Another page has been added to the ongoing saga of the planned Jacksons reunion for “An All Star Tribute to Michael Jackson – The King of Pop” in September at Madison Square Garden. According to a statement released today (July 24) by Marlon Jackson, “Randy Jackson will reunite with the original Jacksons: Michael, Jackie, Marlon, and Tito.”
“I am very sorry for the confusion my brother Jermaine has caused by his statement which he also attributed to my youngest brother, Randy,” Marlon says, referring to a missive released last week that was attributed to Jermaine and Randy Jackson, and confirmed by Jackson family spokesperson John McLaughlin.
That statement claimed that the two brothers had not yet signed contracts to appear at the tribute in protest of the high ticket costs for the Sept. 7 and Sept. 10 shows. As first reported here last week, ticket prices are broken down into nine categories, ranging from $45 for seats in the arena’s most upper level to $2,500 for select orchestra and loge seats. Other seats will cost fans $1,500, $800, $500, $350, $230, $225, and $95.
Also at issue was the lack of a charitable initiative and the fact that the show, while much deserved, was a tribute to Michael’s career with a host of guest artists, and not a Jackson 5 reunion concert.
“The statement from Jermaine was totally false regarding Randy’s non-participation in the show,” Marlon’s statement continues. “Randy has never ever seen the statement that Jermaine sent out. Randy will be a part of these evenings and the public will see the original Jacksons reunite. Randy is as excited as all my brothers about this reunion and we all look forward to singing with ‘N Sync on ‘Dancing Machine.’ We love ‘N Sync and are so glad they are part of this tribute to Michael.”
Over two nights, the event will feature more than 30 artists, including ‘N Sync, Ray Charles, Gloria Estefan, Whitney Houston, Jill Scott, Shaggy, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Gladys Knight, Lil Romeo, Ricky Martin, 98 Degrees, Diana Ross, and Marc Anthony. There has been no other official announcement of what songs any of the other artists will perform.
Further clarifying Jermaine’s position within the two separate Jackson sibling acts, Marlon states, “When the Jackson 5 left Motown and changed names to the Jacksons, Jermaine was not a part of the group. He was not featured on any of our hits, including ‘Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground),’ ‘Heartbreak Hotel,’ ‘Lovely One,’ ‘Show You the Way to Go,’ and ‘Blame it On the Boogie.’ We look forward to performing many of these songs as well as a number of the Jackson 5 classics at both [of the] shows.”
In the early ’70s, Motown launched both Michael and Jermaine on the solo artist path, releasing Michael’s “Got to Be There” in 1971 and “Jermaine” in 1972. Upon leaving the label in 1975 to join CBS’ Epic roster, the group became the Jacksons (Motown owned the name Jackson 5) with the addition of Randy. Jermaine — who was at the time married to label founder Berry Gordy Jr.’s daughter Hazel — remained with Motown for eight solo albums. In 1984, he left to record for Arista, and also joined the Jacksons. That year the group released “Victory,” the only album to feature all six Jacksons brothers (as well as a guest vocal by Mick Jagger), and the group’s last with Michael.
In the wake of this latest release, McLaughlin tells Billboard.com, “[The Jacksons] are a family and I’m confident that their differences will be worked out.”
Tickets to both nights of “An All Star Tribute to Michael Jackson – The King of Pop” go on sale July 31 at 10 a.m. ET via Ticketmaster. The extravaganza will be taped and edited into a two-hour primetime special for later broadcast on CBS.