We’re not talking about ticket sales. Fans have paid up to $745 for VIP tickets to the event scheduled to be held Sept. 26 outside the Schoenbrunn Palace in Austria.

The “nobody” mentioned above refers to the lineup, as Jackson’s promises of big names such as Chris Brown and Mary J. Blige appear to be unraveling even as you read this.

During a press conference Tuesday morning Jackson promised Brown, Blige and Natalie Cole would be among the stars performing at the tribute and said he was in contact with Madonna, Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross.

But later that same day there was news that Brown, who recently was sentenced to five years probation and six months community labor for beating his then-girlfriend Rihanna in February, would probably not attend.

More recently, the publicist for Blige said the artist has another appearance scheduled that day, although Jackson made it sound as if she would fly into Vienna to appear during the second half of the show.

Now there are reports Natalie Cole’s appearance is very much in doubt, according to Associated Press.

Once you cross Brown, Blige, and very possibly Cole off the list, that leaves acts like Sister Sledge, Akon and German boy band US5, hardly the top tier acts Jackson promised earlier this week.

“The lineup announced so far really disappoints me,” said Vienna native Dieter Kircher who paid $91 for a standing-room-only ticket. “I can only hope some real stars will come.”

Austrian media outlets are also casting doubts on the tribute show. The local public broadcaster called it a “farce” and “debacle,” while the daily Heute described it as “chaos and cancellations.”

Jackson seems to be neck-deep in damage control. At a Wednesday press conference in London he said he still hoped for Brown and Blige, and maintained he was in contact with Madonna and Wonder. Then this morning he told reporters in Berlin that he had spoken with Blige and Brown and that Blige wanted to appear but was committed to a Gucci fashion show in Milan, Italy on that day.

As to Stevie Wonder, Jackson fell back on saying the artist had a full schedule but was trying to work something out.

In response to reports the Jackson family is unhappy with Jermaine’s tribute plans, Jackson and Kindel screened a video this morning in Berlin showing Jackson’s mother, Katherine, saying she fully supports the show.

Did Jackson even have Blige or Brown to begin with? Hard to say. Tribute shows on this scale are often a mashup of contracts and handshakes. Some artists may only agree verbally to appear while others have signed performance contracts.

Meanwhile, the tribute concert’s promoter – Georg Kindel – is doing some damage control of his own.

In response to ticket buyers complaining they had been promised “big stars,” Kindel questioned what defines a “star.”

“If someone wins nine Grammy Awards, is that a top star?” Kindel asked. “Who is A-list? Who is B-list? Who is a star? Everyone has his own musical tastes.

Fair enough. After all, everybody does have his or her own personal taste. But it’s a sure bet that when Jackson told the world the concert would feature “big stars,” fans were thinking more along the lines of U2 than US5.

In addition to lineup problems, Jackson may also be having issues locking down the broadcasting rights. When he announced the show, Jackson said the event would broadcast throughout the world.

However, it appears he may not even have that aspect of the show locked down, for Jackson is now saying he’s still negotiating with broadcasters.

Maybe he should remind them US5 is still on the bill.

Click here to read the complete Associated Press article.