Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green set for Michael Jackson concert
Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Leona Lewis and Smokey Robinson are among the performers who will be headlining a Michael Jackson tribute concert, promoters announced Thursday.
"Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert" is slated for Oct. 8, and organizers are hoping that 75,000 Jackson fans will make the pilgrimage to Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Global Live Events said the the bill will also include Craig David; British boy band JLS; Alien Ant Farm, which scored a massive hit with its rock cover of "Smooth Criminal"; and 3T, the group that features the three sons of Jackson's brother Tito. More acts are expected to be announced.
Late last month, Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine, and siblings Marlon, Tito, Jackie and La Toya announced the concert, but were tight-lipped on details, promising only that it would be a "thriller of an event."
The concert's announcement hasn’t come without controversy. Jackson’s estate isn’t affiliated with the show, and it responded after the initial announcement that promoters and Jackson's family hadn't gotten permission to use the king of pop's name and likeness. Jackson's brothers Randy and Jermaine have denounced the event, releasing a statement questioning the appropriateness of the show, as it will conflict with the scheduled trial of Jackson’s doctor in connection with the pop star’s 2009 fatal overdose.
"We want to make clear that this does not reflect the position of the entire family," the two said in a joint statement. "While we wholeheartedly support the spirit of a tribute that honors our brother, we find it impossible to support an event that is due to take place during the criminal trial surrounding Michael's death."
The official website for the show has posted that Katherine "has agreed to attend the concert with as many of Michael's children as are available."
Purchasing tickets for the tribute is nearly as complicated as following the familial affiliations. Fans can register their interest in obtaining tickets online. At first, this was to be through offering a charitable pledge, with the higher pledges getting better chances to purchase tickets, which would range in price from 55 pounds ($88) to 240 pounds ($387). The website has since backtracked and now states that any donations, though encouraged, will have no weight in the chances of getting tickets.
Proceeds are expected to benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles and the Prince’s Trust.
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy
Photo: Michael Jackson. Credit: Joel Ryan / Associated Press