Tuesday, 20th December 2011
The late Michael Jackson has experienced a busy and profitable year: the Immortal World Tour and Album, the Life of an Icon movie (David Gest and friends) and the last-minute Michael Forever Tribute, and, of course, the controversial trial of Dr Conrad Murray. There have been books released from family and friends – who offer intimate and candid insights into the superstar’s personal life, including his problems with prescription drugs. As for the music, it was revealed that collaborative songs featuring Barry Gibb and Freddy Mercury are set to be released next year. The contents of the rented mansion where the pop star passed away has sold for nearly $1 million at auction. There is also talk of a Michael Jackson biopic that is thought to be in the works. But the weirdest thing to hit the headlines this year is that a gambling website has purchased a piece of Jackson’s hair and plans to convert it into a roulette ball. Only Michael Jackson could have collated so much interest and money – even two years into his untimely death. Listed as the highest earning dead celebrity in Forbes Magazine, it is expected that the estate and family have further projects planned to keep the King of Pop’s legacy alive. Anyway, here are some highlights in no particular order…
Michael Jackson Fan Fest
Heartsick fans were given the rare opportunity to attend an exhibition of never-before-seen memorabilia at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. For $35 a ticket and for a limited time only, fans were able to experience the life of the pop star up close and personal. The fan fest showcased personal and career items including costumes, books, paintings, awards, statues, video props and the fantasy glove collection from the 1980s. Lucky fans also got the chance to meet two of Jackson’s brothers – Tito and Jackie, during a question and answer session. A must-see for fans.
Michael Forever – The Tribute Concert
Again, another star-studded (Beyonce, Christina Aguilera and Ne-Yo) tribute and day out for the fans. At least this was expected before all the controversy and argument unravelled. Interestingly, the music benefit concert was held on the 8 October 2011 at the 74,500 seater Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. An unusual choice, but welcomed by the locals. The organizers were Global Live Events and the supporters came mostly from the Jackson family – lead by Jackson’s mother Katherine and siblings LaToya, Tito, Marlon and Jackie. Of course, not all family members were in favour of the event including siblings Jermaine, Randy and Janet – and not to mention the estate and official Michael Jackson Fan Club. With the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr Conrad Murray in progress, the concert was thought to be overpriced and ill-timed by many. From high ticket prices to axed acts (Chris Brown, Jennifer Hudson and Black Eyed Peas), the concert faced criticism from fans and family. However, the show went on and so did the controversy. Disappointed fans were unable to watch the concert via Facebook as promised and according to reports, employees were left unpaid. A tribute concert remembered for all the wrong reasons.