Published Wednesday, June 10, 2009 | 9:34 a.m.
Updated Wednesday, June 10, 2009 | 4:54 p.m.
King of Pop Michael Jackson plans to relocate next week to London from L.A. to continue final rehearsals for the July 13 premiere of his new 50-concert run of the This Is It shows. But this morning, British news reports say a chaotic situation has developed because of his apparent wish to have a backup choir of young children.
In fact, Michael needs two backup choirs because of strict British child labor laws that require a rotating double so youngsters are not overworked. The Daily Mirror and the Daily Telegraph report that talent agents have been asked to provide children no younger than 5 and no older than 12 -- and that they must be able to perform sign language while singing.
The auditions are scheduled for Michael’s arrival next week. He’s also asked that the child singers be made of “exactly equal numbers” of black, white, Asian, Hispanic and mixed race kids. He also wants to recruit six marching snare drummers who must be “young adults, clean-cut and of mixed ethnicity.”
The Mirror quoted the email to talent agents: “No past professional experience is necessary. Due to children’s work permit laws, we will cast more than one choir.” One agent complained to the tabloid: “It’s a logistical nightmare. It’s proving a near impossibility, and it’s a race against time.”
No comments over this from either Michael’s camp or AEG Live/Concerts West promoters, but the hiring of children by Michael, a former Las Vegas resident, is raising eyebrows across England because of his past history of legal battles involving children. Tabloids there also report that he’s having a bowling alley and Ferris wheel installed -- a mini Neverland -- at the huge estate that’s been rented for his visit so his children and friends can play there.
It’s fair to point out that the feverish London tabloid reporters have been known to run outrageous stories that are later denied in total. Click HERE for our last Michael Jackson story.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground. Read more of Robin's stories at VegasDeLuxe.com.
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