Part 2 of a 6-part World Exclusive Series based on the forthcoming book, Dead or Alive: Michael Jackson is Still With Us. New installment every Saturday. Join 80,000 fans and vote in our poll at the end of this report. Have you seen The King of Pop? Tell us when and where at Spot Michael Jackson. Read Part 1, Global Wave of Michael Jackson Sightings Electrifies Fans.
Just two weeks before Pepsi announced a ground-breaking “global partnership with the Estate of Michael Jackson”, say sources, the King of Pop – or a dead ringer – showed up the firm’s corporate offices in Purchase, NY, possibly to put his signature on the deal.
And if that is, in fact, what happened, he was whisked away in a sea of black-suited body guards and helicoptered out of the parking lot before the ink was dry, the eyewitnesses say.
Not surprisingly, neither Pepsi nor the Estate have commented on the reports.
“He was in – bang – and out – bang – just like that,” a source told South African reporter Harel Fenster-Claymore, whose new book, “Dead or Alive: Michael Jackson is Still With Us”, is scheduled for a Christmas release.
“I couldn’t see his face because coming into the building he had on a fedora and a black-satin mask, like a surgical mask.
“But on the way out he tipped his hat at two of my friends, one of whom is a huge fan of Michael, and the mask was sort of falling down on one side. They could see his chin, cheekbones, eyes and his nose and hair.
“One friend told me, ‘He certainly looked just like all the pictures I’ve seen of Michael.’
“The other friend, the big fan, said, ‘It was Michael. I’ll put my hand on a Bible and give an oath in court – I saw Michael Jackson. I’d bet my life on it. Who else would fly out of there in a helicopter like that. Surely not an impostor.’”
Pepsi’s marketing deal with “the Estate of Michael Jackson” – which would be the only entity that legally could negotiate such an enterprise if the superstar is, in fact, dead – raised eyebrows and concerns when it was announced.
But fans quickly embraced the idea, with words like “brilliant” and “historic” and “inspiring” being used to describe it.
With headlines like, “Michael Jackson Dances Again” – referring to various of Jackson’s trademarked dance moves that will appear in silhouette on Pepsi cans – news of the venture spread like wildfire.
Intriguingly, Pepsi calls the campaign, “Live for Now”.
Some fans say, to them, the name suggests that perhaps the singer didn’t die of a doctor-administered drug overdose on June 25, 2009 at the age of 50, as the world has been led to believe.
“I’m not saying this proves Michael faked his death,” said Catherine Delaponte, the founder of a Jackson fan club in Paris, France. “But you have to admit that’s an interesting name for an advertising campaign that features dance moves that were made famous by a ‘dead’ superstar.
“I’m not one of these people who insist that Michael is alive. But I am one of these people who say he might be.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Michael masterminded this whole deal. He always had a good relationship with Pepsi. And I know the company helps a lot of charities that Michael would approve of.”
In a news release that went viral in online newspapers, magazines, blogs and fan sites, Brad Jakeman, president, Global Enjoyment Brands, and chief creative officer, PepsiCo Global Beverages Group, said this:
“Pepsi has always been at the forefront of pop culture, helping to shape the music landscape. This unique global partnership, around such a legendary music milestone, invites Pepsi fans from around the world to experience Michael Jackson’s music in an engaging and very NOW kind of way – it’s a model example of how Pepsi’s ‘Live for Now’ campaign can manifest itself in a way that resonates the world over.
John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson, said in the same release:
“We are thrilled to bring Michael and Pepsi back together, as they were in 1988, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of (Michael’s) BAD album and tour and to put Michael on one billion Pepsi cans – perhaps a Guinness record.
” We’re excited to see it all come to life.”
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