After all the chest-beating and back-and-forth over whether he would sing for the Grammys or the rival American Music Awards, pop star Michael Jackson will end up having performed on neither. A spokesman for the Grammy-sponsoring National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences said the “Gloved One” will not be performing on Wednesday night’s live CBS telecast of the music industry’s highest honors.
Asked whether Jackson declined an offer to appear or whether he was never invited to begin with, the spokesman, Ron Roecker, said he did not know.
Jackson’s manager referred queries to his label, Epic Records, but his representatives could not be reached for comment.
The self-styled “king of pop” initially backed out of a performance at the American Music Awards in January, presumably because of a longstanding Grammy edict precluding talent from appearing on both shows in a single year.
Jackson’s decision prompted American Music Awards producer Dick Clark to file a $10 million lawsuit against Grammys boss Michael Greene for unfair competition.
As a compromise, Jackson then agreed to appear on Clark’s show to accept an “Artist of the Century” award and to submit a newly produced video clip of his 1988 song “Man in the Mirror.” But his representatives mysteriously asked American Music Award organizers to pull it at the last minute.
While Jackson is nominated for best male pop vocal performance for his new single, “You Rock My World,” it remains unclear whether he will be in the audience to collect his Grammy if he wins.
Two other Jacksons definitely will figure in the show. His sister, Janet Jackson, is slated to be a presenter. And country star Alan Jackson, no relation to the reclusive moonwalker, will perform.