Yesterday Jermaine Jackson held a press conference to announce the initial lineup of performers he’s booked for the September 26th Michael Jackson tribute concert in Vienna, Austria. The list included Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown — which was evidently news to both stars.
Mary J. Blige’s rep tells Rolling Stone the singer was in talks to perform at the concert, but has a previous commitment at a Gucci show in Milan that has been booked for months and will not be able to attend. And as for Chris Brown, a source close to the embattled R&B star says he wasn’t ever in real talks to play the show. “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.”
The source adds that Brown would need permission from the court to travel since he was recently sentenced to one year probation after pleading guilty to assaulting Rihanna. “They’re trying to drum up attention because Sister Sledge isn’t enough,” the source says, alluding to other artists on the bill which include Akon, Natalie Cole, Sister Sledge and German boy band US5. “It’s super unfortunate, and at Chris’ expense.”