Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bigiano tours SA

Things are sure looking up for Bigiano, the Shayo Master who is presently on a tour of some cities in South Africa. Just back from the United States where he was a guest of the organizers of the Nigerian Entertainment Awards, NEA, the fair-skinned dude left Nigeria on Wednesday, July 22, for Johannesburg, from where he is expected to kick-start a series of performances spanning about five cities.

Before leaving the country, Bigiano who has been nominated for the Sound City Music Video Awards which holds next Saturday, August 1, disclosed that he would cut short his trip to participate at the glamorous awards ceremony.

With four nominations; Best cinematography, Soundcity viewers’ choice, Discovery of the year and Best video, Bigiano says, “I am happy that all these things are happening now.

It goes to show that our efforts on producing the video and all the money we spent did not just go down the drain. Personally, it is one thing for people to enjoy watching your video, it is another thing for credible awards organizers to single it out for commendation.

I am truly excited and can’t wait for the event to hold.” It would be recalled that the organizers of the Hip Hop World Awards expunged Bigiano’s name from its final shortlist alongside some other artistes who they felt their songs glorify alcoholism, internet fraud, pornography and other immoralities.

Though he does not harbor any ill-feeling towards the HHWA organizers, Bigiano says he is happy that he had been vindicated after all.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Olu Maintain drops new single “What a man can do”

Olu Maintain has dropped a new single from his forth coming album, ‘With all due respect, press play’. The single, titled ‘What a man can do’ features Kentro World (Remember Karmakazee?).

The Album, scheduled for release July 27 2009, will be the second from Olu Maintain. His first solo album, Yahoozee, shot him to global stardom in 2007.

Rapper OD - Overdosin set to take over

Rapper Over Dose has announced that he’ll release a new album possibly before the end of the year.

The rapper who just signed on with X3M music says ‘I have been underground for a while doing a whole lot, recording new songs and re-recording old ones. For now, I have 12 songs recorded and I still intend to record more songs. In all, I’d be picking 14 songs for the album’.
The forthcoming album records contributions from long time allies Terry Da Rapman, Mode 9, Black Solo, A.T, KB and Sasha. In addition to the news of his new album, the rapper also previewed a new track titled ‘Got to Love Me’ this week.

The rapper upon joining X3M Music made a complete makeover from his usual big tee shirts and baggy jeans. ‘It is intentional’ he explains ‘I just want to show that one doesn’t have to be dressed in a particular way to prove to the world that you are a hard core rapper. You can shop at the same spot where bankers shop and still represent your own art’ He says adding ‘Hip hop is a state of mind, a culture, a movement. It is much more than what you rock’

And ladies are liking his new look. They are liking his new sound too. ‘people keep saying ladies don’t dig hiphop. It is a lie, I meet beautiful, intelligent ladies everyday, they love what I do, they like OD, they know all MI’s lyrics, and they are feeling Naeto C’

Fans should watch out for a couple of cuts on the upcoming album ostensibly targeted at the ladies
‘Yeah, I’d like to have more female fans, I admit. Anything wrong with that?’ he told journalists in Lagos this week, winking his left eye and smiling gently.
Born David Adogo in Kaduna, Nigeria, OD started his journey on being a rapper in December 1998 and has worked with Pay Back Time Records and KD World Records. He worked briefly as an OAP in Rhythm FM Jos in 2008 before he finally pitched his tent with X3M music in 2009.
The yet-to-be- titled album was produced by Kraft, Ill Fingerz and Bernstein.
‘The album will definitely be a mind-blowing one I would not to disappoint all those that appreciate me and my music, and I promise to give back the love to them. It is Take over time’ OD says on a final note

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Olasco and Funke Akindele’s fight latest!

It’s been all over the papers that star actress, Funke Akindele and Alhaji Ola Balogun, the man behind Olasco Films and Records, marketer of Jenifa Parts 1 and 2 are at loggerheads and flexing muscle over what some people have decided to call Jenifa Part 3. The news is that Funke is working on the film and is planning to give it to another marketer, a development the boss of Olasco was said not to find too funny.

In a chat with ShowbizNow, Funke Akindele confirmed working on a movie with Jenifa character but not a sequel to Jenifa Part Two. This was her response when we spoke with her on phone: “To start with, I am not doing any Part Three of Jenifa. I am done with that movie.

