Jacko thrills again! | Music | Entertainment



Michael Jackson, for instance, is set to Moonwalk across a London stage nine years after his death.

The singer was killed by a drug overdose in June 2009 on the eve of a series of farewell concerts at the O2 Arena.

But British fans will now get the chance to see him “perform” his dazzling dance routines as a hologram image this autumn in a stage show that opened last week to sell-out audiences in Los Angeles.

The star appears as a special guest in the £3million multi-media production Higher & Higher. It also features live actors, archive footage and 3D animation.

Higher & Higher is the brainchild of billionaire Alki David, a Hollywood producer who yesterday confirmed he is in “advanced” talks with theatres to host the show’s London run.

David, who struck a deal with Jackson’s estate over rights to his hologram image, added: “Whatever venue we alight on, we will definitely hit London later this year.

“It’s enormously appropriate to take the show there because Michael’s dream of ending his amazing career on a high note at the O2 was so sadly thwarted by his untimely death.”

David also revealed he is hoping Jackson’s brother and former Jackson Five co-star Jermaine will fly to the UK to introduce some of the 90-minute shows live on stage.

The London production will be twice the length of LA shows at the Hologram USA Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard and retitled: 75 Years of Icons of American Music.

As well as a Moonwalking Jacko, it will feature “past and present” performances by diverse music giants from jazz and soul legends Billie Holiday and Jackie Wilson to current rap star Chief Keef.

Producer David, who owns two patents to the 3D technology that has “resurrected” late stars such as Jackson, also aims to have his shows running in more than 150 theatres across America by the end of summer.

He said: “After only a week since our LA opening, the response has been incredible. I think we’re at the dawn of a whole new era of tech-driven entertainment where anything is possible.”

David also managed to unearth a moving Michael Jackson story while co-writing the 45-minute Higher & Higher show as a tribute to soul great Jackie Wilson, who was one of Jackson’s idols.

Wilson spent nine years in hospital in a coma after collapsing on stage with a heart attack before he finally passed away aged 49 in 1984, following a career in which he racked up more than 50 Top 10 hits and was twice inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Nicknamed Mr Excitement because of his four-octave vocal range and stunning dance moves that inspired a generation of stars such as Jackson, Wilson was left virtually penniless after a life of drug and alcohol abuse during which he fathered at least 10 children.

Surviving relatives told David that every Christmas both Jackson and, until his own death, Elvis Presley had suitcases delivered to them containing around £188,000 – to cover Wilson’s medical expenses.

“There was never any fanfare or publicity about this,” said David.

“Michael kept the payments going until the very end because he idolised Jackie and was hugely inspired by him.”


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