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August 11, 2009

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Stars will sing at Jackson tribute concert

THE King of Pop will get a royal send-off next month in Vienna.

Events promoter World Awards Media GmbH confirmed yesterday that members of Michael Jackson's family and a "high-profile lineup of international stars" are planning a tribute concert to be held early next month in the Austrian capital.

Organizers said they'll announce the date soon, but the venue is set: the sculpted and sprawling grounds of Vienna's former imperial Schoenbrunn Palace, where an outdoor stage shaped like a crown will be built.

Jackson's brother Jermaine said recently that Vienna was a special place for Michael, who "loved castles."

Tickets will go on sale on August 20, World Awards Media said on its Website.

"For one incredible night Michael Jackson's unforgettable music will be brought to life again," it said. "Some of the world's leading artists will perform Michael's greatest hits live in Vienna in front of one of the most fascinating historical sites in Europe and celebrate the life of the 'King of Pop'."

Organizers said Jermaine Jackson and other family members "will lead a high-profile lineup of international stars on stage to celebrate the life of his brother and perform some of Michael's unforgettable songs."

They would not confirm Austrian media reports that the outdoor tribute may include U2, Madonna, Lionel Richie and Whitney Houston.

Originally there was talk of staging the tribute on August 29, which would have been Jackson's 51st birthday. But World Awards Media chief Georg Kindel ruled that out yesterday.

"That would have been an extreme logistical challenge," and the organizers opted instead for the first part of September, he said.

Jackson died on June 25.

The choice of venue was a surprise. Many had expected the tribute to be held in London, where the pop star was booked to perform a series of concerts, or in a larger European capital.


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