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Michael Jackson's director sees 'We are the World'-type tribute

June 27, 2009 | 12:39 pm
The director of Michael Jackson’s comeback concerts, Kenny Ortega, has said the show must go on -- even if the King of Pop no longer can.

Although plans are not yet confirmed, Ortega -- the choreographer and director behind such hits as “Dirty Dancing,” “High School Musical” and “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour” -- is seeking to create a tribute to the singer using some of the choreography, costuming, musical staging and films Jackson engineered for his 50-date “This Is It” concert run at London’s O2 Arena.

“He’s so beloved in the world, somehow, perhaps we can find a way to pay tribute to his mind, talent, vision and heart,” Ortega told The Times hours after Jackson’s death. “Maybe part of what we were planning to do in London and beyond -- maybe we can share some of these ideas in a different capacity.”

He said he was “only imagining.” But the director outlined an idea to organize a creative collaboration modeled on “We Are the World,” the 1985 song written by Jackson and Lionel Richie to benefit African charities that enlisted a group of pop superstars including Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Diana Ross.

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Michael Jackson, 1958-2009
Photos: Michael Jackson, 1958-2009

Fans grieve worldwide
Photos: Fans grieve worldwide


Video: Celebrating Michael Jackson's legacy


Interactive map: See significant sites in the life and death of Michael Jackson, including Neverland Ranch and his boyhood home in Gary, Indiana.