MJ To Announce O2 Residency

Michael Jackson was due to make a “special announcement” at a London music venue this week — expected to be confirmation of his first live concerts in years.

British media said Tuesday that the troubled King of Pop will announce a string of dates at the city’s O2 Arena.

Celena Aponte, spokeswoman for the venue’s operator, AEG Live, said Jackson had arrived in London on Tuesday and would appear at a press conference at the arena on Thursday afternoon.

The days of multimillion-selling albums like “Thriller” are long gone. Jackson has kept a low profile since he was acquitted of child molestation charges in California in 2005. There have been reports of financial woes, legal troubles and health problems.

Jackson’s last live performance in Britain was at the 2006 World Music Awards. He was scheduled to perform “We Are the World” but only managed a few lines before leaving the stage.

Jackson was due to appear in a London court in November to contest a libel action for breach of contract brought by a Bahraini prince. The dispute was settled out of court at the last minute and Jackson did not appear.

The O2, formerly the Millennium Dome, is becoming a venue of choice for comeback performers. Britney Spears plays there eight nights in June, and Prince did a 21-day series of shows in 2007.