First arena touring show slated for late 2011
Las Vegas permanent show to open in 2012
LOS ANGELES, April 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Two great forces in entertainment have combined with the announcement of an unprecedented arrangement between The Estate of Michael Jackson, represented by Executors John Branca and John McLain, and Cirque du Soleil for the creation, development, production and promotion of Michael Jackson projects, featuring touring and permanent shows, based on the music and songs of Michael Jackson. Special lifestyle projects, including a nightclub to open with the Las Vegas production, will also be developed.
The first of these projects will be an arena-touring show in which fans will experience the excitement of a Michael Jackson concert, expected to debut in late Fall 2011. That arena show is anticipated to enjoy an extended run in Las Vegas in conjunction with longtime Cirque du Soleil partner MGM MIRAGE. The Las Vegas permanent show, also in partnership with MGM MIRAGE, is expected to open in late 2012. MGM MIRAGE will announce the location and plans for the permanent theatrical venue at a later date.
John Branca, Co-Executor for The Estate of Michael Jackson, commented, "This will not just be a tribute to Michael's musical genius, but a live entertainment experience that uses the most advanced technology to push every creative boundary as Michael always did. Having attended Cirque du Soleil performances with Michael, I know he was a huge fan. We are excited to be partners with Cirque du Soleil to give Michael's fans a truly unique way to hear, see and feel Michael's music."
Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soleil, commented, "Michael Jackson is the King of Pop and an all-time phenomenal artist, both timeless and contemporary. As a creative challenge, this project is the ultimate. Through the use of cutting edge technology, we will produce a Cirque du Soleil experience not only worthy of Michael but unlike any other we have created before. We are also so pleased that our longtime partner MGM MIRAGE has once again joined us in presenting another unique creative experience in Las Vegas."
John McClain, Co-Executor for The Estate of Michael Jackson, commented, "There will never be a multi-faceted entrepreneur, humanitarian and innovator like Michael and it is only befitting that this partnership be with Cirque du Soleil. No artist electrified the stage more than Michael did. We expect that his fans will come away from these Cirque du Soleil performances feeling the exhilaration of a Michael Jackson experience and with an even greater appreciation of his legacy."
Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil added "We are honored and thrilled to be in partnership with the ultimate and most important record selling artist of all time. This association between two international entertainment brands promises to deliver to fans of both Michael and Cirque du Soleil unique artistic experiences"
Bill Hornbuckle, Chief Marketing Officer of MGM MIRAGE said "Las Vegas is known worldwide for its unparalleled entertainment offerings, many of which have been developed by the creative geniuses at Cirque du Soleil. We have been honored to call Cirque our partner for many years and are humbled now by the opportunity to work with them to create a show that will commemorate one of the most legendary forces in entertainment in our lifetime."
Katherine Jackson, mother of Michael Jackson commented. "Our family is thrilled that Cirque du Soleil will pay tribute to my son in such an important way."
The Estate of Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil will each own 50 percent of each Michael Jackson project, sharing equally in the cost of creating, developing, building and producing the projects and in the profits from each project. The Estate of Michael Jackson will also receive royalty payments on various aspects of its intellectual property used in the Michael Jackson projects.
About Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson, one of the most widely beloved entertainers and profoundly influential artists of all time, leaves an indelible imprint on popular music and culture. Five of Jackson's solo albums, "Off the Wall," "Thriller," "Bad," "Dangerous" and "HIStory," all with Epic Records, are among the top sellers of all time and "Thriller" holds the distinction as the largest selling album in the history of the recording industry with more than 90 million units sold worldwide. Additionally, singles released from the "Thriller" album sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, another all-time record. During his extraordinary career, he sold an estimated 750 million records worldwide, released 13 No.1 singles and became one of a handful of artists to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Jackson as the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time and "Thriller" as the Biggest Selling Album of All Time. Jackson won 13 Grammy Awards and received the American Music Award's Artist of the Century Award. Michael Jackson started in the music business at the age of 11 with his brothers as a member of the Jackson 5. In the early 1980s, he defined the art form of music video with such ground-breaking videos as "Billie Jean," "Beat It" and the epic "Thriller." Jackson's sound, style and dance moves inspired subsequent generations of pop, soul, R&B and hip-hop artists.
About Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil is primarily a creative content provider for a wide variety of unique projects. In addition to live shows, the Montreal based company extends its creative talent to other spheres of activity. Since its beginnings in 1984, over 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities on five continents have been thrilled by Cirque du Soleil.
About MGM MIRAGE
MGM MIRAGE (NYSE: MGM), one of the world's leading and most respected companies with significant holdings in gaming, hospitality and entertainment, owns and operates 15 properties located in Nevada, Mississippi and Michigan, and has 50% investments in four other properties in Nevada, Illinois and Macau. The Company's 50% economic interest in Borgata Hotel Casino Spa in Atlantic City, which is held in trust, is currently offered for sale. CityCenter, an unprecedented urban resort destination on the Las Vegas Strip featuring its centerpiece ARIA Resort & Casino, is a joint venture between MGM MIRAGE and Infinity World Development Corp, a subsidiary of Dubai World. Other major holdings include Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, New York-New York, Luxor, Excalibur, and Circus Circus. MGM MIRAGE Hospitality has entered into management agreements for casino and non-casino resorts throughout the world. MGM MIRAGE supports responsible gaming and has implemented the American Gaming Association's Code of Conduct for Responsible Gaming at its properties. MGM MIRAGE has received numerous awards and recognitions for its industry-leading Diversity Initiative, its community philanthropy programs and the Company's commitment to sustainable development and operations. For more information about MGM MIRAGE, please visit the Company's Web site at http://www.mgmmirage.com.
High resolution broadcast images available for download in Cirque du Soleil press room at: http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/press/default.aspx
SOURCE Cirque du Soleil
For further information: For further information: Estate of Michael Jackson: Jim Bates, Sitrick And Company, (310) 788-2850; Cirque du Soleil: Tim Choy, Davidson & Choy Publicity, (323) 954-7510 ext 13; MGM MIRAGE: Jenn Michaels, (702) 650-7565