Michael Jackson Concert Promoters Take Kiss Off Tribute Lineup
After receiving criticism for booking Kiss for a Michael Jackson tribute concert, Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert, the promoters have decided to remove the band from its official lineup, the Associated Press reports.
The announcement was made Tuesday, one day after Global Live Events revealed that Kiss would also be taking part in the Oct. 8 show in Wales.
Bassist Gene Simmons, who has a reality show Family Jewels on A&E, made several harsh comments last year in an interview where he said, "Well, you know, where there's smoke there's fire," in regards to allegations that Jackson abused underage boys. The late pop singer, who died in the summer of 2009, was acquitted of molestation charges after a California trial in 2005.
"There's no question in my mind he molested those kids. Not a doubt," Simmons said at the time.
Global Events Live CEO Chris Hunt took the blame for booking the band, saying it was an "oversight," adding, "Under the circumstances, we fully agree that even though Kiss is a band Michael admired, we have no choice but to rescind our invitation to them to appear in our tribute concert."
Jackson's brothers have voiced their disapproval at the Jackson tribute concert. "While we wholeheartedly support the spirit of a tribute that honors our brother, we find it impossible to support an event that is due to take place during the criminal trial surrounding Michael's death," Randy and Jermaine Jackson said in a joint statement in late July obtained by CNN.
Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson's former physician, will be tried for involuntary manslaughter this fall, with the case expected to continue through October.
Smokey Robinson, Christina Aguilera, Leona Lewis, Craig David, Alien Ant Farm, British boy band JLS and Cee Lo Green remain in the lineup.
“This announcement is just the beginning, we have many more to announce,” said Global Live Events exec Paul Ring when the lineup was announced earlier this month. “This concert will unite various generations and musical genres, reminding everyone of just how amazing a talent Michael was.”
Matriarch Katherine Jackson called the tribute "a show fit for a king."