I am only working on the character Jenifa. I discovered that a lot of people love that character and I am working on bringing it back on screen with what we call ‘Return of Jenifa’. What we are doing now with my new management team is to turn Jenifa into a big franchise like Tyler Perry is doing with Madea. So what we are working on is Return of Jenifa. People will see a lot of Jenifa stuffs. Something like Jenifa slippers, shirts, undies and a whole lot of other things. We have already registered the copyright and my lawyers are working on those using Jenifa to market products without our consent.”

Speaking further, Funke says Olasco will still market the movie. “Olasco will still market the Return of Jenifa. I will be an ingrate to give the movie to another person. He did well with the first one and he is a perfect gentleman, so why should I give the movie to another person? If I tell him to bring money that we are ready for another Jenifa, I know he will. I don’t have any problem with Olasco. We are still doing business together.”

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kaha rendered Homeless by P Square

It’s no longer a story that the Rhythms and Blues musical artist, Kaha who featured 2face Idibia in his song ‘Heart Robbers’ is broke due to his reckless lifestyle but what you don’t know is how he has been rendered homeless by the musical duo, Peter & Paul a.k.a. P Square.

As the story goes, Kaha, we were informed, was staying with the Okoyes when he couldn’t get a suitable apartment for himself having spent over N500,000 his girlfriend gave him to secure an apartment to refurbish his rickety car. P Square, we learnt, had been informed of how Kaha has been painting them black in the society, bad mouthing them. When they, P Square, first got wind of this, we gathered that they ejected him from their abode but later took him back when some friends intervened.

The story that eventual led to Kaha’s homelessness is about the Okoyes’ fight with their landlord who is neck-bent to eject them from his house in Omole Estate area of Lagos. Kaha, sources said, was the brain behind that rumour as he was said to have gave the story to some press guys.

The ungrateful Kaha who is said to have been envious of the success of the twins got ejected from their house and that has been his last straw with the Okoyes. “He now wanders the street of Lagos like a sheep with a shepherd.” a close source informed us.

Konga lays claim to Wande Coal

Some people claim that other artistes have stolen their songs, while some say that, their beats are being copied. 'ABC stole my song', 'XYZ... stole my beat' are common statements you will hear in the industry. What is however uncommon is when an artiste complain that another artiste stole his artiste. Confusing? Well, Compass Entertainment was also confused during the week when Hiphop artiste, Konga revealed that Mo'Hits records own by Don Jazzy and D'Banj, stole his artiste, Wande Coal.

Wande Coal no doubt is the the hottest hip hop artiste in Nigeria today. His new album, M2M which means, Mushin to Mo'hitts, reflects how his life has changed since he joined Mo'Hitts.

Konga who had had a phenomenal run with his hit single, Baby Konga, two years ago, is currently battling for relevance. He revealed on-line during the week that he found Wande Coal, and also helped him to build his musical career. Music professionals have condemened this statements made by Konga.

Even if he did discover Wande Coal, that does not give him a right to him. He also is yet to show a paper where Wande Coal signed on to be his artiste.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Godfathers Of Nollywood

These are veterans who have spent many years in the make-believe industry. They have survived the good, bad and ugly sides of moviedom. In fact, to say that they have seen it all is an understatement.

Apparently, because of their wealth of experience and influence in the industry, the younger artistes and even the aspiring ones look up to them, not only artistically, but because their names can open doors to several opportunities in the corridors of power.

When issues bordering on the state of the industry are to be addressed, these personalities are often consulted for their elderly and professional advice. To cap it all, they stand as pillars of the Nigerian movie industry known as Nollywood.

This week, NollywoodReel presents these notable and influential icons of Nollywood

•Olu Jacobs: He commands so much respect, not only in Nollywood, but in Nigeria as a whole. Uncle Olu, as many prefer to call him, has, for many years, been a source of inspiration to the younger actors and adored by his peers. He is a though-breed professional that has been able to prove his worth in the international movie industry.

He is married to one of the best actresses in Nigeria, Joke Silva.

Olu Jacobs, who has lost count of the movies that he has featured in, has stood the test of time in Nollywood and possesses the qualities of a godfather.

