Michael Jackson announces comeback

Thu Mar 5, 2009 2:10pm EST
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Michael Jackson announced his long-awaited comeback on Thursday, telling hundreds of screaming fans he would perform in London this summer and calling it his "final curtain call" in the city.

Wearing a military-style black jacket decorated with silver sequins and punching the air, the 50-year-old revealed his plans on a makeshift stage at the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena where he will play 10 dates starting on July 8.

"Thank you all...this is it," said Jackson from behind a pair of dark glasses.

"These will be my final shows ... performances in London. When I say this is it, I mean this is it. I'll be performing the songs my fans want to hear. This is it, this is really it, this is the final curtain call."

Music promoter AEG Live, which has signed a deal with Jackson, said that the 10-show Las Vegas-style "residency" could be extended if there was sufficient demand for tickets.

AEG Live president and CEO Randy Phillips did not rule out further cooperation with one of the world's biggest music stars, telling Reuters that his company had a three-and-a-half-year plan to work with Jackson.

"He could gross well over $400 million over the three and a half years," he said.

The agreement could involve developing a big-screen version of Jackson's hit song and video "Thriller."   Continued...

<p>Pop star Michael Jackson gestures during a news conference at the O2 Arena in London March 5, 2009. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth</p>