Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Wednesday | July 22, 2009
Home : Entertainment
Tito still confirmed for Sumfest
Following conflicting reports on the Jackson brothers performing at Reggae Sumfest, one of the shows directors, Robert Russell, told The Gleaner yesterday that Tito Jackson is the only one confirmed to perform on Saturday night at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre, Montego Bay.

At a hurriedly called press conference last week Thursday at the Hilton hotel, Sumfest organisers announced that Tito and Jackie Jackson, brothers of pop icon Michael Jackson, would perform. Popular celebrity website TMZ.com later reported that Jermaine Jackson denied the brothers would be performing at Sumfest. In an interview with E! Online, Jermaine insisted that the family was not jetting out to the island.

"No. TMZ need to get their facts straight. We're not going to Jamaica," he was quoted as saying.

Russell told The Gleaner Jackie withdrew from performing because of an illness, but Tito and his band are still confirmed to perform on Saturday and they arrive in the island on Friday. He also said there are ongoing negotiations to have the other brothers perform along with Tito.

"It (negotiations) is evolving as we speak," said Russell. "We are awaiting confirmation from the others and, hopefully, can make an announcement tomorrow (today)."

Late Monday night, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports issued a release on Tito's performance. It said that Prime Minister Bruce Golding spoke with Tito and that the ministry was in receipt of correspondence confirming his performance.

"Mr Tito Jackson along with his band are looking forward to performing at Reggae Sumfest," the ministry quoted publicist Steve Manning as saying.

Golding also extended a general invitation to other family members to vacation in Jamaica "in their time of bereavement."

"Mr Jackie Jackson along with his wife were thrilled by the invitation of your Honourable Prime Minister Golding to visit Jamaica for some well-needed rest and relaxation after the loss of their beloved brother Michael ... . Michael's mother, Katherine, with her grandchildren and other members of the family, would be honoured to take up the Prime Minister's offer to visit Jamaica, at a later date," the release quoted Manning as saying.

Condolence books

The ministry said condolence books were opened for signing by Michael Jackson fans at the Institute of Jamaica and that they would be presented to the family when they arrive in the island.

Russell said Reggae Sumfest would present a Lifetime Achievement Award, in honour of Michael, to Tito.

The ministry added in a press release, "The family is also to make a presentation to the prime minister, at the festival, in appreciation of the expression of love and affection by the Jamaican people."

Shortly after Michael's death of a cardiac arrest on June 25, Sumfest organisers said they were dedicating the show to the music icon.

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