Not Bad: Jacko sells out a million tickets

An estimated one million people will now be able to see the so-called King of Pop perform at the 20,000-capacity venue.

The head of promoters AEG Live spoke to Jackson on the phone and said the star was moved to tears at the news. Randy Phillips said: “He was crying. I could hear it in his voice — he was choked up.”

Tickets were priced at between £50 (e55) and £75 (e80).

Shortly after the announcement of the sell-out however, tickets were being offered on online auction site eBay for up to £1,500 (e1,625) each, with several hundred available.

The shows are scheduled to kick off in July and stretch into February. The pop singer has said the series, This Is It, will be his last in London.

After the advance tickets sold out earlier this week, roughly 500,000 tickets were made available yesterday, organisers said. Hundreds of people waited outside the arena for the chance to buy them.

“I have come 150 miles just for this,” said Lee Middleton, 34, a construction worker from Liverpool in north-west England. “We have made some very interesting friends waiting in line. People were singing his songs and dancing.”

While Jackson has said the shows will be his last in the British capital, there has been speculation they could be part of a world tour.

The controversial star, who has sold more than 750 million albums and won 13 Grammys, has not undertaken a major tour since 1997 or released an album of new material since 2001.

The 50-year-old singer has been seen in public infrequently since he was acquitted of child molestation in California in 2005. He has struggled to pay his debts and was forced last year to give up the deed to Neverland, his 2,500-acre ranch and miniature amusement park in California.

An auction of 2,000 pieces of memorabilia is also planned, although the star is currently in dispute with the Irish organisers of the sale.

Phillips said: “Not only are these concerts unparalleled, these records will never be broken. We knew this was show business history, but this is a cultural phenomenon.”

Those who managed to buy tickets for the singer’s first full concert in 12 years can expect to hear “the songs my fans want”.

Meanwhile, Jackson is apparently being lined up to appear on The X Factor.

The show’s boss Simon Cowell is making it a priority to get Jackson on one of the live shows, according to the Daily Mirror report.

In the last series, stars including Britney Spears, Mariah Carey and Beyonce all made appearances and Cowell is keen to add Jacko to the list. A source said: “He’s determined to raise the bar even higher and secure Jacko’s services. He is perhaps one of the few artists who could outshine Britney.”

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