We showed you a photo of a very thin King of Pop in his pajama-bottom-suit-jacket combo not too long ago, but Michael Jackson’s coming out of retirement, or whatever that was, to play a series of shows in London. So, no, you won’t get a Jackson 5 reunion, but over ten days, you will get 10 (maybe more) shows at London’s O2 arena. The residency is scheduled to begin July 8th. It’ll be interesting (and, perhaps, depressing) to see if he can make it through the whole thing. I’m not being mean, the guy is supposedly suffering from some sort of flesh eating disease, usually makes his way around town in a wheelchair and the aforementioned comfort clothes, and hasn’t had a real “hit” in years. He reportedly passed a 50-point health test to make sure he was fit to play, so here’s hoping his nose doesn’t fall off again. If so, no worries: Jackson announced that these would be his last ever London shows. Reportedly thousands of fans showed up at the O2 to hear Jackson’s press conference about the shows today. It started 90 minutes late, it actually did happen, and Rolling Stone has some words straight from the man’s mouth:
“This is it. I just want to say these will be my final show performances in London. This is it, when I say this is it, this is it … I’ll be performing the songs my fans want to hear — this is it. This is really it. This is the final curtain call. I’ll see you in July.”
RS notes, the series has also been titled “This Is It,” i.e. nice product placement, MJ. More:
Before the King of Pop finally took the stage, a montage of clips playing Jackson’s greatest hits, video highlights and fans crying played over the big screen as the crowd chanted “Michael!” Jackson finally emerged wearing a jet-black bombastic military outfit and stepped up to the podium as the crowd went crazy.
The plan to bring Jackson to the O2 has reportedly been in the works for two years. AEG Live, who also organize the Lollapalooza festival, will coordinate the event. Tickets go on sale next Wednesday, March 13th. Fans can register for the chance to buy tickets on MichaelJacksonLive.com; the ticket sale will be similar to the Led Zeppelin reunion one, where registering results in a unique password that gives the user the chance to buy up to four tickets.
Who knows where MJ’s health was two years ago when they started planning this, but we’re in 2009 and the man’s hit 50 and RS also reports:
Given the rumored decline of Jackson’s health, British bookmakers — who apparently take bets on everything — are already giving odds that Jackson doesn’t perform at all, or at least doesn’t complete the run of 10 shows.
As hinted toward the beginning of the post, if the first 10 shows go well, the run might be increased to up to 25. But even the riskiest bookmakers isn’t likely to bet on that.
[Photo by Tim Whitby/GETTY]