NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Jackson’s mother has given her blessing to a tribute concert that will mark the anniversary of her son’s death.
Voice Plate Productions is staging “Forever Michael” fan event Saturday at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, but some have wondered if it was legitimate or done with the family’s approval.
In a video posted on YouTube, Katherine Jackson appeared with Joseph Fahmy, the tribute’s organizer, to thank him for putting it together.
“I know that Michael would be very honored and very pleased that his fans all over the world are coming together to celebrate his life,” she said.
She also thanked people for the support they have given her family since Jackson died June 25, 2009, at age 50.
Fahmy told The Associated Press on Monday that Katherine Jackson “just rescued me” with her show of support.
“There was some negative press, and rumors that it wasn’t authorized,” Fahmy explained. “But we know it was. … The Jacksons are so private, and, really, I was going to allow the press to just say what they were going to say, and take the beating from the press, just to give them (the Jacksons) their privacy.”
Added Fahmy: “Towards the end here, Mrs. Jackson just said, ‘I need to clear the air for you, because you’re doing such a wonderful thing.’ And she was just one of the sweetest ladies you could ever meet.”
Fahmy, CEO of the Los Angeles-based VoicePlate, estimated the event’s cost at $250,000. It will include performances by the Chi-Lites and Genevieve Jackson, Michael Jackson’s niece and the daughter of Randy Jackson. Tickets start at $150 and go up to $500.
Part of the proceeds from the event will go to the Jackson Family Foundation and to Michael Jackson’s favorite charities, according to the organizers.
Associated Press writer Mike Cidoni contributed to this report.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.