Michael Jackson has announced a series of comeback concerts at the O2 arena in London.
These will be the 50-year-old’s first shows 12 years.
Music industry insiders give their verdict on whether it will be landmark or lacklustre.
“It’s great that he’s announced the tour. Whether he’ll do it or whether he’ll finish it is another thing.
I will definitely be buying a ticket. Whenever you see him nowadays he looks quite fragile, but at the same time it’s an exciting prospect.
Obviously the moves aren’t going to be him doing Thriller. It’s not going to be the exact same Michael. But people wonder what is it going to be, so you’re going to buy the ticket because you need to know.
He’ll probably be moonwalking in slow motion. You’ll probably have to tape it and then take it home and speed it up again. I want to see everything - I want to see him do all the tricks that he can still do without injuring himself.
I want to see all of the old tracks. When you get to a certain age and you’ve had the type of hits he’s had it’s not about bringing out a new album. He’s done the best of his work, so just celebrate it.”
LEMAR - MUSICIAN“I met Michael Jackson a few weeks ago. He helped build Epic. Why does he mean so much? He’s the consummate artist. He’s so talented - as a writer, as a dancer, as a singer, as a performer. He’s a star. We’re not making stars any more.
His legacy is great music, incredible image and an important message. It got corny towards the end. He’s a child star and he paid a heavy price to be Michael Jackson. I don’t know anybody in the world that hasn’t got a Michael Jackson song that they love. He’s universal. He’s an icon. I used to dress up as Michael Jackson when I was a kid.”
AMANDA GHOST - HEAD OF JACKSON’S RECORD LABEL EPIC“I think at the heart of Michael is a showman. If you look at the earlier performances they were a huge spectacle and it wasn’t just about his vocal ability.
It’ll need more than hardcore Michael Jackson fans buying tickets but you only need look at some of the nostalgic tours recently - they haven’t been half as big as Michael Jackson but they’ve sold out.
The fact that he’s committed to a huge series of gigs means he needs to be fully prepared. But as long as he rehearses, performs and gives the people what they want to hear, no-one will come away disappointed and I for one will be in the front row.”
KANYA KING - MOBO AWARDS FOUNDER“I actually think it’s about money and I can’t blame him. But it’ll also please the fans. My son is a Michael Jackson fanatic and left home at eight o’clock on Thursday morning to queue up to see him. That says it all.”
PETE WATERMAN - RECORD PRODUCERSource: BBC News“There will be such a big demand. There used to be this phenomenon of the ‘harvest’ tour which was when your stars from the 60s and early 80s would go out, without the benefit of a new record, and just harvest what they deserve from their past records.
In the last year we’ve had Madonna, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles and The Police raise over £150 milion from tours.
Michael is 50 this year. There were reports in the last couple of years of serious illness. Any ex-athlete will tell you it’s harder to move around at speed at 50 than when you’re 25. I saw Michael and the Jackson Five at Wembley Arena and Michael as an adult at Wembley Stadium. He was moving fine and famously then but the problem, if there is to be one, would be his health.”
PAUL GAMBACCINI - BROADCASTER