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In the Know / A LOOK AT THE WEEK AHEAD

How Many Jacksons?

July 30, 2001

You can bet the Jacksons will sing "I'll Be There" at the upcoming concert gala, but exactly which Jacksons will be joining in the harmony?

Michael Jackson is ramping up his big return to the pop scene, and it starts in earnest Tuesday when tickets go on sale for a pair of self-styled concert tributes to himself at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The two shows, Sept. 7 and 10, are titled "Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration, The Solo Years" and boast impressive star power: Whitney Houston, Ray Charles, Diana Ross, 'N Sync, Britney Spears, Destiny's Child and Ricky Martin are among the performers. The tickets range from $45 to $2,500, and CBS will broadcast highlights at a later date.

The concerts are supposed to reenergize Jackson's clout before the fall release of his long-awaited, oft-delayed new album. But nothing with Jackson is routine or drama-free. A centerpiece moment at the shows is a Jackson 5 reunion, but after volleys of press releases, it's not clear whether a miffed Jermaine will join in or be replaced by Randy (the former was a member of the Jackson 5, the latter was in the later incarnation called, simply, the Jacksons).

The parents of the group finally weighed in with an odd press release of their own. "This is a family that, despite what you've read and heard throughout the years, has stuck together. ... We are proud of our children and will not stand idle while anyone attempts to separate them."

The parents may not have to worry: A source close to the production said that all the brothers--and superstar sister Janet--will perform together at the second show. "Michael wants them there," the source said, "so they'll be there."

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