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Thursday, 6 September, 2001, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Britney pulls out of Jackson concert
Britney Spears
Spears had been rehearsing her duet with Jackson
Britney Spears has pulled out of performing at Michael Jackson's gala concert just days before she was to join the superstar on stage.

The singer was forced to cancel her appearance, despite having rehearsed with Jackson, because of a deal she has with a television broadcaster.

The 19-year-old was supposed to duet with Jackson on The Way You Make Me Feel at Friday's concert in Madison Square Garden in New York to mark the release of his new album Invincible.

Two concerts, on Friday and Monday, also celebrate Jackson's 30th anniversary in show business and the superstar will reunite with his famous brothers for the performances.

Michael Jackson
Jackson is to celebrate 30 years as a performer
But because it is to be broadcast on the CBS network, Spears had to cancel because of her exclusive deal with rival HBO.

Her spokeswoman told the New York Post: "Britney did have to pull out - and she's very upset about it."

Among the artists and celebrities scheduled to perform and pay tribute to Michael Jackson are Whitney Houston, Gladys Knight, Ray Charles, Britney Spears and Quincy Jones.

Jackson 5

Actors billed to appear include Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, William Shatner, Willem Dafoe and Macaulay Culkin.

Michael Jackson
Jackson has been in the limelight since the age of five

The event will mark Jackson's first live performances on a mainland stage in 11 years and the first reunion with his brothers, the Jackson 5 (Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Michael and Marlon) and the Jacksons (Jackie, Marlon, Tito, Michael and Randy) in 20 years.

Ticket prices for Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration range from $45 (32) to $2,500 (1,760).

The first single from Invincible, Rock My World, was due to be released in September but there are reports that the release date may have been put back.

See also:

14 Jun 01 | Music
Britney death hoax fools fans
31 Aug 01 | Showbiz
Britney's engagement denied
06 Sep 01 | Music
Fatboy Slim set for MTV triumph
24 Jul 01 | Music
Jackson family reunion in doubt
29 Jun 01 | Music
Jackson seeks past glories
17 Apr 01 | Music
Jacksons reunite for concert
05 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Jackson's life in the spotlight
09 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Jackson 5 will sing again
07 Sep 98 | Entertainment
Six appeal for Jacksons
05 Mar 01 | Entertainment
A life in pictures: Michael Jackson
31 May 00 | Entertainment
Jackson's online venture
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