Michael Jackson’s “We Are The World” and Luciano Pavarotti in concert

We have been looking at the “Michael Jackson and friends” concerts over the last few days and if you take a look at the official poster you will see a list of performers. That list includes: Nigel Kennedy, Scorpions, Elizabeth Taylor and via satellite, Rod Stewart. The head liner of the show WITH Michael Jackson, second on the bill is none other than “Luciano Pavarotti”.

You can take a closer look at the poster here.

The interesting thing is, is that none of the above were involved in any of the “Michael Jackson and friends” concerts. There certainly was no Pavarotti, even though he was billed as one of the highlights of the show.

The whole concept of these shows were very similar to “Pavarotti and friends”, a concert series which Pavarotti performed yearly with a variety of pop stars from around the world. He performed it in his hometown in Italy: Modena. Proceeds of the show were donated to the charity “War child”

Michael Jackson and Pavarotti to perform together

In 1997, Michael appeared as a special guest with Luciano Pavarotti and announced his intention to perform at a charity concert with Luciano Pavarotti. He came out to his new song at the time “Blood on the dance floor” and he was looking good. Michael said, of the concert project;

“I … yeah, so the idea was to have Pavarotti and myself as the protagonist to announce it to the world and pretty much organise a cavalcade of stars to support us to sing this wonderful song and all the proceeds would go to the children of the world”

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was already performing in Milan on the History tour and he announces an appearance the day before the 18th June concert with the 3 tenors in Modena, “The 3 tenors, on the 17th June in Modena … and I wanted to join them”. Here is a video of the Michael Jackson appearance and the tenor:

During the same show the fans went crazy for Michael even more:

“We are the world” live in Modena, Italy, 17th June 1997

Did you notice something?

The stars of this performance include (in alphabetical order):

Ars Canto G. Verdi, B.B. King, Boyzone, Gianni Morandi, Gloria Estefan, Guatemala Choir, Joe Cocker, José Molina, Laura Pausini, Lionel Richie, Luciano Pavarotti, Mariah Carey, Marianne Tatum, Melanie Daniels, Orchestra Sinfonica Italiana, Pino Palladino, Renato Zero, Ricky Martin, Rob Mathes, Robbie Kondor, Shawn Pelton, Trey Lorenz & Zucchero

There is one name missing … where is Michael Jackson!?

Michael Jackson didn’t perform “We are the world” with Pavarotti

Michael Jackson didn’t attend the concert in the end. There was a last minute cancellation and if my memory serves me right, it was because his new born child was ill. I also remember a press conference at the time with Pavarotti and Mariah Carey wishing Michael the best.

This is a very similar situation to the 1999 concert. In the end, they never did go on to perform together.

The actual recording of the song from the concert was recorded and released around Europe … I actually heard it in a car in the middle of Croatia at 5.30am in the morning, thinking that I was still asleep!

So it was never, after all the announcements, never to be. A pity.

By Anthony King (c)

DVDs! How To Dance Like Michael Jackson! anthony-king.com

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