Off-key Jackson invites boos

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By STEPHANIE CONDRON THE DAILY TELEGRAPH in London
  • Published 17.11.06
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London, Nov. 17: Pop star Michael Jackson’s first performance in Britain in nine years was mired in controversy with fans demanding their money back.

Jackson sang only half a song during his appearance at the World Music Awards in London on Wednesday.

These few notes from the artist once known as the Prince of Pop cost the organisers £500,000.

They met the demands only a superstar could make, including a private jet, 20 first-class and business-class plane tickets and hiring out an entire five-star hotel for £50,000 a night. A wall in the hotel was even knocked down for Jackson and his entourage.

Jackson, in a diamante-encrusted black jacket and drainpipe trousers, began working for his £250,000 fee by thanking his “fans all over the world” as he picked up an award from singer Beyonce.

Fans were expecting Jackson to recreate his Thriller video but were disappointed when another performer, Chris Brown, stood in.

Jackson stood on stage, surrounded by youngsters, to sing some of We Are The World, but he was barely audible above his backing singers.

His voice also appeared to crack and falter on the high notes.

He later suffered the humiliation of being publicly criticised by Jordan, the glamour model-cum-singer, for being out of tune.

He stopped when the musical accompaniment disappeared, leaving his loyal fans unusually dissatisfied. Boos were heard as he left the stage.

“I’m furious,” said Katherine Kidd, who spent £200 to see to the show. “I feel like I’ve been ripped off.”

“People were expecting something significant but he didn’t perform at all,” said Abdo Binmadhi. “We should definitely get a refund.”