Michael Jackson tribute concert scrapped

Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:13pm EST
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VIENNA (Reuters) - A Michael Jackson tribute concert, which was moved from Vienna to London after top acts dropped out, has been canceled after the event's organizer closed down, the company's liquidator said on Friday.

Organizers, led by Michael's brother, Jermaine, canceled the Vienna concert in September after struggling to get stars to perform on short notice.

A London concert was planned for summer, but that has been scrapped as well.

Martin Schneider, liquidator for the organizers, told Reuters: "The company cannot sign any new contracts and will certainly not plan any new events."

Event organizer World Awards Media GmbH decided to close on November 30, the company's liquidator said in an e-mailed statement. World Awards Media and its previous owner directed all queries to its liquidator.

A spokeswoman for Jermaine Jackson in Los Angeles was unavailable for comment.

Ticket sales for the Vienna tribute stagnated after billed acts like R&B stars Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown and veteran singer Natalie Cole started to back away from the concert, which would have taken place at a 17th century palace.

Organizers blamed Austrian media, saying they treated the line-up as "B-List" artists and sullied the memory of Jackson.

The 50-year-old singer died in June from an overdose of powerful medications. His 1982 "Thriller" is the highest-selling album of all time.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall and Bob Tourtellotte in Los Angeles)

<p>Jermaine Jackson addresses a news conference in Vienna, September 11, 2009. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger</p>