The Spectacle of Michael Jackson's Memorial Service

  Michael Jackson's public memorial service at the Staples Center attracted a parade of impersonators, look-alikes, wannabe-dancers and others eulogizing the pop star by imitating his unique dance and dress style. Check out our gallery of creatively attired mourners, from Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Harlem and back.

Jackson in Five: Iconic Artworks of the Late Singer

Michael Jackson’s meteoric rise to fame was shepherded by television and photographs: the Jackson 5 lead singer broke out on American Bandstand, was immortalized in button-cute photographs as a kid, and became the world's most celebrated pop star with the advent of the music video. But some of his most iconic renderings came not through television, film, or photo, but rather through more traditional media like painting and sculpture. Five works of art that celebrate the star:Michael Jackson and Bubbles by Jeff Koons. Provocative conceptual artist Jeff Koons has made a career of turning tabletop kitsch and American novelties into megalithic icons, and Jackson was not immune. Koons’s porcelain statue of the singer esthetically recalls the precious glass tchotchkes your grandmother might have kept, but the sculpture's message was more suggestive. Part of Koons’s Banality series, the piece is outsized (more than six feet long) and depicts Jackson’s young, male pet chimpanzee...

Former Publicist: Why Jackson's Death Eerily Recalls Elvis

Longtime celebrity publicist Michael Levine represented Michael Jackson during the singer's first child-molestation trial. NEWSWEEK spoke with him regarding his former client's death and what he believes may have caused it. Excerpts:So, I'm certainly feeling a powerful emotion, and that's sadness. I'll tell you one emotion that I'm not feeling, and that's surprise. I don't have any particular surprise. I was having lunch with my assistant about a quarter to 3 and my office called, and I was unsurprised. But very, very sad. And the metaphor or analogy here is the certain parallel to Elvis … he really looked up to Elvis, who died at 42; then [Jackson] dies at 50. I don't think it's appropriate to overlook [the similarities].  In what way? Well, I'm not sure how to answer you except to tell you that I wasn't surprised. I represented him during the first molestation incident … One does not have to be Sigmund Freud to figure out...

Michael Jackson, Dead at 50

The Los Angeles Times confirms that the King of Pop, 50-year-old Michael Jackson, has died after a cardiac episode in Los Angeles. Jackson was reportedly rushed to UCLA Medical Center this afternoon; paramedics reported that Jackson was not breathing when he arrived at the hospital.  NBC News and other sources have also confirmed the singer's death. His death comes just days before the scheduled start of his 50-date tour at London's O2 Arena.UPDATED: Share your thoughts on Michael's life and legacy in the comments -- we want to know what how you're reacting and what you're thinking.

Fawcett Posters and the Allure of the Pinup

Below are seven other starlets who, like Fawcett, launched their careers with sultry print images.  Click out to view!Kathy IrelandMarilyn Monroe Cheryl Tiegs Betty Grable Cindy CrawfordBrooke ShieldsBettie Page

Morning Mix: Ed McMahon, Reported Dead at 86

Shocker of the Century -- Gosselins Are Divorcing.  Jon and Kate of Jon and Kate Plus Eight made their divorce official last night on their show, and said that their reality show will go on. They will interview separately and will live apart. [Baltimore Sun]"Burlesque" to be Cher's Latest Project.  Cher is taking on her first movie role in a decade, this time with Christina Aguilera. The pair will star in Burlesque, a musical that casts Aguilera as a small-town Iowa girl looking to make it big, Cher as club owner and former dancer. [Variety]Ed McMahon, Dead at 86. Former Tonight Show sidekick and Star Search host Ed McMahon has died after a struggle with pneumonia, NBC News reported. The 86-year-old was battling cancer when he contracted the illness. [Boston Herald]

7 Things You Don't Know About Michael Cera

Year One star Michael Cera, famous for irreverent, fun and even silly films, gets surprisingly serious in front of our cameras.  He talks about his love of history books, how he has a difficult time trusting people, and the downside of wearing a wig and makeup on set.  Click the player above to view.

The Tweeting of Walter Cronkite

They're strange bedfellows: the old guard of broadcast journalism, the new guard of Media 2.0.  But Twitter was atwitter with links and posts to YouTube videos of Walter Cronkite's most famous broadcasts yesterday -- check out an Associated Press aggregation of those Tweets here, or watch clips below:Cronkite was the first to break news of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination in the spring of 1968.Cronkite interviewed the president at Hyannisport on Labor Day weekend in 1963.Perhaps his most famous broadcast, Cronkite breaks the news of President Kennedy's assassination. 

