From the beginning, this looked like a wretched, sketchy affair, a money grab posing as a charity event. Little known fact: Did you know that his kids are more or less obligated to attend? Reads the promoter Global Live Events' terms and conditions for the sale of tickets: "Michael's mother Mrs. Katherine Jackson has agreed to attend the concert with as many of Michael's children as are available."
In any case, Jermaine and Randy Jackson opposed this gig from the start, and opposition began to mount when the lackluster line-up was rolled out. The biggest names included Christina Aguilera, Leona Lewis, Cee-Lo, and KISS, whose bassist Gene Simmons told Classic Rock magazine last year: "There's no question in my mind he molested those kids. Not a doubt."
Last week MJ's estate publicly decried the affair, complaining about the inclusion of KISS -- who were promptly removed -- and speculating that the concert may be unlawful in its use of MJ "intellectual property," which the estate controls. And now, a group of 35 MJ fan forums have joined together to issue a statement advising Global Live Events to cancel the show.
"From the timing of this tribute in the middle of Dr. Murray's trial," reads the letter, which was posted Saturday and references the upcoming manslaughter case of Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray, "to the ticketing prices, to the obscurity over what charities will be receiving the donation, to the no-guarantee policy of performers, the addition of Gene Simmons and dishonoring, thus tarnishing Michael Jackson's legacy was simply the last straw."
A Fans Against the Michael Forever Tribute Facebook page has 900 members, while the official Michael Forever Tribute page is overrun with negative comments. The complaints get into the whole smorgasbord of controversies associated with the event, including the complicated ticketing process (in which fans donating the most to charity were initially offered better opportunities to receive tickets), and the involvement of MJ's children.
Here are sampling of fan comments from the official tribute page:
*Celebration time, KiSS is outta here and now we work on getting this Tribute concert canceled, we'll will start by going to the acts!
*Without a futher announcement of better artists taking part I will not complete my purchase, announce some better acts or my £400 will be staying in my account!!
*What I find particularly DISGUSTING, is that Michael's precious children are part of the Terms and Conditions of this non-tribute............
More fan comments below.