Janet Jackson has finally weighed in on the controversial tribute concert planned for her late brother in October, potentially putting the already imperiled Michael Jackson tribute in further jeopardy. In a one-sentence statement to the Associated Press, she wrote, simply, “Because of the trial, the timing of this tribute to our brother would be too difficult for me.”
The criminal trial to which she refers is that of Dr. Conrad Murray, charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson. Her statement echoes that of siblings Randy and Jermaine Jackson, who issued a statement the day the concert was announced explaining that they would not support a tribute concert scheduled to take place during Murray’s trial.
Janet’s lack of support is the latest in a series of setbacks faced by Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert, scheduled for October 8 in Cardiff, Wales, since it was first announced, at a press conference in July, by Jackson’s mother Katherine and siblings Marlon, Jackie, Tito and La Toya. The tribute has booked a lineup including Ne-Yo, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Smokey Robinson, Leona Lewis, Alien Ant Farm, Craig David, and, via satellite, Beyoncé; will be broadcast to 30 countries (in 3D where available); and will raise money for the AIDS Project and other charities. Nevertheless the tribute has not received the support of Michael Jackson’s estate, and had furthermore come under fire from both the estate and MJ fans for initially including Kiss on the lineup in the face of negative comments Gene Simmons has made about Jackson.
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