•Pete Edochie: Despite the fact that he is based in the Eastern part of Nigeria, Pete Edochie remains one of the most popular actors in Nigeria. His vast experience and knowledge about the Igbo culture has earned him more Igwe or Chief roles in movies. Because of this, some people are of the opinion that he has been stereotyped. But Pete has repeatedly debunked it, claiming that as an actor, his professional responsibility is to interpret whatever script given to him.

He is a godfather, particularly among the Igbo-speaking filmmakers.

•Justus Esiri: This is another movie icon that has carved a niche for himself in the industry. He can be described as a bundle of talent with a unique way of interpreting roles. He had on several occasions served as a counsellor or adviser to less experienced filmmakers and actors.

He is one of the few that are often contacted when issues affecting the development of Nollywood are to be addressed.

•Eddie Ugbomah: Eddie Ugbomah is a professional actor. One of the experienced actors Nigeria can boast of. Ugbomah, who celebrated his 40 years on stage recently, is a down to earth person. He is proactive and innovative. As far back as the 70s Ugbomah had shot movies in celluloid, setting a pace for the modern Nollywood. His intelligence has earned him the responsibility of playing the role of an adviser in virtually all the guilds in the English sector of Nollywood.

For instance, in the heat of the problem between film marketers and the National Films and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Ugbomah really played the role of a peacemaker, serving as a middle man between the two parties.

When the Federal Government first made its intention to sell the National Arts-Theatre, known he was also one of the major practitioners that kicked against the move.

•Lere Paimo: Popularly known as Eda Omile Ola, he is a Yoruba thespian with vast experience. Like Pete Edochie in the English sector, Lere Paimo also seems to have been stereotyped, but that has not in anyway hindered him from being a godfather.

An Ibadan-based actor, Eda, as he is fondly called, has spent decades in the industry.

•Peter Fatomilola: He is an Ifa scholar of repute and has made use of his knowledge to become a celebrated movie star. However, his vast knowledge about Ifa may be the reason why he mostly plays the role of an Ifa Priest in movies.

He is one of the most respected elders in the Yoruba movie sector.

•Adebayo Faleti: He has proved his mettle as a fantastic script interpreter over the years. This ageing actor for sometime now, has been playing an advisory role in the affairs of the Association of Nigeria Theatre-Arts Practitioners (ANTP), an umbrella body of all Yoruba thespians in the country.

Faleti is one actor that has distinguished himself with the unique style of delivering his lines. Watching this icon act, one will be convinced that he has experience. He fits in perfectly in movies that tend to promote more of Yoruba culture.

•Kola Oyewo: Apart from being an actor of international repute, Kola Oyewo has contributed tremenduosly to the growth of Theatre-Arts in Nigeria as a Lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

Oyewo is an actor that has no limits. He can conveniently feature in both Yoruba and English movies, but as a man who loves impacting more on people in his immediate constituency, he prefers Yoruba movies, particularly those that concentrate more on culture.

•Sola Fosudo: Sola Fosudo is one of those that started what we today know as Nollywood. Before home videos and movies eventually became the order of the day, he had been one of the veterans doing stage performances.

Consequently, Fosudo, who is a senior lecturer at the Department of Theatre-Arts, Lagos State University, has broken barriers because he is one of the few Yoruba personalities that have acted in many Yoruba and English flicks.

•Prince Jide Kosoko: He is currently the National President of the Association of Nigerian Theatre-Art Practitioners (ANTP). Although he is still very relevant as an actor, he is more involved in the politics of ANTP lately.

Prince Kosoko, one of the early actors in Nigeria, is married to an actress, Henrietta. Without mincing words, he is one of the godfathers in moviedom.

•Adebayo Salami: Otherwise known as Oga Bello, this chubby actor has also contributed his quota to lift the make-believe industry up and has lost count of his movies. He is a godfather as well.

Unveiling Nigeria's Female Comedians

What a man can do, a woman can do better, goes a popular downtown Nigerian street lingo. This particularly used to be the case when gender-based issues were raised. Gradually, however, the slang began to be applied in virtually all professions, the entertainment sector inclusive.

Until recently, the Nigerian entertainment industry was dominated by the male folks essentially because of the society regarded the womenfolk as weaker sex. The seeming revolution, which saw female comedians getting involved in the entertainment industry, has drastically changed the trend. The revolution actually began with Mandy and Princess leading the pack. Ever since, more female folks have embraced comedy business that used to be an exclusive engagement of the men.

