Official Statements : This Is It - MICHAEL JACKSON PERFORMS IN LONDON FOR THE LAST TIME
Michael Jackson has announced that he is returning to the stage for a historic 50 shows at The O2 arena performing in London for the last time.
(London, March 5, 2009) – The King of Pop returns to reign over London and performs his greatest hits for the event of the summer, the concerts of 2009 and the decade’s hottest gigs. This really is ‘It’!
One of the most eagerly awaited returns to the stage of all time, Michael Jackson has not played a series of concerts since he last toured 12 years ago. These dramatic shows promise an explosive return with a band of the highest calibre, state-of-the-art stage show and incredible surprise support acts.
“I am coming to London to play the songs my fans want to hear.” - Michael Jackson
Opening with 10 nights at The O2 arena on July 8th. Ticket price Ł75 / Ł65 / Ł50 + booking fees
“We are delighted to facilitate the return of The King of Pop, long may he reign! Michael at The 02 this summer will surely be the highlight of the musical year. When Michael Jackson performs, the eyes of the World will be watching. Look out for an International flavour to the audience, as this will be his only concerts in the WORLD this year!” - Rob Hallett, President International Touring, AEG Live.
Starting today visit www.MichaelJacksonLive.com or text ‘MJ’ to 81707 for your chance to join the presale. Text costs 10p to 12p dependent on network. UK only.
Tickets go on sale to the public at 7am Friday, 13 March.
An exclusive new Michael Jackson video showcasing his electric performances over the years will make a record breaking debut on Sunday, March 8th at 9:30pm on ITV. Michael Jackson will be the only artist ever to take over an entire ad break.
One of the world’s most popular entertainers Michael Jackson has sold over 750 million units worldwide and is one of very few artists to be inducted twice into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Guinness Book of World Records has recognised Michael Jackson as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time and Thriller as The Biggest Selling Album of All Time. Jackson won 13 Grammy Awards and received the American Music Award’s Artist of the Century Award.
The pop star Michael Jackson announced Thursday his first concert tour in 12 years.
The touring deal with concert promoter AEG Live could be worth as much as $400 million for Mr. Jackson over three and a half years. The first phase of the tour includes 10 concerts at London's O2 arena beginning July 8, but he has the option to extend the run for additional dates at venues spread across three continents.
Depending on the strength of ticket sales for the first 10 shows, Mr. Jackson may add more dates at the O2, with the ultimate goal of exceeding the record-setting 21-night stand by Prince in 2007. Depending on how many dates he adds, Mr. Jackson's take from the London concerts alone could be between $30 million and $50 million, according to people familiar with the matter. Tickets to the London performances are to go on sale, via an online lottery system at MichaelJacksonLive.com, next Wednesday for Ł50 ($70) to Ł75 ($105) each.
Mr. Jackson would then have the option to add more dates in Europe, Asia and finally North America. But he is not committed to play any shows beyond the original 10, and would in any event not reach the U.S. before 2011. "He has been the biggest star in the world and it's time for him to get back on the stage," said Randy Phillips, president and chief executive of AEG Live.
Mr. Jackson has borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars against his share of Sony/ATV Music Publishing -- a joint venture with Sony Corp. -- and other assets. Sony/ATV generates an estimated $300 million to $350 million a year in revenue, a small piece of which flows to Mr. Jackson in the form of dividends. In addition, Sony around three years ago arranged for a loan to Mr. Jackson by British banking giant Barclays PLC, backed by his share of the venture. As a result, he sees little direct income from the endeavour. A Sony spokeswoman declined to comment.
But if Mr. Jackson goes through with the full concert-tour plan, he could be in a position to make an offer for Sony's share of Sony/ATV in about a year and a half, according to people close to the matter, under a buy-sell provision in the partnership agreement.
Last year, Mr. Jackson's Neverland Ranch was saved from foreclosure by Los Angeles private-equity group Colony Capital, which bought the note on the property for millions of dollars. Colony now holds an equity stake in Neverland and is deeply involved as a business advisor to Mr. Jackson. A Colony associate, Tohme Tohme, has been serving as Mr. Jackson's manager for the past year and was involved in arranging the AEG deal.
As part of the deal, AEG's corporate parent, Anschutz Corp., agreed to invest in a pet project of Mr. Jackson's, a 3-D feature film based on his song and music video "Thriller."
People close to the singer say that he is eager to return to work. "Between Anschutz and us, he's got plenty of capital," said Tom Barrack, Colony's chief executive. "He's serious, he's focused, he's healthy and he's listening."
To obtain insurance for the tour, AEG arranged for an independent physician to conduct a five-hour physical exam of Mr. Jackson. "He passed with flying colors," said AEG's Mr. Phillips.
"For the first time in his life, Michael Jackson has people around him who believe in him and look after him," said Dr. Tohme. "And are trying to help him and advance his career."
—The Wall Street Journal, page W2-
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