Investors Plot Comeback for Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson performs on stage during his 'HIStory' world tour in November 1996. Phil Walter/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Phil Walter/Getty Images

Private-equity firms are known for taking calculated risks — they are frequently willing to invest when the rest of the market is afraid to. That courage extends to the entertainment business, where one group is said to have eyes on a Michael Jackson revival.

Colony Capital, which owns the Las Vegas Hilton and is a major shareholder in Station Casinos, is reportedly in talks with Jackson about bringing a show to Las Vegas.

Wall Street Journal reporter Ethan Smith says Colony's plan for rehabilitating Jackson's career includes an Oprah appearance, a public statement emphasizing his acquittal on child molestation charges and a charity performance. The firm is also urging the singer to sell his Neverland Ranch. Jackson moved out of the ranch following his long legal battle, but those close to him say he still has hopes of turning it into a family-oriented theme park.

This isn't the first time someone has tried to revive the King of Pop's career, but Colony has some major leverage — its members have purchased a $23 million loan, backed by Jackson's Neverland Ranch. Jackson defaulted on the loan and was facing foreclosure before Colony stepped in.

Smith says that because of Jackson's "flighty" nature, the show likely couldn't happen on the scale of Celine Dion's "A New Day." Instead, it would be more of a tribute show in which Jackson occasionally appears. "They are thinking rather than 180 nights a year, it would be more like 20 nights a year," Smith says. "They want him to show up on stage."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.