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Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil Show Launching in 2011
The acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil announced Tuesday that it will put on a live touring show featuring the songs of the King of Pop starting late next year.
That will be followed by a permanent production in Las Vegas in 2012 at a property owned by MGM Mirage Inc. The casino company did not say which venue will host the show. A nightclub in Las Vegas will also open with the show.
Cirque and Jackson's estate will each own 50 percent of the project and share equally in the cost of putting it on. The estate will also receive royalties from the use of Jackson's music and other assets.
"Having attended Cirque du Soleil performances with Michael, I know he was a huge fan," John Branca, the co-executor of the estate, said in a statement. "We are excited to be partners with Cirque du Soleil to give Michael's fans a truly unique way to hear, see and feel Michael's music."
Jackson's mother, Katherine, added in a statement, "Our family is thrilled that Cirque du Soleil will pay tribute to my son in such an important way."
Jackson died at age 50 last June on the cusp of a series of comeback concerts after overdosing on propofol and other sedatives. His personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter.