Thursday, August 13, 2009
Jermaine's MJ Birthday Salute in Vienna Stalls
The death of Michael Jackson has given his older brother Jermaine Jackson an opportunity to resuscitate his career, which he's trying to do with the help of an unlikely partner -- Larry King's wife, Shawn. But it's not proving to be an easy task.
The two planned a "Happy Birthday Michael Jackson" televised tribute in front of a live audience of 250,000 in Vienna on Aug. 29, but couldn't get it organized in time.
"We wanted to make sure that everyone [who] wanted to be there could be there," Shawn explained the other night on CNN's "Larry King Live."
It's also possible they couldn't line up enough talent, sponsors and broadcasters.
Now the date's been pushed back to Sept. 26. Usher, Lionel Richie and Whitney Houston have confirmed they will perform, Shawn's spokesman, Howard Rubenstein, said yesterday. But Houston's spokeswoman, Jill Fritzo, said, "Not that I am aware of."
But some insiders wondered yesterday if the Jacko tribute will ever come off. The original promotional materials, which sought sponsors willing to pay up to $3 million, listed President Obama as "confirmed talent" as well as Al Pacino, Colin Powell and Richard Branson. But a White House source said the president is definitely not planning to attend. World Awards producer Georg Kindel, who's also part of the project, hinted that Madonna would perform. But her spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, said, "It's not true. She's still on tour."
An executive involved in handling Michael Jackson's estate said, "We have nothing to do with it. It's all Jermaine." Another insider said, "It's sleazy."