As the October 8 date approaches, the Michael Forever tribute concert in Cardiff, Wales, in honor of late pop icon Michael Jackson has added two more headliners. On Friday (September 23), the Black Eyed Peas joined a lineup that is also slated to feature performances by Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Leona Lewis, Ne-Yo, Craig David, Pixie Lott, Alexandra Burke, Alien Ant Farm and Motown legend Smokey Robinson.
The show, which is being presented by Jackson’s mother, Katherine, along with some but not all of the King of Pop’s siblings (and without the sanction of his estate), will be hosted by Oscar winner Jamie Foxx . Pregnant pop queen Beyoncé will appear in some form at the show via a pre-taped satellite segment.
A press release also announced that Oscar-winning singer Jennifer Hudson has been added to the lineup as well.
In a statement, Peas co-founder will.i.am — who spent time in the studio with Jackson prior to the singer’s June 2009 death — said of his band’s participation, “This show is going to be an incredibly personal and moving evening for me. Remember that Michael’s music, his great, great songs, have been an inspiration to my whole life and certainly formed the soundtrack to my childhood. When I was a little kid of six or seven growing up in Los Angeles, there was Michael recording Thriller, and all his early hits, just a few miles away across town — obviously I didn’t know him at that time, but I loved him as a fan.”
One of the members of the original Jackson Five, sibling Marlon Jackson, will be on hand, and he expressed his excitement about the addition of the Peas. “We’re all really delighted and touched that the Black Eyed Peas are able to come and take part ” he said. “My brother rated Will.i.am and the original things he does in music very highly. I guess you could say it was a case of mutual respect.”
Some members of the Jackson family, including siblings Janet, Jermaine and Randy, have complained about the timing of the show, which will take place in the midst of the manslaughter trial of Jackson’s physician Dr. Conrad Murray .