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Jacksons plan Wednesday announcement for Michael tribute line-up

By Alan Duke, CNN
  • Jackson family members will announce the signed acts in a CNN interview
  • "Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert" ticket sales were postponed by signing delays
  • Jermaine and Randy Jackson objected to the timing of the show
  • The concert is set for October 8 in Cardiff, Wales

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Michael Jackson's mother and several siblings hope to get plans for a tribute concert for the late pop star back on track with an announcement of the show's line-up Wednesday.

The Jacksons and promoter Global Live Events promised a spectacular list of artists for the October 8 "Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert" in Cardiff, Wales, at a news conference last month.

Delays in signing the acts, however, forced a postponement in ticket sales, which had been set to begin last week.

"The registration period was put on hold because we want people to know who they are registering to see," Chris Hunt, the head of the British company promoting the concert, said in a message posted online Friday.

Artists have now been signed to contracts and their names will be revealed by members of the Jackson family in a CNN interview set for Wednesday, a spokesman for the promoter said Tuesday.

"Fans of Michael's music will get the concert they've been waiting for," Hunt said in a message posted on the promoter's website last Friday.

"Some of the greatest names in music are already signed, and more are trying to shuffle other commitments to come on board," a statement posted Friday on the concert website said.

Two of the five surviving Jackson brothers, Jermaine and Randy, objected to the timing of the show, issuing a sharply worded statement last month that reflected a deep division within the Jackson family.

"We want to make clear that this does not reflect the position of the entire family," the two brothers said in a joint statement released hours after their mother, sister La Toya and brothers Jackie, Tito and Marlon endorsed the show.

"While we wholeheartedly support the spirit of a tribute that honors our brother, we find it impossible to support an event that is due to take place during the criminal trial surrounding Michael's death," Jermaine and Randy Jackson said.

The involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, begins in September and is expected to continue into October.

La Toya Jackson, at the news conference on July 25, said the show would be "something that's spectacular," while the Jacksons' mother called it "a show fit for a king."

"If my son were here today, he would feel the same way," Katherine Jackson said.

"I know my brother would be very, very proud to see all the artists that he admired and respected so much coming together for this event," Tito Jackson said.

It was hours later that the other Jackson siblings spoke up.

"In light of this, we feel it is inappropriate to be involved with such an ill-timed event and its promoter, Global Live," Randy and Jermaine Jackson said. Their statement said the idea of the October concert was presented to the entire family in April "as an idea already in its advanced stages." The decision to go ahead with it "disrespects opinions and wishes expressed in the strongest terms" by some members of the Jackson family, they said.

The Michael Jackson Fan Club agreed with the two brothers, issuing a similar statement.

"We share their concerns that this concert is taking place at a most inappropriate time when everyone's care and attention should be focused on the matter of justice. We believe that, as stated by Jermaine and Randy, the most important tribute we can give to Michael Jackson at this time is to seek justice in his name."

Jackson fans posted messages on the concert's Facebook page questioning ticket prices and the process for buying them.

Fans must place bids for a chance to buy a ticket. The higher their pledge to a charity, the better their chances of getting a good seat.

"The ticket system is so bad!! the higher you bid the better seats you get?? not every Michael fan is rich!!!" one fan posted on the "Michael Forever Tribute" Facebook page Thursday.

The October 8 show, in the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, which seats 75,000 people, would be at least four hours long, Hunt said.

In addition to the other problems surrounding the event, a spokesman for Michael Jackson's estate said last month that the promoters never sought or obtained permission from the estate's executors to use late pop singer's name or image.

"The estate has not been contacted and is not involved with Global Live Events in the UK tribute concert announced today," spokesman Jim Bates told CNN.