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Fans await Jackson concert dates
05 March 2009 03:25 am
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Michael Jackson fans in the UK are waiting for the pop superstar to announce a series of comeback concerts at the O2 arena in London.

Jackson is due to meet the press and make a "special announcement" later.

It has been speculated he could play as many as 30 gigs at the 20,000-capacity venue this summer.

Fans of the singer have gathered outside the 50-year-old's hotel with several claiming to be seeking autographs to sell on eBay.

Rhianan Adam, 26, told BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat: "Sometimes it's more about the experience and everyone else being there, the 'Michaelmania'.

"I've been a fan since I was five and I've waited 12 years for him to perform again. I thought his career was going to be over."

Jackson last performed in 2006, at the World Music Awards, also in in London.

But he disappointed fans at that event by singing just a few lines of We Are The World. He last toured 12 years ago.

The O2, in Greenwich, south-east London, is the venue where Prince played for 21 nights in 2007, and where Britney Spears is performing for eight nights in June.

Jackson would be likely to follow a similar pattern of a run of gigs at one venue, rather than an extensive tour.

Neverland auction

Jackson fans have gathered outside the Lanesborough Hotel in London
His last substantial series of concerts came in 1996 and '97, when he played 82 shows in 58 cities as part of the HIStory tour. His last album of original material came out in 2001.

Stories about personal, health and financial problems have circulated in recent years, and he was cleared of child abuse after a four-month trial in 2005.

Meanwhile, Jackson is trying to stop an auction of thousands of his personal possessions.

His company, MJJ Productions, has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles against Julien's Auction House.

It claims founder Darren Julien promised to send Jackson an inventory of sale items, but that the singer has not given permission for him to include all the items in the sale.

The sale items include his American Music Award for Thriller, a velvet cape given to him by his children for Father's Day in 1998 and a pair of rhinestone-trimmed socks.

The suit claims many of the items are "priceless and irreplaceable" and describes the attempt to sell them as "malicious, fraudulent, extreme, outrageous and without any legal justification whatsoever".

Mr Julien said the lawsuit was a "total surprise to us".

"Jackson had been apprised of everything since the day we started," he added. "His manager has approved everything."

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