KISS Disinvited From Performing At Michael Jackson Tribute Concert
The plans for the Michael Jackson tribute concert (to take place October 8 in Wales) is well underway, and though it may have the anticipation of MJ fans hoping to score a ticket to the star-studded show, it does not have the approval of the Jackson estate. The executors of Jackson’s estate have expressed several concerns about the concert, though their biggest grievance in particular was heavy metal rock group KISS being added to the lineup of performers, which include Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green.
Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert is being put together by many of Michael’s family members: Joe and Katherine Jackson, as well as siblings Jackie, Tito, Marlon, LaToya and Rebbie. (Brothers Jermaine and Randy have objected to the event, as it falls right in the middle of the trial for Michael’s doctor, Conrad Murray.)
Soon after Katherine Jackson announced that KISS was scheduled to perform at the tribute, TMZ brought to attention disparaging quotes made by KISS frontman Gene Simmons about Jackson. “There is no question in my mind he molested those kids,” the rocker was quoted as saying sometime last year. “Not a doubt.” (The original source of where or when he said this, however, was not mentioned.)
“It was extraordinarily embarrassing when no sooner had you announced this ‘news’ that [Simmons] would participate in your concert that TMZ posted an item noting that Mr. Simmons called Michael Jackson … a child molester, notwithstanding the fact that Michael was acquitted by a jury,” read a letter drafted by the estate’s lawyer.
Global Live Events listened to their concerns, and rescinded the rock group’s invitation to perform:
“We have listened to Michael’s fans and are grateful to have been alerted to these unfortunate statements by Gene Simmons,” CEO Chris Hunt said in a statement. “Under the circumstances we fully agree that even though Kiss is a band Michael admired we have no choice but to rescind our invitation to them to appear in our tribute concert. We offer our sincerest apologies to Mrs. Jackson and the family for this oversight — our primary concern must be to do justice to Michael’s memory, and to put on a tribute that the family and the fans will find suitable and fit for a King, our King of Pop.”
Though this problem has been abated, the estate is still concerned about how this tribute concert will affect Michael’s legacy.