Jackson's last rehearsal, filmed on the eve of his death and recorded in multi-camera, high-definition video, could be released as the performer's last album, according to several sources close to the now-defunct concert tour. The recordings were made as part of concert promotion company AEG Live's deal with Jackson, which included a plan to produce both an album and DVD of what Jackson had billed his "final performance" tour, titled "This Is It." The recordings also could be used to produce both a DVD or Blu-ray disc of the entertainer's last performance – the entertainer singing his greatest hits.
One AEG official is reported to have boasted to a colleague: "We have a live album in the can." The rehearsal, which went on for several hours, included dancers, musicians and aerial performers. Patrick Woodroffe, lighting designer, watched the final rehearsal. He said: "We had rehearsed for the last couple weeks. We put together a complicated show, quite a spectacular show. Of course a huge part of it was him, and I would say for the last week he hadn't really been with us. He would appear, and he would rehearse sometimes, and he would not rehearse." Randy Phillips, president of AEG Live, has refused to comment for the story.
Obama writes to Jackson family
President Barack Obama has written to Jackson's family to express his condolences, one of his aides said. Mr Obama has not made any public comment on Jackson's death but his senior adviser David Axelrod told NBC: "The President obviously believes that Michael Jackson was an important and magnificent performer and obviously he led a sad life in many ways as well but his impact is undeniable. The President has written to the family and has shared his feelings".
'Use your O2 refund to try something new'
The Culture Secretary, Ben Bradshaw, said the "vast majority" of fans would get refunds on tickets for Jackson's 50 planned concerts at the O2 in London, and called on them to spend the money on other events this summer. "My understanding is that for those people who bought their tickets through bona fide means ... that they are entitled to a refund." The online shopping site eBay said users would get their money back. The retailer Seatwave and the ticket exchange site viagogo also said they would offer refunds.
The hit machine keeps on rolling...
Michael Jackson topped the album chart and made six new entries in the singles top 40, yesterday, six years after his last number one. His Number Ones album, that features his biggest hits, raced up the charts from 121 to number one. That album earned Jackson his last number one hit when it was released in 2003. Four of his other hit albums also reappeared in the top 20 today. A total of 11 Michael Jackson or Jackson Five albums were back in this week's Top 200, the Official Charts Company revealed. Thriller, still the biggest-selling album in history, surged from 179 to number seven. The single, "Man in the Mirror", re-entered the charts at number 11, nearly 20 years after its release. Jackson hits accounted for all but one of the new entries in this week's top 40 singles. A spokesman for HMV said: "We've seen this [posthumous comeback] with John Lennon, Elvis, Johnny Cash and Frank Sinatra. Michael Jackson in particular, he was just on the cusp of a big comeback anyway."
Plan for Neverland to become 'new Graceland'
Speculative reports suggest that Jackson's home, Neverland, could be turned into a tourist mausoleum much like the late Elvis Presley's home, Graceland, with Jackson's grave as the central attraction. The proposal has apparently come from Tohme Tohme, Jackson's former manager and special ambassador to Senegal. Mr Tohme works with Colony Capital LLC, the firm that holds the mortgage note on Neverland. Their idea is to turn the estate into a new Graceland. The idea is likely to be met by substantial legal issues, including a permit to bury someone on site. Neverland is on a two-lane country road opposite a school, in the hills above the Santa Ynez Valley, which many locals feel is not equipped for heavy traffic.
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