Jackson brothers defend concert
The Black Eyed Peas have mysteriously cancelled, tickets are being flogged at half-price and half of the family is refusing to attend today's Michael Jackson tribute concert at the Cardiff Millennium Stadium.
Even so, the three Jackson siblings who masterminded the event insist the show will not be an insult to the late pop singer.
"We respect the decision of Jermaine and the other members of my family [to stay away]," says Marlon Jackson. "When you try and please all, you please none. The concert is to honour Michael, to pay tribute to his life and career and remember all the great music he did with The Jacksons and on his own."
Brothers Jermaine and Randy have criticised the event, saying the timing was inappropriate while Jackson's physician, Dr Conrad Murray, was standing trial for involuntary manslaughter.
He has pleaded not guilty to causing the singer's death in 2009 by administering a lethal dose of the sedative Propofol.
Marlon, 54, Jackie, 60, and their fellow former Jackson 5 member, Tito, spoke to the i between rehearsals for the Michael Forever concert, which will feature Christina Aguilera, Leona Lewis, JLS and Smokey Robinson.
However, the trial continues to overshadow the show, whose organisers have been banned from using Michael's image and likeness on promotional material due to legal issues with the Jackson estate. The brothers, who perhaps knew Michael better than anyone, cling to an unshakeable conviction that he did not have to die. "We don't want to elaborate on the trial but I think justice will prevail," said Marlon.
The Jackson 5 became pop sensations after being ruthlessly whipped into shape by their father, Joseph, according to music legend – a claim denied by at least three of the siblings.
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