With thousands of fans chanting his name, iconic singer Michael Jackson took the stage at the O2 Arena in London, England, to announce his final performances during a March 5 press conference. TicketNews confirmed Jackson’s comeback plans earlier this week on March 2.
“I just want to say that these will be my final show performances in London,” Jackson said, pausing as swells of screaming and chanting overtook the crowd. “When I say this is it, it really means that this is it.”
The King of Pop’s return to the stage will begin July 8 at the 20,000-person capacity venue. While the press conference limited Jackson’s London residency to 10 shows, published reports have stated that the concert series could be extended as long as demand dictates.
The concerts will serve as a career retrospecitve for the internationally recognized performer. Jackson noted, “I will be performing the songs my fans want to hear.”
Ticket presales for the extended run begin March 11, with public onsales following on March 13. In order to have the chance participate in the ticket presale, fans must register on MichaelJacksonLive.com.
AEG Live, the promoter for Prince’s record-breaking run of 21 sell-outs at the London arena, will also promote Jackson’s events. The O2 staged the Spice Girls’s sold-out 17-show series in December 2007 and January 2008, and will also take on Britney Spears‘s upcoming eight-show run, which begins June 3.
“We are delighted to facilitate the return of The King of Pop, long may he reign! Michael at The 02 this summer will surely be the highlight of the musical year,” said Rob Hallett, president for AEG Live’s International Touring division, in a statement. “When Michael Jackson performs, the eyes of the World will be watching.”
Over the course of his career, Jackson has sold more than 750 million albums worldwide and won 13 Grammys. However, in recent years, the beleaguered performer has received more attention for his personal problems than his professional successes.
Some industry sources have speculated that Jackson’s 2005 acquittal on child molestation charges and ongoing financial problems could negatively impact his ability to sell-out the O2 Arena. However, the 50-year-old has maintained a strong fan base in London, and Europe as a whole, in comparison to America.
“There’s a question of how big an attraction he is that this point,” Billboard‘s executive editor Robert Levine explained in an interview to ABC News. “There are a limited number of people who are going to pay a lot of money to see Michael Jackson.”
The image accompanying this article is from MichaelJackson.com.