British tabloid The Sun recently reported that Michael Jackson was too weak to perform his entire 50-date residency at The O2 arena in London – and that he never wanted to play so many shows at the venue. Concert promoter AEG Live immediately released a statement saying that’s absolutely not true.
Jackson kicks off his comeback July 13 with shows at The O2 through March 6. The “This Is It” concerts were originally going to begin July 8 but the opening show, along with gigs on July 10, 12 and 14, were rescheduled to allow more time for production and dress rehearsals.
The Sun wrote that Jackson recently shared his true feelings on the residency with fans outside his Burbank, Calif., dance studio.
“Thank you for your love and support, I want you guys to know I love you very much,” Jackson said, according to the tabloid.
“I don’t know how I’m going to do 50 shows. I’m not a big eater – I need to put some weight on. I’m really angry with them booking me up to do 50 shows. I only wanted to do 10, and take the tour around the world to other cities, not 50 in one place. I went to bed knowing I sold 10 dates, and woke up to the news I was booked to do 50.”
The Sun also noted that the King of Pop may have to cancel more dates because of his battle with skin cancer. Then again one can’t really believe much of what The Sun writes because a previous article in the tabloid claimed that Jackson is scared that his nose is going to fall off.
As for the O2 gigs negating a world tour, comedian Mark Russell said it best after George H.W. Bush made his famous “Read my lips: No new taxes” promise: “Read my lips: They’re going to raise the old ones.” One must remember that Jackson made clear at his press conference that the gigs were the last he would ever play – in London.
Randy Phillips, president and CEO of AEG Live, issued a statement through AEG’s London PR associates:
“This is not true; Michael Jackson was thrilled at selling 50 shows. The size and scale of this show would not be possible without an extended run, which Michael has been fully on board with from the very beginning. He has not agreed to a world tour at this point, however, he can at any time.”