Will the Michael Jackson Tribute Concert Fail?

Dave Iannacone

It’s been more than two years since his death, but finally a tribute concert is being put together to honor the life and career of Michael Jackson. The event is set to take place on October 8 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. However, just like a majority of his life, the concert is already seeing a great deal of controversy. Despite the support of Michael’s mother, Katherine, and several of his siblings, the full family is not backing the tribute. In fact, brothers Randy and Jermaine issued a joint statement denouncing the concert because it is set to take place amidst the trial of Michaels’ doctor, Conrad Murray, being charged with involuntary manslaughter. Even his sister Janet is not supporting the concert.

In addition to family members, his official fan club, as well as fan organizations all over the world, have publicly spoken out against the event for the same reasons, in addition to the location and announced performers. Despite the confirmed performances of big acts such as Smokey Robinson, Beyonce (performing via satellite), Christina Aguilera, and Ne-Yo, there are a number of current acts that would not appeal to the global market including JLS, Alexandra Burke, and Pixie Lott, as well as outdated and irrelevant ones including Craig David, 3T (a band featuring Michael’s nephews), and Alien Ant Farm, known pretty much only for their awful cover of “Smooth Criminal.”

Michael’s brothers have also been confirmed as performers, but which ones will actually participate is still in question. The line-up saw further controversy when legendary rockers, KISS, were scheduled to perform. Bassist Gene Simmons has famously spoken out against Michael, exclaiming that he firmly believed he was a child molester after his death. The band has since been removed from the tribute.

Further more, the location of the event has puzzled many. Michael was undoubtedly a global superstar, but holding the concert in Wales has been highly criticized for isolating his fan base, especially those in his home country. It has been announced that a majority of profits from ticket sales will be donated to the AIDS Project Los Angeles, as well as two currently unannounced organizations. Many fans have issued concerns that the money will not be given to the charities that Michael held closest to his heart. There have been numerous petitions and protests of the event, bringing a great deal of public controversy to the event. The concert is set to be broadcast in over 30 countries around the world in both 2D and 3D.

In my opinion, this tribute concert will not be a success. There is already a great deal of drama surrounding the concert, and the details that have been released are only proving the doubters right. I fully support that idea of having an MJ tribute concert, but it should be done right. Michael Jackson is undoubtedly the biggest pop star to have ever lived, and the line-up for his tribute should not included terrible acts like Alien Ant Farm and JLS, or even regional stars like Pixie Lott. It should include all A-listers, and his entire family. I think it’s a shame that most likely the one concert that will ever be made to pay tribute to Michael Jackson will end up being a failure.