Morning Mix: Former CBS Anchor Cronkite Reportedly Very Ill, at 92

"Year One" Drags Its Knuckles.  Year One, the caveman comedy out today that stars Michael Cera and Jack Black, has been panned as a blemish on the Apatow Productions laugh-track record. So far, Rotten Tomatos gives it an abysmal 20 percent, and MetaCritic a 41.  Maybe take Dad to see Up this Father's Day, instead?  [MetaCritic; Rotten Tomatoes]David Archuleta's Dad Enters Plea in Prostitute Case. Singer David Archuleta's father, James Jeffrey Archuleta, pled no contest to charges that he patronized a prostitute at a massage parlor in suburban Salt Lake City. The senior Archuleta became famous during his son's American Idol run for being demanding backstage and for reportedly micromanaging his son's song choices and career. [Associated Press]Reports Say Cronkite, 92, is Very Ill and Weak.  Mediabistro cited several unnamed CBS sources yesterday to report that Walter Cronkite is gravelly ill.  "The Most Trusted Man in America," 92, was the...

"The Hills" Doesn't Make (Some) People Lose Their Lunch

We would say that Stephanie Pratt is eating her words, but that just seems... wrong, no? The star is on the cover of Us Weekly today, with this headline: "The Hills Made Me Bulimic." Now, Pratt is denying the statement to (who else) her boss, MTV.  The refute:This was never actually going to be a cover story. I never approached [the magazine] to do a cover story.... The Hills did not make me bulimic. It was my own issues with self-esteem, and if anything, my life on The Hills has only helped me get healthy, 'cause I know how lucky I am to have this job and to have the chance to be a role model. And if it weren't for The Hills, I don't know how long I would have had those dark stages in my life.  That was fast.  We wonder if MTV threatened to yank her from the upcoming, Lauren-less Season Six?  It certainly sounds that desperate.

Morning Mix: Brown Loses Fight to Delay Hearing

Billy Joel Loses Another Uptown Girl. Katie Lee Joel, a Southern chef and cookbook writer, will separate from husband Billy Joel (she is his third wife). The pair were married for five years, and say they will remain friends.  [MSNBC]Bruno Premieres in Britain; Early Reviews Hit Web.  Sacha Baron Cohen hit the red carpet for Bruno's premiere in London, dressed as one of the Queen's guardsmen -- only, you know, showing a little more waxed/spray-tanned skin. The movie is getting mixed reception so far, with some gay activist groups decrying its use of stereotypical imagery, and others applauding it for taking to task American homophobia. [CNN International]Chris Brown Fails to Delay Assault Case.  Singer Chris Brown and his legal team lost their bid to delay the June 22 preliminary hearing on Brown's charges for allegedly assaulting and making criminal threats against then-girlfriend and fellow singer Robyn Fenty (Rihanna). He faces up to four years in jail if convicted...

Morning Mix: Bob Bogle of The Ventures, Dead at 75

Penn Backs Out and Declines to Give Reason. A rep for Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn has confirmed that he will back out of his two current movie roles, in The Three Stooges and Cartel, the BBC reports. No reason was given; the wires speculate that Penn is aiming to resolve his marriage to actress Robin Wright-Penn. He withdrew a petition to divorce her earlier this year. [BBC News]Swift Takes Top Awards in Nashville. The CMT Awards counted on T-Pain, Def Leppard and Bill O'Reilly to spice things up--proving that country music is, more than ever, moving away from its roots. The big winner of the night was 19-year-old Taylor Swift, who took Best Video for "Love Story" in the fan-voted competition. [Associated Press]Bob Bogle, Dead at 75.  Guitarist for The Ventures Bob Bogle has died after a fight against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the rest of the band confirmed. Bogle and The Ventures had hits with "Walk Don't Run" and "Hawaii Five-O" back in...

March 2012: When "30 Rock" Will Change Forever

 30 Rock and My Sister's Keeper star Alec Baldwin bares his soul for Playboy's July/August issue, in it describing a Baldwin-less 30 Rock.  "I'm done in 2012. In March 2012 I’ll wake up and say, ‘What am I going to do now? Am I done?’ I think I will be done. I may finish a play or something, but I'm retiring at the wrap party," he told the magazine. Frankly, a future without John Francis "Jack" Donaghy is one we never hope to countenance. But I guess that's what Hulu is for.Also in the profile is the 51-year-old actor's admission that he considered suicide after a nasty voicemail he left for his daughter was leaked online. "“[I was] very serious … I spoke to a lot of professionals, who helped me … If I committed suicide, they [Kim Basinger’s side] would have considered that a victory. Destroying me was their avowed goal.”Check out the full interview here.

