As was reported the day after Michael Jackson died, MJ ran thru a full dress rehearsal of his planned This Is It Tour concert performance at the Staples Center here in LA on the night before he passed away. It turns out that the dress rehearsals that took place before his death were recorded from multiple angles and were photographed extensively as part of MJ‘s deal with the concert promoter. The This Is It show was to be released as a live DVD/CD after the show finished its run (and may yet be released now that he has died). Here are a couple of the photos that were taken of Michael Jackson‘s concert performance at the Staples Center just two nights before he passed away:
These are the last pictures of Michael Jackson on stage, taken just two days before he died. The images of the singer hard at work rehearsing for upcoming tour This Is It give a glimpse of what was in store for fans at his planned gigs in London’s 02. Jackson was due to begin the first of 50 dates at the arena on July 13, but died on Thursday after being rushed to hospital in Los Angeles. In one of the newly-emerged images, taken on Tuesday at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, the singer points towards the audience as backing dancers perform in front of a huge This Is It banner. Despite looking frail, the star strikes a familiar pose and appears to be in full flow during the rehearsal. In another photo, he smiles broadly, microphone in hand, dressed in a long shimmering mac over a top and trousers. More than 800,000 tickets costing up to £1,000 had been sold for the concerts at London’s O2 arena which were hailed as the most ‘expensive and technically advanced’ live shows ever. The concerts, which were due to start in two weeks’ time, had been expected to be the highest grossing pop production of all time. Hundreds of thousands of fans who bought tickets for the cancelled gigs have been told they will be entitled to a refund. Footage from Jackson’s final rehearsals is already being compiled for a DVD and album. The star is believed to have been filmed running through his songs and dance routines the day before he died. It is expected that when released this could become one of the star’s biggest selling works. It is understood filming took place last Wednesday during Jackson’s rehearsals at the Los Angeles Staples Centre for the 50-date This Is It tour. It remains unclear who has official ownership of the footage. A spokesman for concert promoter AEG declined to comment. It is expected that the star’s estate will make more money in the next year from his music than he did in the last decade of his life. The king of pop’s family will release a series of posthumous albums, starting this Christmas. It is understood Jackson wrote a number of songs for his three children, which were not to be released until after his death. There are also songs left over from his last album, Invincible, released in 2001. A tribute show is planned for September with Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and Barbra Streisand said to be in talks to appear.
Now, before y’all get all excited about news of these “posthumous albums” and this tribute concert, keep in mind that neither of these reports has been confirmed. We do know that AEG was planning to release a CD/DVD of his This Is It Tour performance but, again, now that he has passed away it remains to be seen if that will actually happen (but my gut tells me that it will).
Additionally, folks who purchased tickets for Michael Jackson‘s This Is It Tour are being referred to MichaelJacksonLive.com for ticket refund information starting July 1. The concert promoter is promising a full refund (including service fees) for folks who bought tickets thru authorized outlets BUT are also giving the option of allowing ticket holders to get hard copy tickets for the show (which never happened) in lieu of payment:
REFUND POLICY ANNOUNCED FOR MICHAEL JACKSON THIS IS IT TICKET HOLDERS
LONDON (June 30, 2009) – At this time of mourning for Michael Jackson, we are together in our sadness at the loss of one of the greatest entertainers ever.
“The world lost a kind soul who just happened to be the greatest entertainer the world has ever known,” said Randy Phillips, President & CEO, AEG Live. “Since he loved his fans in life, it is incumbent upon us to treat them with the same reverence and respect after his death.”
AEG Live (UK) Ltd, concert promoters, announced that full refunds will be available to fans who purchased tickets through authorised agents for any of the 50 Michael Jackson ‘This Is It’ concerts which were to take place at The O2 Arena in London.
These refunds will include all ticket service charges.
Ticket holders requiring information about receiving a full refund should go to www.michaeljacksonlive.com from Wednesday, July 1, 2009. The refunds will be processed by each of the authorised ticket agencies (e.g. Ticketmaster, Viagogo, See or Ticketline).
It was also announced that fans will have the option to be sent the actual tickets they would have received to attend the shows in lieu of the full refunds which are being offered.
The tickets printed with the special lenticular process, were inspired and designed by Michael Jackson for the fans attending his shows. Images of the specially created tickets will be seen on www.michaeljacksonlive.com.
The special offer to receive the actual tickets that the purchaser would have received to attend ‘This is It’ will remain valid thru 23:59 GMT, August 14, 2009.
David and I purchased tickets for MJ‘s This Is It Tour via Ticketmaster so we should be fine with our refunds … it sucks, tho, that if you want to keep your ticket you have to lose out on the cost of the ticket. It would be much cooler if AEG offered tickets to purchasers along with their refunds (at a nominal fee, of course). In any event, if this CD/DVD gets released, then fans may yet get to see MJ in action in his last performance ever … of course, AEG stands to recoup some of the money they lost upon MJ‘s death as well. Even in death, MJ‘s “life” is a bit of a circus. I hope he is able to rest in peace … some day.
[Photo credit: Getty; Source, Source]