Stop the presses! Despite proclamations from Michael Jackson's camp today to the Associated Press, Neverland Ranch is still in foreclosure.
According to my sources, Jackson was not able to work out a new deal with Fortress Investments. He did get a postponement of the planned public auction. It will now take place on May 14th, at 1 p.m. in Santa Barbara County.
The shock of this is palpable since Jackson's reps were convinced they'd made a deal with Fortress to prevent an auction. That plan would have put Jackson's problems off for a year while his group searched for new financing. They would have to pay Fortress around $6 million for the privilege.
So: attention wire services—please update with our credit and don't accept spin. The $24.5 million Neverland auction is going forward.
There's nothing like a little infamy to make a hit record.
This afternoon, New York's Z-100 premiered Ashley Alexandra Dupre's "What We Want" during "drive" time.
Tom Poleman, SVP Programming at Z100 stated: "Z100 is all about playing what's hot and we can't think of anything hotter than a song from the woman at the center of the scandal that took down the governor of New York. On top of that, it's not a bad song. Looks like she may have a new career; this time in music."
Well, she’s not exactly Joni Mitchell. But Ashley’s notoriety won’t hurt. And the ailing record biz sure needs a hit these days even if it’s a novelty.
There’s a big irony here. Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer conducted a massive anti-payola campaign against record companies, eventually getting millions in fines from all of them. Which one of those companies will wind signing Ashley, just to get revenge on the hypocritical gov?
She’s not exactly Andrea True, and "What We Want" is no "More More More," but Dupre’s MySpace recording could turn out to be a hit.
Andrea True, of course, was the purported '70s porn star who had a smash disco dance hit with "More More More," a record that contained the refrain, "How do you like it; how do you like it?"
Dupre’s lone MySpace entry "What We Want" (which was taken down Thursday afternoon) is not as catchy, but it does have the thumpy repetitive set-up that marks most dance hits of this era.
Don’t get excited about the sexy come-on lyrics, though. They’re the usual hip-hop platitudes, anonymous and utterly harmless. One growl from Tina Turner and Ashley would be dust in the wind.
Over at an another site, amiestreet.com, you can download "What We Want" and another Dupre track, "Move Ya Body," the latter for a mere 65 cents. That record actually has a better hook, and it’s less expensive.
Thursday morning, the two tracks on that site had racked up 90,000 listens, according to the on-site counter. Not bad for a girl who’s slept her way to the middle.
Will Ashley be a Grammy New Artist nominee next year? Not likely. But if she’s not legally encumbered, she’d be a natural for appearances on "Howard Stern" or "Imus in the Morning."
A better opportunity, at least in the old days, would have been No Excuses jeans.
Ashley, by the way, counts among her influences "Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Frank Sinatra, Patsy Cline, Carly Simon, Diana Krall, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Aerosmith, Lauryn Hill, Keisha Cole, U2, Jack Johnson, Vivian Green."
I’m sure they’re all thrilled.