Updated 1:14 p.m., Sept. 11, 2009: Due to scheduling conflicts with performers, Michael Jackson's Vienna tribute concert has been postponed until June 2010, which marks the first anniversary of his death. The highly publicized event will now take place at London's Wembley Stadium. Today Jermaine Jackson issued a statement in London stating: "Due to the short time frame it was not possible for many of them to change their schedule so that they could be on stage in Vienna on September 26, therefore we decided, after careful consideration, to change the date of the tribute concert to the summer 2010."
Updated 12:14 p.m., Sept. 10, 2009: Contrary to previous reports, representatives for Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown have denied that the artists will be involved in the event. Reuters reports that Jermaine Jackson says he, "spoke to them (Blige's personnel) and they very, very much want to do this and they are trying to work out and fix up a commitment they have with Gucci...Chris Brown is working out some situations, but he definitely expressed to us that he wants to be here, and it's just up to what he's going through with his court case right now, but he's definitely going to work that out and be here."
Despite Michael Jackson's burial last week at California's legendary Forest Lawn Glendale, the celebration for the King of Pop has yet to begin.
Later this month, Mary J. Blige, Natalie Cole, Sister Sledge, Akon, Angela Bassett and Chris Brown will be among the 25 artists expected to take the stage outside the 17th-century palace of Schönbrunn during Jackson's Vienna tribute concert on Sept. 26.
At a press conference in front of the castle, event organizers Jermaine Jackson and producer Georg Kindel announced that more artists will be revealed later this week in London and Berlin.
The death of Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009 has taken the world by storm. Various celebrity notables are speaking out about this tremendous loss. Here are some remembrances, reflections and condolences.
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When asked whether artists such as Whitney Houston, Madonna, Diana Ross and thrillerStevie Wonder would be added to the bill, Jackson acknowledged that organizers were in "in contact" with the music icons but did not confirm their appearance.
"Just hold your horses!" Jackson's older sibling told reporters. "This is not the final lineup. Maybe some of the names you mentioned you will hear within the next couple of days. ...We're very excited the list is growing more and more," adding that "many major Bollywood names" and artists from the Middle East would also be involved in the Austrian event.
In addition to a virtual duet between Jermaine and Michael, which Jackson promises to be a "magic moment for all who loved [Michael's] music," all performers will be backed by Jackson's touring band to perform various hits from his extensive catalog, including 'Billie Jean,' 'Beat It,' 'Thriller,' 'Black or White,' 'Smooth Criminal,' 'Bad' and 'Dirty Diana.'
"We will honor on this night not only the musician and artist Michael Jackson but also the humanitarian," Kindel said. "He's really someone who changed the history of music."
Last month, tickets for the concert went on sale for $91-$745 each. To date, more than half of have been sold. The venue seats an estimated 65,000.