Janet Jackson said Monday she won’t attend a planned tribute concert for her older brother Michael in Wales because the show coincides with the trial of a doctor charged in the King of Pop’s death.
The singer’s one-sentence statement to The Associated Press does not criticize the show, as her brothers Jermaine and Randy have done, but cites the court case as her reason for not attending.
“Because of the trial, the timing of this tribute to our brother would be too difficult for me,” her statement reads.
Her statement was released on what would have been her brother’s 53rd birthday.
Organizers of “Michael Forever — The Tribute Concert” have struggled to line up top-name acts and have been criticized by fans and the late singer’s estate for multiple reasons, including its costly tickets, timing and remote location.
The show is scheduled for Oct. 8 in Cardiff, Wales, and the singer’s mother, Katherine, and some of her children are scheduled to attend.
Christina Aguilera, Smokey Robinson, and Cee Lo Green are the top-names listed as performers so far. Organizers had to rescind an offer to the band Kiss after fans and Michael Jackson’s estate noted that singer-bassist Gene Simmons had harshly criticized the pop singer over the years.
Opening statements in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray are scheduled to begin on Sept. 27. Murray, who has pleaded not guilty, could face up to four years in prison if convicted.
Authorities allege he gave Michael Jackson a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol and other sedatives in the bedroom of his rented mansion on June 25, 2009.