It’s been confirmed that superstar Beyoncé will perform at what has become a controversial Michael Jackson tribute concert in Wales later this year – but from a distance.
Because of scheduling difficulties, Jackson fan Beyoncé will provide her contribution via satellite link, according to NME.
Among stars who’ll be performing in the flesh are Smokey Robinson, Leona Lewis, JLS, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Alien Ant Farm, and Craig David.
The concert is due to play at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on October 8.
According to the BBC, it’s not yet known whether Beyoncé’s performance will be live or prerecorded.
The Michael Forever tribute page on Facebook says: “A unique, never-before-seen performance by Beyoncé of one of her favourite Jackson 5 songs will be shown at the concert on October 8th! A lifelong Michael fan, Beyoncé really wanted to be involved in this tribute concert. Due to scheduling issues she can’t be there in person, but this performance is not to be missed!”
Meanwhile, a group of 35 Jackson fan clubs are claiming that the concert is destined to be a failure.
They’re lobbying for the gig to be cancelled, according to the TVNZ website, which says: “In an open letter to organizers Global Live Events, the fan clubs representing thousands of die-hard Jackson followers in Europe, Australia, China and Russia, said they had multiple concerns with the Oct. 8 event in Wales.”
The timing of the concert – during the trial of the singer’s doctor on a charge of involuntary manslaughter – and issues surrounding charitable donations are among the fan clubs’ concerns.
TVNZ reminds its readers that the rock band Kiss were kicked off the line-up last week after fans had “recalled that frontman Gene Simmons called the Thriller singer a child molester last year.”
It is quick to point out that: “Jackson, who died in Los Angeles in June 2009 at age 50, was acquitted of all charges in a 2005 child sex abuse trial.”
The letter from the fan clubs reads: “From the timing of this tribute . . . 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.
“Please understand that this concert is doomed to fail now . . . Do the right thing for Michael Jackson and cancel this tribute.”
Organizers of October’s event said last week they had “pledged $100,000 of their own money to establish a trust fund for Jackson’s three children,” says TVNZ.
Tickets on sale soon
Ticket revenue, it says, quoting the organizers, “‘is going, at least in part’ to the trust fund and to a Los Angeles AIDS charity and the Prince’s Trust which helps youth job training and education in the UK.
In spite of criticism of the event, tickets are due to go on sale as planned next week, according to TruthDive, the oneline news source.
“There had been doubts whether the concert would continue, after Stereo board UK labeled it as ‘a damp squib.’ However concert promoter, Paul King, has insisted: ‘The concert is very much going ahead.’”
There have even been disputes within the Jackson family: “Michael’s mother Katherine, his sister La Toya and brothers Tito, Marlon and Jackie, were endorsing the event, Michael’s other brothers Jermaine and Randy labeled it ‘inappropriate’ and ‘ill-timed.’ Rumors are rife that the members of the Jackson family who support the show are doing so due to financial difficulties.”