David Gest, Tito Jackson, Rebbie Jackson are to pay tribute to Michael Jackson with a live tour honouring the pop icon’s life.
The TV star and producer will be joined by the late singer’s two siblings and Gary, Indiana-born singer Deniece Williams – whose hits include 'Let's Hear It For The Boy', 'Free' and 'Too Much Too Little Too Late' - for a series of spoken word and music shows which will reveal never-before-told details about him and his phenomenal career.
Williams grew up near the Jackson family home and has been friends with the family for nearly five decades.
David came up with the idea for the tour after completing his documentary 'Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon' – which focuses on the ‘Thriller’ star’s life from his beginnings with the Jackson 5 through to his tragic death in June 2009 and contains interviews with over 50 of his closest friends and family including his mother Katherine, Motown legend Smokey Robinson and Whitney Houston too name a few.
The reality star exclusively told BANG Showbiz: “There was five hours of footage that didn’t make the documentary and 30 minutes of exclusive interview footage with Katherine that has never been seen before. We are going to let fans see a lot of this for the first time when we go on tour.
“It’s really dynamite footage that gives an insight into his life away from the spotlight and features unique anecdotes and memories of Michael that have never before been told.”
The tour will run across the whole of the UK and is due to start either at the end of this year or in March 2012 and will be directed by Andrew Eastel, who also directed 'Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon'.
Deniece and Rebbie will sing intimately with a pianist and Tito will also play his guitar and sing and David promises the evening “will be intimate and feel like a family get together with a Q&A from the audience”.
Tito said: “I’m really looking forward to this tour and being close up with the fans. To see the four of us on stage will be a blast and we all have so many funny and wonderful stories about Michael that will leave the crowd laughing, crying and spellbound all at the same time.”
David spent 16 months working on the documentary and admits it was both a cathartic and joyous process to honour his lifetime friend Michael.
He explained: “I personally financed this film and solely own it. It was truly a labour of love to be able to pay tribute to my wonderful 'other brother'. I have so many friends who helped make this film a reality and they are all included.”
'Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon' will be released worldwide on DVD and Blu Ray on October 31 by Universal Pictures.
When pushed on why the documentary won’t be airing on television first, David said: “Everyone is asking me the same question, it wasn’t my decision. I was hoping it could have been nominated for an Oscar or BAFTA for best documentary if it was screened in theatres or an Emmy if it premiered on TV, it really is that good.
"This is the total vision of Angela Robertson at Universal Pictures, period. She wanted to put it out on DVD first right before the Christmas holidays because she felt it could become Universal’s biggest-selling DVD of all-time because it’s about Michael. If she’s right she’s a genius, if she’s not what can I say?
"We are all praying she does a great advertising job. I’m hoping her other vision to air it on television to mark the anniversary of his death in June is the right one, time will tell."
When quizzed on how much he was paid for the film, David replied: “I can’t give out a number but I’m a very happy camper! Universal outbid three other companies to get the film.”
Katherine is delighted with the documentary about her superstar son, saying: “I am very proud of David and this truly is his film and story about Michael.”