photo by Darlene Donloe for Sentinel
Members of Michael Jackson’s family joined representatives of Global Live Events at a press conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel this week to announce the creation of “Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert,” in honor of the late King of Pop who died two years ago.
Matriarch Katherine Jackson and siblings, LaToya, Jackie, Tito and Marlon, were on hand for the announcement, which began with a video introduction with the words, “Just when you thought that was it,” which alluded to the name of the concert series, ‘This Is It” that Jackson was planning at the time of his death in 2009.
According to representatives of concert promoter Global Live Events, the concert will be held Oct. 8, in Cardiff, Wales, at the Millennium Centre, which is Europe’s largest indoor arena holding 75,000 seats. The date marks 40 years since Jackson released his first solo single, “Got To Be There” and will feature a number of music artists.
More details about the concert, including the complete lineup will be rolled out over the next 10 days through Aug. 3, in order to build suspense and excitement, according to organizers. The concert will be broadcast around the world to 30 countries in both 2D and 3D.
It’s not known whether any members of the Jackson family will perform. Neither the Jackson family members nor the Global Live Events executives said who would be performing.
Organizers did say the concert, a one night only event, would last four hours.
“I have been approached by many people with a variety of ventures such as this, Global Live Events LLP is the first company to present me with a vision that will produce an authentic and memorable tribute that my son would love,” said Katherine Jackson. “This is going to be a world-class event. If my son was here today, he would feel the same way. Thank you so much for helping to keep my son’s legacy alive.”
“Michael loved doing things on a large, major scale,” said Tito, who added the concert would feature all the artists Michael admired and respected so much. “This is definitely one that he would approve.”
“He was about making the world a better place,” said Jackie Jackson. “It will be a great show.”
“It’s overdue,” said LaToya Jackson. ““He is an entertainer that I feel, that no one could stand up to or hold a candle to as far as talent is concerned. With that being said, I know this tribute will be something spectacular.”
“Just the warmth and exuberance in this room is a tribute to our brother,” said Marlon Jackson.
Chris Hunt, president of Global Live Events, said this was the first global tribute for Michael Jackson and that it “will never be repeated.”
“We’re sparing no effort to do something Michael would be proud of,” said Hunt, who met Michael Jackson in 2003 when they jointly produced a television special. “This should become a most memorable event.”
Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit three of Michael Jackson’s favorite charities, including AIDS Project Los Angeles and The Prince’s Trust.
LaToya Jackson said Michael donated more than $100 million of his own money to various charities.
Father Joe Jackson, Janet, Jermaine and Randy Jackson were not in attendance. It has been reported that while both Jermaine Jackson and Randy Jackson approve of a tribute to their brother, they are at odds with the timing of the event, which will occur during the time Dr. Conrad Murray will be on trial for the death of Michael Jackson. Neither the Jackson family nor promoters took questions from the press.
Hunt also announced that Global Live Events has started a trust fund for the three Jackson children (Prince Michael, Paris and Prince Michael II – known as Blanket) for when they each turn 21. He handed a surprised and visibly emotional Katherine Jackson a check for $100,000.
The line-up and ticketing procedure, including ticket prices for Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert, will be announced at a London press conference on Aug. 3. Tickets will go on sale exclusively through www.michaelforevertribute.com beginning Aug. 4.