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Michael Jackson delays the start of his London comeback residency

May 20, 2009 | 11:25 am

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In a move that raised the specter of previous concert cancellations and no-shows over the last dozen years, Michael Jackson has rescheduled the opening date of "This Is It," his 50-show comeback performance set for London’s O2 Arena.  

Citing challenges presented by a “massive and technically complex show,” “This Is It” director Kenny Ortega and Randy Phillips, chief executive of the concerts’ producer, AEG Live, announced the first of Jackson’s concerts will now kick off July 13, pushed back from its original start date of July 8. Three makeup performances will take place in March 2010.

“There’s nothing nefarious,” Phillips said in a video news conference Wednesday. “There’s nothing going on with his health. This is strictly a production issue.”

Ortega promised Jackson fans that the concerts will be worth the wait, featuring special effects, elaborate costumes bejeweled with Swarovski crystals, “stunts” and plenty of the Gloved One’s iconic choreography, as well as fresh dance moves. “I want to apologize for any inconvenience for fans and ticket holders,” Ortega said. “We are going to give you a show that makes up for this.”

--Chris Lee

Photo credit: Getty Images

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