Randy Phillips Interviewed

The promoter who booked Michael Jackson for a sold-out comeback tour said Tuesday that footage of the singer’s rehearsals may be released in future, and that an all-star tribute show based on his canceled concerts is likely to take place.

Randy Phillips, chief executive of promoter AEG Live, told Britain’s Sky News in an in interview, which can be seen here,that a tribute featuring members of Jackson’s family, and other world music stars, would likely utilize dance routines, sets and costumes created for the singer’s scrapped tour.

Phillips described Jackson as a close friend and said the singer had been excited about the upcoming concerts — confiding to him the day before his death that he felt ready for his 50 sold-out performances at London’s O2 arena.

The promoter said he spoke with Jackson after a rehearsal June 24. “He gave me a hug and he whispered into my ear ‘Now I know I can do this’,” he said.

Phillips denied claims that Jackson was daunted by the upcoming concerts, and likely too frail to perform. “We have, and we may at some point release, some footage of him in rehearsal that would totally refute that,” Phillips said.

He said he believes Jackson’s comeback would have been one of the best arena shows ever staged.

“At some point the world needs to see this production, and I imagine if we could do it, it would be done as a tribute, with the family – with the brothers performing and some of the sisters – but also the stars who loved Michael and were influenced by him,” Phillips told the channel.

Phillips said detailed plans for the original show had been saved for a possible tribute concert.

“We have the intellectual property content, we have the sets, we have the costumes … ,” he said. “It would have been — which is a tragedy — one of the most amazing arena shows ever.”

He said his company was discussing plans for a tribute with Jackson’s family, and suggested it could be staged soon. “Obviously, the sooner the better,” Phillips said.

The promoter confirmed that Jackson had personally insisted that cardiologist Dr. Conrad Murray was hired to attend to him during the planned concerts in London.

He also denied suggestions that his company is likely to lose large amounts of money as a result of Jackson’s death.

“Our company will be fine financially from this,” he said.

AEG Live is reported to have given Jackson a $20 million advance before the tour. Phillips did not comment directly on the reports.