Jermaine Jackson Defends Tribute Concert

It isn’t easy being one of Michael Jackson’s brothers. You announce a tribute concert for your deceased sibling and gossip blogs immediately spread the word your mother is against it. That is, when they’re not saying one of your star attractions will be absent.

Yesterday, Jermaine Jackson announced the lineup for the tribute to MJ, scheduled for Sept. 26 in front of the Schoenbrunn castle in Vienna, Austria, saying Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown would be among the artists singing his brother’s songs.

But gossip site TMZ took Jermaine to task, reporting that mom Katherine Jackson was against the show taking place in Austria, and quoting an unnamed family member saying that the King of Pop’s brother is more interested in promoting himself than his brother’s memory.

“I invited my mother, I invited my brothers and sisters as well,” Jermaine told reporters during a news conference held this morning in London, according to Reuters. “I am not happy with the talk being said in the press about the support isn’t there. My mother from the very start supported this.”

But Blige’s appearance might be up in the air. The singer is scheduled to appear at a fashion event in Italy on the day of the concert, but Jermaine said she will fly to Vienna in time to appear during the second half of the tribute show.

Photo: Associated Press
Appearing with promoter Georg Kindel.

Adding more fuel to the fire was E! Online, quoting a Jive Records representative saying Chris Brown was not appearing. Now Jermaine is saying Brown will indeed appear, that is, if the Los Angeles court system grants permission.

“Chris Brown is working out some situations but he definitely expressed to us that he wants to be here and it’s just up to what he’s going through with his court case right now but he’s definitely going to work that out and be here,” Jermaine said, adding that “people make mistakes” and Brown deserves forgiveness.

The “mistakes” Jermaine alluded to is Brown’s arrest for beating then-girlfriend Rihanna in February. Brown eventually pleaded guilty to the crime and was recently sentenced to five years probation and six months of “community labor.”

However, according to Associated Press, no request has been filed with the courts in Los Angeles asking permission for Brown to travel to Austria, although the promoter of the Vienna concert says the singer may receive permission today.

Along with listing Brown as a definite “maybe,” Jermaine is also floating several other major names as possibly appearing at the concert, saying Stevie Wonder, R. Kelly and Maroon 5 would “likely” perform.

Jermaine told reporters yesterday that, in addition to Blige and Brown, the concert would also feature appearances by Sister Sledge, Natalie Cole and Akon, and that he was in contact with Wonder as well as Madonna, Whitney Houston and Diana Ross.

Of course, “contacting” is often easy. Getting a signature on a contract, well, that can be difficult.

Click here for the complete Reuters article.

Click here for the complete Associated Press article.

Click here to read TMZ’s report from yesterday claiming the Jackson family was not supporting the concert.

Click here to read the E! Online item saying Chris Brown will not attend.