews from music critics. Terri Thomas, program director of radio station KJLH said, although "people miss Jackson," the song is "hard to compete with his classics and legacy". Skip Dillard of WBLS mentioned, "listeners overall seemed to think that "Breaking News" sounds 'unfinished' and is not a representation of the level of perfection that Michael sought in his music." Ashante Infantry of Toronto Star said "Breaking News" "threatens to diminish the posthumous goodwill afforded the pop star," and "is a self-referential rehash that spotlights all that was wrong with Mike. If Michael is similarly disappointing, Jackson’s label and executors will find a limit to these "Breaking News" lyrics – “No matter what, you just want to read it again/No matter what, you just want to feed it again.”" Darryl Sterdan from QMI Agency said, "the vocals on the verses of the self-referential "Breaking News" seem artificial, as if they were recorded for a different song and heavily manipulated to readjust their pitch and tempo, then buried under layers of overdubs." A review by The Christian Science Monitor' said, "[the] new Michael Jackson song prompts more controversy, fans were divided, with many loving the new single and others expressing scepticism."  Cameron Adams of Herald Sun said the song "would have no doubt stayed unreleased", if Jackson hadn't died. Joe Vogel, author of the book Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson, gave the song a positive review, saying, "in spite of the backlash, the content of the song is classic Michael Jackson." 
Controversy over authenticity
The authenticity of "Breaking News", as with other songs allegedly written with Cascio and Porte (like: "All I Need", "All Right", "Black Widow", "Burn Tonight", "Fall In Love", "Soldier Boy", "Ready 2 Win", "Stay" and "Water"), was questioned by Jackson's mother Katherine as well his sister La Toya, and his nephews T.J., Taj, and Taryll, in addition to many of his fans, who will pass on the album and future projects until this is rectified. AFP reported that it was immediately clouded by questions over whether it was really the singer's voice. Reuters reported that the song was "sparking a new round of controversy over whether the voice is really that of the dead 'Thriller' singer". In a statement, Sony Music Group countered that it had "complete confidence in the results of our extensive research, as well as the accounts of those who were in the studio with Michael, that the vocals on the new album are his own."
On November 11, 2010, Michael Jackson Estate issued a report: "six of Michael’s former producers and engineers who had worked with Michael over the past 30 years — Bruce Swedien, Matt Forger, Stewart Brawley, Michael Prince, Dr. Freeze and Teddy Riley all confirmed that the vocal was definitely Michael." Sony claim two forensic musicologists were hired by Jackson Estate and Epic to perform a waveform analysis on the vocals but no proof of this occurrence has been issued. Bruce Swedien, Matt Forger, Stewart Brawley, son Prince Michael and Dr. Freeze claimed that they never believed that these vocals were sung by Michael himself. Teddy Riley apologized later on MySpace to a fan, saying it was a mistake to be part of this project. Jason Malachi, who has been noted as the possible vocalist of this song, said he was not involved in the recording. On January 16, 2011, a statement appeared on Jason's Facebook to confess that he had sung songs on the album. He later claimed that his website, Myspace and Facebook had been hacked. After 2 hours, his manager Thad Nauden claimed to TMZ that "someone created a phony Facebook page in Jason's name" and "Jason wants everyone to know beyond a shadow of a doubt ... he did not sing a single note on the album. "
- Written: Michael Jackson, Eddie Cascio and James Porte
- Produced: Teddy Riley, Angelikson and Michael Jackson
- Background Vocals: Michael Jackson and James Porte
- Mixed: Jean-Marie Horvat and Teddy Riley
- Violin: Mark Cargill, Kathleen Robertson, Susan Chatman, Pamela Gates, Lesa Terry, Marisa McCleod, Richard Adkins, Yvette Devereaux, Jennifer Choi and Nicole Garcia
- Viola: Karen Elaine, James “Jimbo” Ross, Cameron Patrick, Darrin McCann and Kaila Potts
- Cello: Miguel Martinez, Peggy Baldwin, Nancy Stein-Ross, Ernest Ehrhardt, Giovanna Moraga Clayton and Stepanie Fife
- Guitars: Joe Corcoran
- “Breaking News” Reporter Voice: Stuart Brawley
- String Session: The Benjamin Wright Orchestra
- Drum Programming: James Porte
- Voice Talents: Stuart Brawley, Sandy Orkin, Stacey Michaels, Michael Lefevre and Lisa Orkin
- Keyboards: James Porte, Eddie Cascio and Stuart Brawley
- Programming and Finisher: Teddy Riley
- Arranged and Conducted: Benjamin Wright
- Bass: Kevin Brandon and Francis Lui Wu
- Bass: Stuart Brawley and James Porte
The song received instant airplay on numerous radio stations on the debut day, as 151 U.S. stations sampled "Breaking News" that day on several formats, from pop and R&B to adult and oldies. A total of 246 plays were recorded on that day, reaching an estimated 2.2 million listeners. Additionally it logged 1.1 million impressions on 52 R&B/Hip-Hop stations after two days of airplay, according to Nielsen BDS. Among all stations monitored by BDS, the song registered 302 plays on 177 stations, amounting to an audience of 2.6 million, since its arrival on November 8, 2010. Drawing a mixed reaction from radio programmers, "Breaking News" bubbled under the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number one after two days of radio airplay. The song remained on the chart for only one week.
|U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles||1|
- List of unreleased Michael Jackson material
- Death of Michael Jackson
- List of works published posthumously
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