Michael Jackson was due to make a "special announcement" at a London music venue this week — expected to be confirmation of his first live concerts in years. British media said Tuesday that the troubled King of Pop will announce a string of dates at the city's O2 Arena.
Celena Aponte, spokeswoman for the venue's operator, AEG Live, said Jackson had arrived in London on Tuesday and would appear at a press conference at the arena on Thursday afternoon.
A source close to the negotiations told AFP last month that Jackson was in talks with concert organisers to perform up to 30 live shows in London this year.
The source, who requested anonymity, confirmed British media reports that the 50-year-old "King of Pop" could be set to play his first major concerts since his 2005 acquittal on child molestation charges.
If the deal is confirmed, it would be a spectacular return to the limelight for Jackson.
The 50-year-old last appeared at the World Music Awards in London in 2006, but the much-hyped return of one of the biggest pop acts of all time was a critical flop after he sang only a few lines of "We Are The World."
The man behind "Thriller," the best-selling album of all time, has generally kept a low profile since his acquittal in 2005 of child sex abuse charges.
He has recently been living in luxury rented accommodation in Los Angeles after spending time in Las Vegas, Ireland and Dubai since the trial.
Rumors and reports of record deals and live comebacks, as well as numerous health problems, have been rife in recent years.
Jackson was due to appear in a London court last November to contest a libel action for breach of contract brought by a Bahraini prince. The dispute was settled out of court at the last minute and Jackson did not appear.
The O2, formerly the Millennium Dome, is becoming a venue of choice for comeback performers. Britney Spears plays there eight nights in June, and Prince did a 21-day series of shows in 2007.
(Agencies March 4, 2009)