While stressing that they have every intention to take part in the show, Jermaine and Randy Jackson today (July 20) said they have not yet signed contracts guaranteeing their participation in “An All Star Tribute to Michael Jackson – The King of Pop,” scheduled for September at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The show is scheduled to include a reunion of Michael with his brothers, who have not performed together since they toured as the Jacksons in 1984.
In a statement, the members of the Jacksons and the Jackson Five, said although the agree that their brother Michael deserves the tribute, “the exorbitant prices being charged by the promoters for tickets will prevent some of our most loyal and true fans from attending.” “As reported earlier today, top-priced tickets to the show will have a face value of $2,500.
The pair believes the show should benefit the needy. “It is almost embarrassing that no charities have been named to benefit from this most momentous occasion,” the statement reads. “With all the suffering that is taking place throughout the world, we feel the show’s promoters should donate the proceeds to worthy charities.”
Jermaine and Randy also voiced exception to the all-star aspect of the Sept. 7 and Sept. 10 tribute shows. Across the two nights, the event will feature more than 30 artists including Ray Charles, Gloria Estefan, Whitney Houston, ‘N Sync, Jill Scott, Shaggy, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Gladys Knight, Lil Romeo, Ricky Martin, 98 Degrees, Diana Ross, and Marc Anthony.
“While it would be a great honor to take the stage again with all our brothers, we know that our fans — who were originally told this would be a Jackson Five reunion concert — were looking forward to us performing our greatest hits together without the assistance of any other act,” the statement adds. “Performing together has been something that all the brothers and our parents have been looking forward to for 18 years. [We] do not think we should share this most precious and memorable moment with anyone.”
Jackson family spokesman John McLaughlin says that in no way does the statement mean that Jermaine and Randy don’t want to be involved with the tribute. “They will participate in the show,” McLaughlin tells Billboard.com. “They simply have some opinions and reservations about the way it’s being handled by the promoters. It should be a wonderful show.”
When contacted, a spokesperson for event promoters Clear Channel Entertainment/SFX Music New York did not know of the statement, and had no comment.