Jackson delays startin' somethin'


London — Michael Jackson has pushed back the opening four nights of his residency at London's O2 arena, with show promoters and producers AEG Live citing the "sheer magnitude of the concerts" for the delay.

The July 8 opener of the This Is It shows has been pushed to July 13. The other dates have been moved to next year: The show set for July 10 will take place March 1, July 12 on March 3 and July 14 on March 6.

"AEG Live and Kenny Ortega, Michael's directorial partner and creative collaborator, have elected to move back a few of the opening shows in order to meet the challenges presented by such a massive and technically complex show," the parties said. "Organizers are determined that all Michael's fans attending the opening nights get to experience the same high-quality staging that is planned for all of the shows."

Said Randy Phillips, president and CEO of AEG Live: "This show has grown in size and scope, thereby necessitating more lead time for manufacture of the set, programming the content for the massive video elements and, most importantly, more time for full production and dress rehearsals."

Full refunds are available to ticket-holders who can't make the rescheduled shows.

Andre Paine is a correspondent for Billboard.