Michael Jackson Announces 'Final Curtain'

Michael Jackson Announces 'Final Curtain'
Michael Jackson
Dave Hogan/Getty

updated 03/05/2009 at 01:00 PM EST

originally published 03/05/2009 01:50PM

With a series of hands-to-his-heart gestures, repeated expressions of "I love you" and a glitzed-up military-style jacket adorning him as he stood before a crowd of about 2,000 fans, Michael Jackson held a Thursday news conference in London to announce his much-expected return to the stage.

Jackson, 50, said his comeback will also be his last ever London concerts – a series of 10 performances at the city's O2 Arena this summer.

"I will be performing the songs my fans want to hear," he told the gathering. "This is it. This is really it. This is the final curtain. I will see you in July."

Show organizers promise "an explosive return" of the star with a band of the "highest calibre, state-of-the-art stage show and incredible surprise support acts."

Jackson's announcement – captured by hundreds of cell phones held by fans in the shopping mall at the Arena – took place more than 90 minutes later than was originally scheduled, with the star's moment on the simple stage heralded by a medley of songs, from "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" to "Billie Jean," played on a video that was also late in appearing.

Tickets for the gigs, which kick off on July 8, go on sale from Monday at MichaelJacksonLive.com, and fans can register for a pre-sale starting Thursday – the same day news reports circulated that Jackson is suing an auction house involved in selling some artifacts from his Neverland ranch.

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