Morning Mix: "Up" On Track to Be Pixar's No. 2 All-Time

Outcry Prompts (Another) Letterman Apology. After threats of protests hit The Late Show, David Letterman devoted both his Monday night monologue and a large portion of his show to apologizing, again, to Gov. Sarah Palin and her family for his untoward remarks. (Earlier, he made an off-color joke about a Bristol Palin-Alex Rodriguez tryst, after the former was thought to be at a Yankees game; turns out, it was her 14-year-old daughter Willow). [Entertainment Weekly]Up, Up and Away for Pixar.  Up is still the movie to beat in summer '09 -- after only its third frame, it's cumulative total is $187.4 million -- but it is on track to become the movie to beat in Pixar history. At this rate, the film will pass the studio's other big hits like Ratatouille and Wall-E, and is set to become the second-highest grossing film ever for the studio, behind only Finding Nemo. [Variety]Digital TV Transition Goes Smoothly. After all the doomsday predictions, wringing of hands and general...

The Name's Morgan. Peter Morgan.

  If Oscar-winning screenwriter and playwright Peter Morgan is a smear of our favored brand of extra-crunchy peanut butter, then actor Michael Sheen is a thick slathering of homemade strawberry jam. The two are seemingly inextricable in the movie business, and it works deliciously: Morgan writes the gracefully athletic words, and Sheen executes them to perfection, whether as firecracker anchor David Frost (Frost/Nixon) or a coolly diplomatic Tony Blair (The Queen; The Special Relationship).  So when it was announced today that Morgan will join the scripting team at work on the next Bond movie, our first thought was, "Cool—who will Michael Sheen play?!" It won't be Bond, as Daniel Craig has already signed on to reprise his grisly, humorless-in-a-good-way 007.  And it may not be anybody, as the film is set for a 2011 release (soonish!).  But we think he'd make a marvelous Morgan villain.  What do you think?

Morning Mix: 400 Attend David Carradine's Funeral in L.A.

Virgin to Launch Download Service. Virgin Media and Universal will partner to offer an all-you-can-download MP3 service for a flat rate, the companies announced today; early estimates are between $20 and $30 per month. The service, which would launch sometime next year, is a seen as a last-ditch effort to battle Apple's iTunes hegemony, and also to deter piracy. [Reuters]Slow Weekend for the Box Office. Poor Eddie Murphy-- his second straight box-office bomb came this weekend in the form of Imagine That, which couldn't crack the top five and pulled in less than $6 million. And the weekend's big-budget thriller offering, a remake of The Taking of Pelham 123, also fared poorly, opening in third place behind Up (second with $30.5 million) and The Hangover (first in its second weekend with $33.4 million). [New York Times]Carradine Funeral Draws "Kill Bill" Cast and More. Actor David Carradine, 72, was finally laid to rest Sunday in Los Angeles, where hundreds...

Sneak Peek: Four Remaining Prisoners Share their Stories

Check out NEWSWEEK's exclusive clip of the upcoming National Geographic documentary A Decade Behind Bars: A Return to The Farm.  The film is a sequel to 1998's inmate-perspective documentary The Farm: Life Inside Angola (click to watch full doc), which was nominated for an Oscar for its portrayal of six prisoners at Louisiana's high-security penitentiary. Of those original six, four remain to tell their stories—how their lives have evolved since the first film, and how the prison facilities themselves have drastically changed. The doc airs June 16.  Click above to view our sneak peek!

Morning Mix: Switch from Analog to Digital is Today

At Least 1 Million to Have TV Problems Today. As six decades of analog television come to an end today, at least 1 million homes are expected to be left without TV service, the Associated Press reports. In preparation, the FCC has 4,000 operators on standby and has set up demonstration centers in several cities. [Associated Press]Gosselin Children Are Dehydrated. Kate Gosselin was filmed by Access Hollywood behind the scenes, refusing to share water with her very thirsty children--and blogs are calling her a bad mother.  So, you know, something new and different for today. [Gawker]Bret Michaels is Angry With the Tonys. After retaining his good humor for a while there--saying he was recovering with help from Shrek and Donkey--Bret Michaels is lashing out at the Tony Awards, People reports. The statement is quite long, and concludes with this: "I thank the Good Lord I have a thick skull and I have a feeling this may have been my first and final curtain call at the Tonys." ...

