Mike Powell /Allsport
Mike Powell /Allsport

Michael Jackson Secretly Co-Wrote the Music for Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Mike Powell /Allsport
Mike Powell /Allsport

Along with finding Luigi in Super Mario 64 and unlocking a hidden character named Sheng Long in Street Fighter II, there’s a video game urban legend that suggests Michael Jackson secretly co-wrote the soundtrack for Sonic the Hedgehog 3. The rumor started when gamers noticed eerie similarities between the video game’s soundtrack and the King of Pop’s mid-1990s musical output. Though Sega denied that Jackson had any involvement with Sonic 3, the rumor has persisted for more than 20 years. But new interviews suggest that the “rumor” is fact.

In an article on The Huffington Post about the history between Michael Jackson and Sega, the longstanding urban legend has been confirmed as being true. Jackson worked with longtime music collaborator Brad Buxer on approximately 40 tracks for Sonic 3 during the early half of 1993. MJ was reportedly a big fan of the game series and had an ongoing professional relationship with Sega after they developed his video game, Moonwalker, in 1990. In the midst of his “Dangerous” world tour, Jackson sprained his ankle and had to cancel a few concert dates to heal. While recovering, he made a covert visit to Sega’s development facility in Palo Alto, California, where he met with the Sonic team.

Jackson agreed to work on the then-new video game’s soundtrack over the next few weeks, but did not receive a credit on the final version. There were some rumors that Jackson wasn’t happy with how the music turned out after Sega compressed his tracks into a series of bloops and bleeps, while others speculated that it was Sega who removed his name when the singer was very publicly accused of child molestation in the summer of 1993.

Though the real reason why his name isn’t on the game might never be known, the musicians who worked on Sonic 3 alongside Jackson have confirmed the late pop icon's involvement.

According to The Huffington Post, “Six men—Brad Buxer, Bobby Brooks, Doug Grigsby III, Darryl Ross, Geoff Grace and Cirocco Jones—are listed as songwriters in Sonic 3's endgame scroll. Buxer, Grigsby, and Jones tell The Huffington Post that Jackson worked with them on a soundtrack for Sonic 3—and that the music they created with Jackson ended up in the final product.”

Take a listen for yourself.

[h/t The Huffington Post]

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Your Library Has a Free Music Service That You Probably Didn't Know About
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iStock

Did you know that you can download free music from your local library? Music that you can keep. That's right: not borrow, keep.

It's all possible thanks to a service called Freegal (a portmanteau of free and legal), which gives patrons of participating libraries access to 15 million songs from 40,000 labels, notably including the Sony Music Entertainment catalog. All you need is a library card.

Here's how it works: You can download a few songs a week, and, in many areas, enjoy several hours of streaming, too (the precise number of songs and hours of streaming varies by library). Once you download MP3 files, they're yours. You're free to put them on iTunes, your iPhone, your tablet, and more. You don't have to return them and they don't expire. The counter resets on Mondays at 12:01 a.m. Central Time, so if you hit your limit, you won't have long to wait before you get more downloads. And Freegal has some great stuff: A quick scan of the front page reveals music from Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Cardi B, Simon & Garfunkel, Childish Gambino, The Avett Brothers, Lykke Li, and Sara Bareilles.

Freegal has been around since 2010 and is offered at libraries worldwide. In the U.S., that includes the New York Public Library, Queens Library, Los Angeles Public Library, West Chicago Public Library, Houston Public Library, and more. In the past few years, libraries have debuted some other amazing free digital services, from classic films streaming on Kanopy to audiobooks and e-books available to borrow on SimplyE and OverDrive. But the thing that's so exciting about Freegal is that you can keep the MP3 files, unlike services that limit you to borrowing.

Freegal's site is easy to navigate: You can browse playlists and make your own, check out the most popular tunes, and save songs to your wishlist for when you get more credits. In the old days, music fans would check out CDs from the library and upload them onto their computers before returning them. But Freegal eliminates the need to go to your local branch, check out an album, and bring it back when you're done.

Freegal app
Freegal

To find out if your local library has Freegal, go to freegalmusic.com and click login, then search for your area. It's important to note: Your library's contract might not have both streaming and downloading privileges. You can use Freegal on the web or as an app available on the App Store, Google Play, and Amazon. Of course, the service doesn't have everything. And sometimes, when it does have an artist, it will only have a few of their most popular albums. But if you frequently buy music on iTunes or elsewhere, checking Freegal first may save you a bit of money.

If you don't yet have a library card, Freegal is just one more reason why you should get one ASAP.

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An Anthology Series Based on Dolly Parton's Songs Is Coming to Netflix
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Though she may be best known for her music career, Dolly Parton is a Hollywood powerhouse. In addition to starring in more than a few contemporary classics, from 9 to 5 to Steel Magnolias, she's also been partly responsible for some of your favorite TV series. As part owner of Sandollar Entertainment, a film and television production company, she's been a silent figure behind shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now, the queen of country music is preparing to return to the small screen once again—this time on Netflix.

The beloved singer is partnering with Warner Bros. Television to produce an anthology series for Netflix, Engadget reports. Set to debut in 2019, each of the eight episodes will have a theme based on a song by Parton, who will serve as executive producer and singer-songwriter in addition to appearing in the series.

"As a songwriter, I have always enjoyed telling stories through my music," Parton said in a statement. "I am thrilled to be bringing some of my favorite songs to life with Netflix. We hope our show will inspire and entertain families and folks of all generations, and I want to thank the good folks at Netflix and Warner Bros. TV for their incredible support."

The list of songs hasn’t yet been released, but I Will Always Love You, Jolene, and The Bargain Store are among Parton’s greatest hits.

Parton previously worked with Warner Bros. to produce the made-for-television movies Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors (2015) and Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love (2016). She has also nearly finished the music for the upcoming film Dumplin'—based on a novel by Julie Murphy and starring Jennifer Aniston—and the soundtrack will be released via Dolly Records and Sony Music Nashville, according to Parton’s website.

[h/t Engadget]

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