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Michael Jackson's still a big hit with Brits

Tickets for Michael Jackson's 50 London concerts sold out within hours of becoming available, organizers said Friday. For Ayesha Obi — who, having waited since Wednesday, was first in line — the experience was a thriller. "He is a legend and I love his message to the world," Obi, a 19-year-old student, said outside the O2 Arena in south London. "I've been hoping that he would perform live again."

Last chance?

The shows are scheduled to kick off in July and stretch into February. The pop singer has said the series, titled "This Is It," will be his last in the British capital.

What a payday!

After 360,000 advance tickets sold out earlier last week, roughly 500,000 tickets were made available Friday, organizers said. Hundreds of people waited outside the arena for the chance to buy them. Tickets were priced between $70 and $105 — but some went for hundreds of dollars on Internet auction sites.

Does he need the cash?

The 50-year-old singer has struggled to pay his debts and has been seen in public infrequently since he was acquitted of child molestation charges in California in 2005. He was forced last year to give up the deed to Neverland, his 2,500-acre ranch and miniature amusement park in California.

What about the rest of us?

While Jackson has said the shows will be his last in London, there has been speculation they could be part of a world tour. Jackson, who has sold more than 750 million albums and won 13 Grammys, hasn't undertaken a major tour since 1997 or released an album of new material since 2001.

More MJ on TV

The British TV talent show The X Factor is reportedly racing to book Jackson on one of its live programs. Britney Spears, Mariah Carey and Beyonce all made appearances on the program. The reality show's boss, Simon Cowell, believes the King of Pop can outshine them all, reports the Daily Mirror.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Michael Jackson's still a big hit with Brits 03/15/09 [Last modified: Sunday, March 15, 2009 11:01pm]
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