Damilola Adekoya (Princess)

A Creative Arts graduate of University of Lagos, Princess earlier attended Our Lady of Apostles Secondary School, ljebu-Ode. She is said to have been involved in acting since her primary school days.

After secondary school, she registered with the Nigerian Actors Guild, but nothing serious came her way then. Later, she gained admission to Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, to study Electrical and Electronics Engineering. She graduated and worked with a Construction Company in Ikoyi for a while before she joined another company at Ilupeju area of Lagos. She was with them before she gained admission to UNILAG to study Marine Engineering. She changed to study Civil Engineering in her second year and at the end of the session, she quit engineering for Creative Arts.

For her, acting is a natural calling. She started acting at the age of six. When little Damilola was nine years old, she took part in a play entitled: Half Human, Half Animal. The play was staged at Ijebu-Ode and that was her first major stage play. Princess kept on acting, but stopped because she had to combine it with work as an engineer.

In 2001, she met Kayode Peters and started participating in stage productions with Theatre 15 at the University of Lagos and the MUSON Centre. During this period, she took part in such plays as Armageddon, Black Sheep, Mama, Private Lies, among others. Though she loves comedy, she was on and off until 2004 when she met Wale Adenuga who saw in her a comic character. Prior to that time, she had played many comic roles in some of Kayode Peters' Productions.

Wale Adenuga was actually the first person that insisted she could do stand-up comedy. Some of the roles she played were funny. Later, she started doing stand-up comedy during intermission in stage plays.

In 2004, Tee A asked her to join him in his programme to do a segment and that was just how she came to limelight. Ever since then this comedian born with dreadlocks has been waxing stronger as a result of which her name has become synonymous with female comedy in the country.

She is still an actress and also trail blazer as a stand-up comedian.

Princess, as she is popularly known in showbiz circles, has featured in so many television programmes, including Flat Mates and Super Story. She is into many things.

She has a large heart as she keeps encouraging female colleagues to come into the field. "People call us to work together and there is no form of rancour in the business because we work together as a team," she told Daily Independent when asked if there is any form of unhealthy rivalry between male and female comedians.

Mandy Uzonitsha

Mandy claims to be the first female comedian in Nigeria, because she was the first woman to do stand-up comedy, and by that, she has literally become a mother hen to other upcoming female comedians in the country.

Undoubtedly, she is a force to reckon with in Nigerian comedy, as she is one of the female practitioners in this industry who have distinguished themselves with their jokes.

Mandy started out with the Charley Boy Show in 1992 and is still cracking ribs presently with no intention to retire in the nearest future. Her daring moves had seen her plucking many awards and with many events to her name.

Although she sees comedy as an in-born trait, which nobody can study in school, she encourages more ladies to come into the industry, stressing that there are lots of potentials in it.

When she started with Charley Boy on his TV programme, the Charley Boy Show, Mandy was then doing the candid camera segment of the show in the streets. Then, she was in her second year in the university. She never envisaged that what she was doing would eventually blossom to stand-up comedy. Upon graduating with a degree in Political Science, she came back working for Charley Boy and after a while she was invited to a Girls Night Out hosted by Ayo Animashaun.

As she claimed, she did not go out of her way to become a comedian rather comedy chose her. Then she was known as Mandy the comedian, Mandy the actress and Mandy the singer. At a point in time she felt she was doing a lot of things at the same time and so she chose comedy.

She has done a lot of shows and she is the brand face of Fayrous drink. She sees no form of rivalry in the industry though, according to her, people tend to trust men and so their male colleagues get more jobs. "We are all colleagues but people tend to trust men more than women but we (women) are more careful in handling things," she said. Mandy has a daughter (April).

Helen Paul

Helen Paul crept into the entertainment industry without being noticed, but she is presently one of the celebrated female comedians in the country. She is currently in her final year studying Theatre Arts at the University of Lagos. Helen actually began with singing and acting in the church. She did her first professional comedy in 2005 at the University of Lagos. Her goal is to work in a team of skillful and proven professionals where new ideas and challenges are the main focus.

Though combining acting, academics and comedy, she is waxing strong in the entire gamut of the industry.

Zeroth. She has performed at Sleek's make-up anniversaries and Sleek's outlets opening ceremonies. She equally performed at one of former Governor Bola Tinubu's birthday parties. In 2008 she performed at Rhythm Unplugged. She worked on Indomie Noodles, Cowbell and bank PHB's advertorials and jingles.

