Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just beat it

In case you missed it, Michael Jackson announced his plans four days ago to rejoin planet Earth. The pop singer icon/world-wide wacko said in a London press conference that he would play a series of engagements in England -- his first concerts since 2001.

Typically, Jackson was 90 minutes late to his own press conference to announce he was coming out of Neverland or wherever he's been since he more or less went off the deep end more than a decade ago.

There was a time when Jackson was a tremendous entertainer, specifically the 1970s when he was the star of the "Jackson Five" and well into the 1980s as a solo act. The guy could put on a show and crank out the hits.

"Thriller" is still the best-selling album of all time. Jackson has sold more than 750 million albums and won 13 Grammys, but has not performed in a major concert in eight years. Here's the reason? He needs the money.

Jackson has been plagued by financial, legal, and medical woes for years. Jackson has appeard in public rarely since being acquitted of child molestation in California in 2005. Though found not guilty, that trial alone creeped out most of America.

He has struggled to pay his debts — last year, he was forced to give up the deed to Neverland, his 2,500-acre ranch and miniature amusement park in California.

The concerts — possibly followed by other gigs and a 3-D movie based on "Thriller" — could end up netting Jackson more than $400 million, according to the Associated Press.

The thing is, as controversial and weird as the guy is, if he ever did a U.S. tour again, he would net millions.

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