Michael Jackson To Play Vegas Strip?

via Reuters

Michael Jackson may relaunch his career as a Las Vegas act, thanks to the private equity group that recently bought the loan on his Neverland Ranch in California to help the pop star avert foreclosure.

The investment firm Colony Capital is discussing with Jackson various repayment options for the $23 million debt, including a possible long-term engagement as the resident performer of a Vegas casino or nightclub, a source familiar with the talks said on Friday.

Colony Capital, based in Los Angeles, owns the Las Vegas Hilton and is a major shareholder in the Station Casinos chain.

The source emphasized that no deal was in place and that a gig for Jackson in Las Vegas, a city of second chances for many faded superstars, was merely one idea under consideration as Colony Capital explores loan repayment scenarios with him.

The talks with Jackson were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which quoted Colony Capital CEO Tom Barrack as saying, “we’ve been having discussions with Mr. Jackson about a recapitalization and refinancing of Neverland in addition to various other business opportunities and mutual interests.”

A Colony Capital spokesman told Reuters the company was not commenting further on the matter. Jackson’s personal spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

Bringing Jackson to Sin City as a performer would mark the biggest step the 49-year-old performer has taken toward a comeback since a child molestation trial left his career, his reputation and financial status in tatters three years ago.

Jackson became a virtual recluse after a California jury acquitted him of all charges in June 2005, moving his place of residence alternately to Ireland, Dubai and Bahrain. He reportedly is now living with his three young children in Pahrump, Nevada, about 60 miles from Las Vegas.

A fleeting “comeback” appearance at a London awards show in 2006 was roundly panned by critics, though a 25th anniversary reissue of his blockbuster “Thriller” album earlier this year posted strong sales.

Still, the mercurial performer known for extravagant spending has by all accounts remained mired in debt.

In a bid to stave off insolvency in 2006, Jackson reached a deal to refinance more than $200 million in loans secured by his prized stake in the Beatles’ song catalog.

Those loans held by the New York private equity firm and hedge fund Fortress Investment Group, which in May sold Jackson’s note on the Neverland Ranch to Colony Capital in a deal that averted foreclosure proceedings on the property.

According to the Journal, Colony is negotiating an arrangement allowing Jackson to delay making payments for the time being in exchange for more money further down the road.

Colony also is urging the singer to sell off Neverland as quickly as possible and to emerge from seclusion in Nevada to launch a career comeback in Vegas, the Journal said.

One idea under discussion, the newspaper reported, was for Colony to install Jackson as a regular performer at one of its hotel-casinos, playing 180 nights a year. Another would be to create a musical extravaganza in which Jackson would appear 20 or 30 times a year, possibly with his brothers.

Colony also is pressing Jackson to go on TV, perhaps on Oprah Winfrey’s show, to make a public statement putting the Neverland Ranch and the controversy connected with it behind him, and to perform in a TV special proving to the world that he can still sing and dance.

12 thoughts on “Michael Jackson To Play Vegas Strip?

  1. simplemente michal jackson eres el mejor y te prometo que voy a acabar con exito lo que tu empezaste lo juro

  2. i miss u micheal jackson more than ever now that those doctors of yours gave u drugs and killed u. this is unfair they only wanted your money.

  3. I hope Michael can rest in peace I love his music and him I can not belive he had anything to do with children because how he was treated when he was a child I love you Michael

  4. michael jackson you are the best
    The king of pop
    für mich warst du ein guter mensch der immer lächelte
    we love you michael 🙂 we love you

  5. Micheal joseph jackson te amo a todo dar y de todo corazon! I will look for you in paradise my beloved brother from another mother. Thank you for all the joy you gave us !

  6. michael jackson eres el rey del pop y siempre lo seras porque nadie puede remplazarte esres lo maximo que descances en paz porque lo mereces que dios te vendiga michael jackson que dios te vendiga nunca te olvidaremos…..

  7. I love Michael Jackson more than anybody in this whole wide world and i almost died to when i heard that he died i love him so much and i guess god just wanted him to go it was gods will for him to only live for those 50 years and we will all miss him so much all of his fans will and i fell the pain for the jackson family and his kids not having an daddy i would know i love Michael Jackson so much its just so sad that he died and i hope he has an good life in heaven where he should of been all along and god gave Michael Jackson the talent to sing and know he will be singing still just for the angels and god and he will always be in our hearts he did so much for the world and he loved kids no matter what anybody in this whole wide world ever said about him there just jeaouls and i fell sad for all his fans and im one of them he loves us all and we need to keep his history alive and i hope we do WE LOVE YOU MICHAEL JACKSON HOPE YOU HAVE AN GREAT AWSOME GOOD TIME IN HEAVEN WERE YOU ALWAYS NEEDED TO BE LOVE YOU MICHAEL JACKSON R.I.P. REST.IN.PEACE BABY.

  8. michael jackson siempre sera un icono en la musica pop y siempre estara en el corazon de las personas, perduraondo en el tiempo

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