Zeroth. She is presently featuring on Peak milk advertisements, jingles and radio programmes, Peak Moments. She has also featured on several music projects with groups like P-Square, Infinity, Olufunmi, Yinka Davies, among others.

Zeroth. Equally included among works are Pawns, an M-net drama series currently being shown on M-net series, The Lion and The Jewel, a stage drama written by Wole Soyinka and directed by Tunji Sotinmirin, The Wives, a stage drama written by Ahmed Yerima and directed by Wole Oguntokun.

Zeroth. She is currently working with radio and television stations (T.V. Continental).

Lepacious Bose (Bose Ogunboye)

She is another woman who paddles her stuff in the male dominated comedy terrain effectively. Many admire her unique way of throwing banters about her big size. She broke into limelight with a brilliant outing at the 2006 edition of Night Of A Thousand Laughs and has since performed in several other shows including Laugh and Rock, Accra, Ghana, an independence anniversary show put together by Opa Williams. She actually started comedy in 1995 when she was a student at University of Ibadan, as compere for a group called Lafomania Organisation.

"Then we had comic-drama sketches capturing everyday campus life. My job was to get the people excited by appearing on stage intermittently to spice up the sketches that made the whole show glow. That was what I did from 1995 when I studied Theatre Arts and later returned to study Law till 1999 when I graduated. From there, I went to Law School in Abuja and that took me away from comedy for a while. When I returned to Lagos in 2001, it was as if I was starting all over again because I was known in Ibadan but unknown in Lagos. So, I had to break into the comedy circle and this was a gradual process. I got a major break in 2005 and since then, I have been getting offers. It looks like a fast rise but for me it is not. But breaking into the fold here in Lagos was quite a very challenging experience." She told a magazine recently.

She had featured in series of shows including Laff N Jamz with Basketmouth, Holy Laughter with Holymallam and also performed in a Koffi and Owen Gee's duet comic-drama to mention but a few. She actually took her big break at her performance at Night Of A Thousand Laughs in 2006.

Asides comedy Lepacious as she is called, runs a catering outfit and she is also into events management.

Besides these celebrated ones, there are other female comedians who are gradually but steadily making their marks in the industry, thus giving their male counterparts a run for their talents.

Wayas, Charly Boy Barred From Flying Arik

Second Republic Senate President, Joseph Wayas, has been barred from flying Arik Air over what the management of the airline described as unruly behaviour while onboard.

It is the same story for show business impresario, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy.

As for Charly Boy, former president of the Performing Musicians Employers' Association of Nigeria (PMAN), he was handed the ban for forcefully occupying a seat in the business class instead of economy class, which ticket he had.

According to a memo pasted on the airline's notice board at the ticketing counter at Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, Charly Boy's ban took effect from January 16, 2009 and will expire on January 16, 2010.

His offences as published in the memo include "non-cooperation with cabin crew, booked on economy class but wanted to seat in business class and, also threatened to deal with the crew when they sought to correct him."

Wayas offence is also said to be similar to that of the maverick musician.

Aside these two popular personalities, the list also contains the names of five others including a journalist (names withheld) who was accused of writing "a degrading but untrue story" about the airline.

The ban, according to the report, will last a whole year.

Effort to get both Wayas and Charly Boy to react to the development were unsuccessful as they would not pick calls put through to their mobile phones or respond to SMS sent to them.

However, Banji Ola, the airline's spokesman justified the action by saying that "it is a standard practice worldwide that passengers considered as threats to other passengers can be prevented from boarding."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


The remarkable development of the Nigerian music industry is set to be expressed a change with Tu Face, P Square, Bigian are top contenders of the glamorous event while rave-of-the-moment artistes and celebrities are already planning to storm this year’s edition of the Soundcity Music Video Awards in a grand style.

The crème of artistes currently ruling the airwaves in Nigeria have been confirmed to perform at the premium Awards ceremony, alongside other great personalities from within and outside Nigeria, including two foreign artistes.

Miss Tega Omoru, Brand Manager, Soundcity, said that the 2009 Soundcity Music Video Awards will be in celebration of Music Videos that best represent the concepts, and adaptability of Music works for television in the period under review. It will celebrate innovation and creativity beyond the performing artistes, and extend to music video producers, directors, cinematographers, video editors, choreographers, and other craftsmen and women who facilitated the works, and helped the viewing target realize their preferences.

