As Rolling Stone reported yesterday, both Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown denied Jermaine Jackson's claims that they will be part of the Michael Jackson tribute concert in Vienna, Austria, on September 26th. Yet Jermaine held another press conference in London yesterday to essentially deny Blige and Brown's denials, saying that both singers will take part in The Tribute 2009. Jermaine also insisted he has the full support of the Jackson family.
Blige's rep told RS that the singer never agreed to appear at the tribute and has a previous engagement in Milan, but Jermaine again claimed Blige will perform, adding that Blige will fly from Milan to Vienna in time for her performance in the second half of the tribute. As for Brown, Jermaine said that only a judge's ruling could prevent Brown, who is on probation, from appearing. "He wants to be here. It's just up to what he's going through with his court case right now," Jermaine said. "He's definitely going to be here."
However, a source close to Brown told RS yesterday that Brown was never even close to agreeing to perform in Vienna, saying, "It was in the most crude, fundamental research phase as a possibility. To say it was even being considered was a stretch. He was not close to saying yes." As of now, Brown and Blige are still being listed on the Tribute Website as confirmed performers, so buyer beware if you plan to attend this event.
Jermaine didn't announce any more artists who would be joining the bill yesterday, but according to Reuters, he did mention Stevie Wonder, Maroon 5 and R. Kelly as possibilities to perform on September 26th. Jermaine also said he toyed with the idea of bringing the tribute to Washington, D.C.'s Lincoln Memorial, but opted for Vienna because of Michael Jackson's large fan base in the Austrian capital.