Michael Jackson will perform past hits with new-school pop stars Britney Spears and ‘NSYNC at his upcoming 30th-anniversary gala.
Jackson and pop princess Spears will duet on “The Way You Make Me Feel,” Jackson’s #1 single from 1987′s Bad, at the first of two shows dubbed “Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration, The Solo Years,” the event’s publicist said Monday (August 13). The new information sheds light on a pair of concerts whose content has remained obscure to date.
The Jackson 5, performing together for the first time in 11 years (see “Jermaine Jackson To Reunite With His Brothers Onstage After All” ), and ‘NSYNC will team up for “Dancing Machine” during the same September 7 show at Madison Square Garden.
Jackson’s September 10 “Celebration” will include other superstar performances. Latin singer Ricky Martin will perform “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” Jackson’s first post-Jackson 5 solo track to reach #1 (in 1979), Martin’s spokesperson said.
On September 10, Missy Elliott and Nelly Furtado are expected to perform their remix of Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On” (see “Missy Elliott, Nelly Furtado Get Freaky” ).
Another Latin heartthrob, Marc Anthony, will tackle Jackson’s 1980 ballad “She’s Out of My Life” during the first show, Anthony’s spokesperson said. Although he has been announced for September 10 as well, his spokesperson said Anthony is still negotiating the later appearance. If he performs both nights, he may sing his upcoming Rob Thomas-penned single, “Tragedy.”
Lil’ Kim, Deborah Cox, Mya and Tamia will collaborate on “Heal the World” during at least one of the shows, according to a source close to the production. Organizers have advertised Cox and Mya as performing both nights.
Although Jackson friend and seasoned entertainer Liza Minelli’s September 7 selection remains unannounced, she will sing the 1995 Jackson single “You Are Not Alone” with a 300-member gospel choir on September 10.
Whitney Houston will sing a ballad, and teen country star Billy Gilman will cover 1972′s “Ben” (Jackson’s first #1 solo single) on the celebration’s first night, according to the event’s publicist.
Several other artists — including Shaggy, Jill Scott, Monica and Luther Vandross — have yet to decide what they will perform, according to their respective publicists.
Diana Ross, who was at one time announced as a performer, is off the schedule, according to the celebration’s organizers.
Jackson and his brothers convened in Los Angeles on Friday to rehearse for the shows.