Black Eyed Peas, Hudson join UK Jackson tribute
Sep 23, 2011, 9:48 a.m.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Black Eyed Peas and Jennifer Hudson have joined the line-up of a controversial Michael Jackson tribute concert in Britain.
Promoters said the U.S. group and the "Dreamgirls" Oscar winner would perform at the "Michael Forever" tribute in Wales on October 8, along with Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Motown legends Gladys Knight and Smokey Robinson.
The tribute has the backing of Jackson's mother Katherine but siblings Randy, Germaine and Janet have said they will not be attending.
Black Eyed Peas co-founder will.i.am said Jackson's music had been an inspiration to him growing up in Los Angeles, and recalled working with the "Thriller" singer in 2007.
"The Black Eyed Peas wouldn't miss being at the Millennium stadium for this gig on October8: we all owe Michael such a lot," will.i.am said in a statement.
Grammy-winner Hudson, a former "American Idol" contestant, won an Oscar for her role in the 2006 movie musical "Dreamgirls."
The tribute concert comes more than two years after Jackson, 50, died in Los Angeles from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol.
But the venture has been plagued by problems, including criticism by some Jackson fans and the official administrators of Michael Jackson's estate over the line-up, ticket prices and confusion over charity donations.
The concert will take place during the trial in Los Angeles of Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray. Prosecutors have charged Murray with responsibility for Jackson's death and accused him of administering a lethal dose of anesthetic to help the singer sleep. Murray has pleaded not guilty.
Opening arguments are scheduled to begin on September 27 in the four to six week jury trial.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)