KISS Dropped From Michael Jackson Tribute Concert

The concert honoring Michael Jackson has dropped KISS from its lineup as the late singer’s estate raises questions about the event’s legality.

Photo: AP Photo
Announcing he is set to play ten live concerts at the London O2 Arena

Appearing on CNN Aug. 15, Jackson Family matriarch Katherine Jackson announced KISS was added to scheduled for Oct. 8 at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium in Wales, joining a lineup that already includes Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo Green, Leona Lewis. Smokey Robinson, Craig David, The Jackson Brothers, Alien Ant Farm, 3T and JLS.

But problems began almost immediately as angry Michael Jackson fans protested KISS’ inclusion on the show, claiming past remarks Gene Simmons made about the singer made the band an inappropriate choice for the concert. While talking with Classic Rock magazine last year, Simmons said he believed Jackson was a child molester.

“Well, you know, where there’s smoke there’s fire,” Simmons said in 2010. “There’s no question in my mind he molested those kids. Not a doubt.”

Photo: AP Photo
During an interview with The Associated Press in Jerusalem.

Fans flooded online message boards with postings protesting the KISS booking. Within 24 hours the show’s promoter announced KISS was off the bill.

“Under the circumstances, we fully agree that even though KISS is a band Michael admired, we have no choice but to rescind our invitation to them to appear in our tribute concert,” Global Events Live CEO Chris Hunt wrote in a statement.

But while fans decried KISS’ involvement with the tribute concert, the show’s promoter was getting flak from another source – Michael Jackson’s estate.

That’s right. The folks who handle all business related to Michael Jackson aren’t all that crazy about the tribute show for which tickets start at approximately $100. In a letter sent to the promoters, estate lawyer Howard Weitzman questioned whether all proceeds would be donated to charity as claimed. Executors were also concerned about the use of Jackson’s image and intellectual property, according to MTV.

Weitzman isn’t the only one questioning the show. As soon as the tribute concert was announced two weeks ago, Jackson’s brothers Jermaine and Randy expressed their dissatisfaction that the show would take place during the same time period that Dr. Conrad Murray will be on trial for involuntary manslaughter in relation to Jackson’s June 2009 death.