Phil Spector and the Tragically Unkempt Mug Shot

Phil Spector prides himself on his tresses—this much we know from his lifelong experiment in outlandish coiffure.  But now that he's in jail, it looks like his mirror time has been curtailed.  Since staring too long at this wet-rat 'do makes us hear the Chucky theme in our heads, let's time-travel. Click through our gallery of Spector's zaniest hair-dos—from his Reno 911-style handlebar moustaches to his Howard-Stern-wannabe mop.

Chastity Bono: Soon to be Chaz Bono

Most people go with cake and champers, but in honor of her 40th birthday, Chastity Bono gave herself the gift of... man.  Shortly after her over-the-hill celebration, the daughter of Sonny and Cher began undergoing the preliminary stages of gender-reassignment, MSNBC reports.  Her rep confirms that Bono is in transgender transition and says he'll go by Chaz.  The full statement: He is proud of his decision and grateful for the support and respect that has already been shown by his loved ones. It is Chaz’s hope that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue, just as his ‘coming out’ did nearly 20 years ago. We ask that the media respect Chaz’s privacy during this long process as he will not be doing any interviews at this time. It goes without saying that this is the No. 1 thing on Twitter right now.

Auto-Tune Jumps the Shark -- Thanks, Wendy's!

It's the rap-world equivalent of a bugle sounding taps: When a once-cool hip-hop technique is being used to shill watery milkshakes, you can consider it officially FUBAR. Jay-Z told a Chicago radio station on Tuesday that the inspiration behind his new track "D.O.A." (for "Death of Auto-Tune") came from a Wendy's commercial that used the pitch-fragmenting sound processor.  Wendy's "Frosty Posse" jingle (above) was the official moment, the rapper said, when a former way to make "great music" went from "trend" to "gimmick." Since the technique gained popularity within rap specifically and then music generally, it's seeped onto Saturday Night Live and into YouTube spoofs of Katie Couric.  We're going to call the lyrics downright snarky: This is anti-autotune, death of the ringtone/ This ain’t for iTunes, this ain’t for sing-along/ This is Sinatra at the opera—bring a blonde There's no ...

What's Black and White and Red All Over?

Not The New York Times, but you're getting warm—the answer is the flagging paper's balance sheets. So says Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones, anyway, in segment of the show that tours the Times' newsroom and profiles "aged news," in part via a very uncomfortable sit-down interview with Bill Keller himself. See the segment on Hulu right now. The paper responded earlier today to the uneasily funny treatment with a blog post, in which Times reporter Dave Itzkoff both interviews Jones and jokes that he just might take the comedian's words out of context—"to show him how it feels." (Itzkoff doesn't, because, "unlike some media outlets, we [the Times] would never do that." Zing!) Both the segment and the Times' responding Q+A are pretty darn funny—but, given the paper's $74.5 million loss last quarter, laughing makes us feel more than a little guilty. Isn't this like shooting a fish in a barrel?  What do you think?

Letterman (Tepidly) Apologizes; Palins (Not So Tepidly) Fire Back

So now we know what crosses the line.  If you eviscerate Gov. Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live, and compare her speechifying to beauty-pageant stumping, you can expect her to take it in stride. But call her a "slutty flight attendant" while making untoward remarks about her brood, and expect her full wrath.The background:After David Letterman made some crude jokes about Bristol Palin in Monday's Late Show monologue—specifically, joking that the 18-year-old abstinence crusader had been knocked up by Yankees third baseman (and Kate Hudson squeeze) Alex Rodriguez—Sarah Palin fired back with this -- check out our Gaggle post on it, as well:Laughter incited by sexually perverted comments made by 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is not only disgusting, but it reminds us that some Hollywood/NY entertainers have a long way to go in understanding what the rest of America understands. So on Tuesday, Letterman defended himself with this:...

Morning Mix: The Lance Armstrong Movie is Coasting!

DMB Still Sells Through. Dave Matthews Band snagged the third-best album debut of 2009 this week, rising to the top of the Billboard pop charts with Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King, which has sold 424,000 copies. DMB bumps Eminem's comeback album, Relapse, which was No. 1 for the two weeks prior. [The New York Times]Armstrong Project Coasts With Ross Addition. The producing team behind the Lance Armstrong biopic has hired veteran Gary Ross to write the script -- the same guy who penned the Oscar-nominated sports movie Seabiscuit from its original book. Ross will be working primarily to adapt story elements from Armstrong's 2000 memoir, It's Not About the Bike, which was co-authored with Washington Post sportswriter Sally Jenkins. [The Hollywood Reporter]Swine Flu in Mexico Leaves Empty Theaters. How has swine flu in Mexico affected movie attendance, which, as we all know, requires you to sit for two-plus hours in very close quarters with 250 other people? Reports...