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AEG Starts Planning a Michael Jackson This Is It! Tribute Concert

July 13, 2009 12:26 PM ET

AEG Live, the concert promoting company that staged Michael Jackson's memorial service and was organizing the King of Pop's concerts at London's O2 Arena, is in the beginning stages of plotting out a tribute concert based on the This Is It! show. "We're just starting to get into that now, to figure out how to unveil all the stuff we have to the world," AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips told Billboard. "I think at some point we'll show Michael's last masterpiece, This Is It, to the world."

As Rock Daily previously reported, rehearsals for the This Is It! concerts at Los Angeles' Staples Center — where Jackson's memorial was also held — were all professionally filmed and may be released in the future. However, it's the This Is It! show itself, previously described by Phillips as "one of the most amazing arena shows ever," that might become its own tribute concert, as AEG Live owns all the property relating to the shows. "The production, staging and all that is in warehouses under lock and key. And the dancers and everyone else want to do the show for the world one time, so we kind of have them on hold, but we don't have anything confirmed yet," Phillips said.

AEG Live has already set up an online merchandise store featuring clothing, memorabilia and many other items fans could have purchased had the This Is It! concerts occurred, Rock Daily reported last week. Phillips also told Billboard that August 29th, the King of Pop's 51st birthday, would have been the ideal date for the tribute concert, however he's doubtful that AEG Live could plan it out in time for the occasion.

In other Jackson tribute news, the singer's childhood town of Gary, Indiana had a memorial for their most famous former denizen at the city's Steel Yard baseball field. Among those who spoke to the crowd about Jackson was the singer's first music teacher Anita Hill, Jackson's middle school principal and mayor Rudy Clay, who has publicly lobbied for the Jacksons to establish a family museum and bury Michael in Gary, Indiana.

As Rock Daily reported last week, Michael's father Joe Jackson also made a brief appearance, telling the crowd, "This is a pleasure to be back to see so many people here. It's always good to come back home, you know that." According to CNN, the biggest applause of the night came when a video of Michael talking about Gary played on the stadium's jumbo screen. "Gary, you will always have a special place in my heart," Jackson said in the undated video. "And Gary, you are more than good friend — you are my family and you always will be."

Related Stories:
Michael Jackson's "This Is It!" Show May Become All-Star Tribute
Michael Jackson Memorial Draws Big Audience, Huge Price Tag
Michael Jackson Remembered: Inside Rolling Stone's Special Issue

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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