Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009

Can Jackson pull off a comeback?

Michael Jackson
Jackson announced his return in a brief appearance at the O2

Michael Jackson has announced a series of comeback concerts at the O2 arena in London.

The 50-year-old has a history of ill health and has not completed a tour in 12 years.

Music industry insiders and fans give their verdict on whether it will be landmark or lacklustre.

LEMAR - MUSICIAN

It's great that he's announced the tour. Whether he'll do it or whether he'll finish it is another thing.

I will definitely be buying a ticket. Whenever you see him nowadays he looks quite fragile, but at the same time it's an exciting prospect.

Lemar

Obviously the moves aren't going to be him doing Thriller. It's not going to be the exact same Michael. But people wonder what is it going to be, so you're going to buy the ticket because you need to know.

He'll probably be moonwalking in slow motion. You'll probably have to tape it and then take it home and speed it up again. I want to see everything - I want to see him do all the tricks that he can still do without injuring himself.

I want to see all of the old tracks. When you get to a certain age and you've had the type of hits he's had it's not about bringing out a new album. He's done the best of his work, so just celebrate it.


Lemar's single Weight of the World is out now.

AMANDA GHOST - HEAD OF JACKSON'S RECORD LABEL EPIC
Amanda Ghost

I met Michael Jackson a few weeks ago. He helped build Epic. Why does he mean so much? He's the consummate artist. He's so talented - as a writer, as a dancer, as a singer, as a performer. He's a star. We're not making stars any more.

His legacy is great music, incredible image and an important message. It got corny towards the end. He's a child star and he paid a heavy price to be Michael Jackson. I don't know anybody in the world that hasn't got a Michael Jackson song that they love. He's universal. He's an icon. I used to dress up as Michael Jackson when I was a kid.


RONNIE BEHARRY - MICHAEL JACKSON LOOKALIKE
Michael Jackson lookalike Ronnie Beharry
I think he's got it, he comes across shy and reserved and a man of not many words but when he's on the stage he's in his element. He'll come out with something - he has for many years, always changing his image, changing his songs.

I think he's gonna come out with something magical - he likes putting illusions into his act. He keeps you at the edge of your seat, obviously there's dancing and singing but he has that extra little something which people go, 'Wow! That is amazing. How did you do that?' He has all these tricks up his sleeve.

This is his time now. This comeback is going to be good for him in all positive ways.


KANYA KING - MOBO AWARDS FOUNDER
I think at the heart of Michael is a showman. If you look at the earlier performances they were a huge spectacle and it wasn't just about his vocal ability.

It'll need more than hardcore Michael Jackson fans buying tickets but you only need look at some of the nostalgic tours recently - they haven't been half as big as Michael Jackson but they've sold out.

The fact that he's committed to a huge series of gigs means he needs to be fully prepared. But as long as he rehearses, performs and gives the people what they want to hear, no-one will come away disappointed and I for one will be in the front row.


LAURA CHARLES - MICHAEL JACKSON FAN
Laura Charles
The King of Pop is back. I cannot wait. I'm pre-booking. I am going. He looked gorgeous. Always does. I have got such a crush on him.

Everything he puts out is fantastic. It's just great that he's on my home turf, this close for me to be able to come and see him.

I don't think he can dance too much any more, he might get a bit worn out. So just Michael Jackson unplugged. Just him, a coupe of backing singers, that's all he needs, that's enough.


PETE WATERMAN - RECORD PRODUCER

I actually think it's about money and I can't blame him. But it'll also please the fans. My son is a Michael Jackson fanatic and left home at eight o'clock on Thursday morning to queue up to see him. That says it all.


PAUL GAMBACCINI - BROADCASTER
Paul Gambaccini
There will be such a big demand. There used to be this phenomenon of the 'harvest' tour which was when your stars from the 60s and early 80s would go out, without the benefit of a new record, and just harvest what they deserve from their past records.

In the last year we've had Madonna, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles and The Police raise over £150 milion from tours.

Michael is 50 this year. There were reports in the last couple of years of serious illness. Any ex-athlete will tell you it's harder to move around at speed at 50 than when you're 25. I saw Michael and the Jackson Five at Wembley Arena and Michael as an adult at Wembley Stadium. He was moving fine and famously then but the problem, if there is to be one, would be his health.


FIONA HETHERINGTON - MICHAEL JACKSON FAN
I have seen so many acts live and Michael Jackson is still my favourite, and he was the first concert I ever went to in 1988.

I know what to expect. I saw Prince, he was 50, and he was amazing, and I know Michael will be. It will be spectacular.

I'll be spending quite a lot of my pocket money - I won't just see him once, if I can get more tickets I will do, definitely.




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