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Michael Jackson rehearses for his This Is It tour. - Provided courtesy of AEG Live

Michael Jackson tribute concert overshadowed by Conrad Murray trial?

10/08/2011 by Olivia Allin

The Michael Jackson tribute concert or "Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert," began in Wales on Saturday evening, despite having a shaky start.

Three generations of Michael Jackson's family joined the roster of entertainers to celebrate the King of Pop. However, many thought the event was overshadowed by the manslaughter trial of Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray.

It was announced in September that Jamie Foxx would host the event, which will include performances by Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo Green, Gladys Knight, Leona Lewis, British boy band JLS, Smokey Robinson and Ne-Yo at the Millennium Stadium, which has a capacity of 75,000. Beyonce will appear via satellite.

Jackson's brothers Marlon, Tito and Jackie and his sister La Toya were also scheduled to perform. The late singer's mother Katherine and his children Prince, 14, Paris, 13, and 9-year-old Michael Joseph Jr., aka Blanket were in the audience and appeared on-stage in a few of their father's iconic outfits. Paris wore the red leather jacket from the singer's "Thriller" music video.

Meanwhile, his brothers Jermaine and Randy and sister Janet criticized the event, claiming it was wrong to hold the event during Murray's manslaughter trial.

"Each one of us grieves differently," Marlon Jackson told the Associated Press. "We want to celebrate the positive side of his life, the positive things that he did."

Several fan groups also criticized the event for its timing, the $100 ticket prices and its location, 150 miles west of London.

Fans were also displeased when festival organizers invited the band Kiss to perform, as lead singer Gene Simmons recently told a magazine that there was "no doubt in my mind" that Jackson, who was acquitted of molestation charges in 2005, had abused children. The invitation was hastily rescinded, following criticism.

Proceeds from the event will go to AIDS Project Los Angeles and the UK children's charity, The Prince's Trust. Conrad Murray is currently on trial for involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death. Autopsy results have shown that Jackson, the King of Pop, died at age 50 at his Los Angeles on June 25, 2009 from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol and other sedatives.

Songs performed in the tribute will come from either The Jackson 5, The Jacksons era or Jackson's solo career, according to Billboard magazine.

Tickets for the tribute concert went on Sale in August and organizers said over 40,000 tickets had been sold by Friday. The concert is also slated to be broadcast globally.

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