As we reported yesterday, Michael Jackson scheduled a Thursday press conference at London’s O2 Arena, inviting both fans and press alike, and today he held true to his word. The former global pop sensation came out on-stage with a summer agenda, and some hard to handle news. While he’ll be returning with what may add up to 25 performances, these, unfortunately, may be his last.
“I’ll perform the songs my fans want to hear,” Jackson announced. “This is the final curtain call. I’ll see you in July.”
This “retirement” might explain the whole theme of, “This Is It”, a slogan which was emblazoned on the star’s official website and said during the press conference. Yet if ol’ Jacko is hanging the moon shoes, he’s certainly doing it in style. With ten shows already on the calendar, starting July 8th, it’s only a matter of time before more are added, especially if what’s being said by AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke, the show’s promoter, rings true. In an interview with Billboard.com, Leiweke remarked that Jackson is “very sane”, “very focused”, and “very healthy”, despite being “dragged through the mud.”
Leiweke, who in the past has been responsible for the likes of Prince, insists that the O2 Arena is the perfect place for a star of Michael Jackson’s caliber. “It’s the most important venue in music today. With all due respect to the Staples Center and the [Madison Square] Garden, the O2 is where you went to see Led Zeppelin reunite.” He does have a point.
For those interested (aka the world), tickets for this sure-to-be-sold-out-already event go on sale March 13th. More dates are to be announced, though we’ll keep you in the loop.