By 2009, it has been nearly twelve years since Michael Jackson embarked on a concert tour. But on March 5th, it seemed that a return to the stage would be in order.
In front of over 300 reporters, and thousands of screaming fans, Jackson announced his This Is It Tour. In his statement, he announced that the ten performances (which later jumped to fifty), would be the singer’s final performances. Public interest was immediate, as over a million pre-sale tickets were sold in 24 hours, and sales of Jackson’s albums also increased with Thriller and Off the Wall both having the highest percentage at 200%.
Preparations for the concerts began in early June, and Jackson rehearsed for the numbers that would be performed in the shows including “Smooth Criminal”, “Wanna Be Startin’ Something”, “Thriller”, and “The Way You Make Me Feel”. But unfortunately, This Is It would never get off the ground. On June 25th, Jackson died from cardiac arrest at the age of 50. The first planned show would have been underway eighteen days later, and the O2 arena would soon begin issuing refunds for tickets buyers. While This Is It would be the concert tour it would never be, it would live on in another realm.
As it was soon discovered there was over 100 hours of footage of preparations and rehearsals, Columbia Pictures released Michael Jackson’s This Is It in October 2009, to worldwide critical and commercial acclaim. Also released was the accompanying soundtrack, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album charts, and sold over ten million copies worldwide, both further enlightening the musical legacy Jackson left behind.