Sister Janet Jackson to fill in for Jacko at O2 gigs?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

LONDON - Janet Jackson is expected to take her late brother Michael Jackson’s place for some of the gigs he was scheduled to perform here. Organisers are trying to rope her in to avoid heavy losses. reports that the promoters of the 50-night run are also talking to Michael’s ‘Jackson 5′ co-star brothers about appearing on stage to back her.

“Janet has been sounded out about fronting some of the shows. Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon have been approached as well, with the idea that they would perform as the backing band,” said a source.

It is unlikely pop star Janet, 43, would do the full run at the O2 due to start July 13 and run until next March. The idea is one of a number of options being worked on by promoters AEG Live, who face huge losses if the shows are scrapped.

Michael died Thursday after a cardiac arrest.

In the wake of her brother’s sudden death, Janet made her first public appearance by attending the BET Awards, where she paid her last respects to him.

“I would just like to say that, Michael is an icon. To us, Michael is family, and he will forever live in all of our hearts,” Janet said at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles Sunday.

“On behalf of my family and myself, thank you for all your love; thank you for all your support. We miss him so much,” she added.

For the show, backing musicians, dancers and dazzling hi-tech wizardry are already in place for the gigs. Organisers are also considering honouring all the dates by putting a ‘digital’ Jacko on stage.

“A highly technical version of MJ as a silhouette performing on stage has been discussed. It is possible to create an impression that Michael is actually there, giving fans a place to mourn and celebrate his music. Executives are keen that they do go ahead,” said the source.

Meanwhile Jackson’s close pal Mark Lester said the star signed up to his strenuous O2 gigs so his three kids could see him perform for the first time.

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