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Michael Jackson says London shows will be his last in the city

March 5, 2009 | 10:09 am

Michael Well, it was all over in about three and a half minutes, the average length of a smash pop song.

At his London press conference streamed live on his website, Michael Jackson finally emerged from a silver tour bus, forgoing a ride in a mini-cart waiting for him inside the venue and instead walked to the pulsating red stage. Dressed in aviator shades and sparkly pseudo-military wear, he announced to screaming fans that "these will be my final show performances in London."

His 10 dates at the 02 Arena are due to kick off July 8, according to a video clip at the end of the conference (earlier we had reported July 9, but the date seems to have moved around). The King of Pop reiterated a few times that he would not be back in London, and presumably he meant all of England as well, for more shows after this summer. "When I say this is it, I really mean this is it... this is the final curtain call."

The Man in the Mirror looked pretty healthy, put together and focused, but it's hard to say after only a few minutes. No word was mentioned about an album supposedly in the works with rumored assists from Akon, will.i.am and Ne-Yo. Michael's last studio album was 2001's "Invincible," and "Thriller" got the anniversary treatment in 2008.

-- Margaret Wappler

Photo: Tim Whitby / Getty Images