According to Miss Omoru, fifteen categories are to be recognized and rewarded, including the Best Male Video; Best Female Video; Best Choreography; Best Special Effects and Editing; Best Duo or Group Video; Best Cinematography; Best Hip Hop; Soundcity Fresh Video; Soundcity Viewers’ Choice; Best Collaboration in a Music Video; Discovery of the Year; Hit Producer of the Year (as used in a music video); the Best R&B/Pop Video; the Best African Video; and the Best Overall Video.

She stated that the Nominees for the Best Video Award include Weird MC, for Riranwo; Eldee, for Bosi Gbangba; Naeto C, for Kini Big Deal; MoHits, for Pere; Bigiano, for Shayo; P Square, for Roll It; and of course, Tu Face Idibia, for Enter the Place.

The Award ceremony holds exquisitely in two parts: the concert and the Awards proper. The Soundcity Music Video Awards proper will hold on Saturday, August 1, 2009, at the Soundcity Music Centre, Ocean View Grounds, Victoria Island, Lagos, commencing with the Red Carpet event at 5:00p.m. prompt.

The Urban Music Blast Concert will hold the previous day at the Soundcity Music Centre, Ocean view Grounds, Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday, July 31, 2009, starting by 10:00p.m. Both events will be transmitted across Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom, and indeed to some parts of Europe. A remarkable collection of Nigerian Music stars have also been lined up to perform at the one-of-a-kind Awards.

By Alonge Michael

Thursday, July 2, 2009

AY.com Knees and addresses Terry G again,Terry G runs!

On wednesday June 17 2009, an altercation almost took place between the two singers but Terry G took to his heels before all hell brooke loose.here’s what sources said.

“It was at a show in UNILAG,AY.com,Steel-a and Klever Jay don already arrive,so them don plan as them go take enter stage,then Terry G show,and as a big boy he use him influence enter stage before any one of them,so as he enter stage na him he sing him freestyle small then next thing he tell the DJ to slam the jam ‘pass meTerry G sing ‘pass me your love’ he no go get anything sing again,na him AY.com enter stage begin shout ‘DJ hold it!,DJ I say hold it!’

Na him them put off the music,Terry G no even look AY.com face he just drop the mic comot for there pata-pata,na him AY begin tell the crowd how he take suffer do video with N1.4 million.

He tell the crowd say he pay Terry G to produce the song,say Terry G beg am to feature for the song sef,say the cloth way terry wear na him buy am and say upon as the song hit he neva get money from am,say na Terry G dey chop all the money,he come kneel down beg the crowd say anytime terry-g perform the song”pass me your love”again and them see am,make them stone am.na so some girls begin cry and boys begin hail am”.

Please let us know if you want it interpreted. How sad!

Michael Jackson dies in LA

Pop star Michael Jackson has died in Los Angeles, aged 50.

Paramedics were called to the singer's home around midday local time on Thursday after he stopped breathing and suffered a suspected cardiac arrest.

He was rushed by ambulance to a local medical centre, but his death was announced shortly afterwards.

The star, who had a history of health problems, had been due to begin a series of comeback concerts in the UK on 13 July.

Jackson had a history of health problems and had not completed a concert tour in 12 years.

Concerns were raised last month when four of his "comeback" concerts were postponed, but organisers insisted the dates had been moved due to the complexity of staging the show.

A spokeswoman for The Outside Organisation, which was organising the publicity for the shows, said she had no comment at this time.

Uri Gellar, a close friend of the star, told BBC News: "I'm devastated - it's very, very sad.

"I'm still trying to hold on to the glimmer that it's not true. It's too surreal for me to absorb that Michael is no longer with us."


US media reports said paramedics were called to the singer's house in Bel Air at midday.

They performed CPR on Jackson and rushed him to the UCLA medical centre.

Crowds have begun to gather outside the facility, whose emergency centre has been roped off by police.

Jackson began his career as a child in family group The Jackson 5.

He then went on to achieve global fame as a solo artist with smash hits such as "Thriller" and "Bad".

But the singer has been dogged by controversy and money trouble in recent years, becoming a virtual recluse.

He had three children, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr, Paris Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II.