When it was announced in February, the June 23 concert at the O2 Arena was marketed as “Quincy Jones Presents ‘Off the Wall,’ ‘Thriller,’ ‘Bad,’” promising “three iconic albums performed back to back with live symphony orchestra.” The show is to be hosted by Jones, with appearances by unnamed guest stars.
But the gig is now being billed as “Quincy Jones Presents Soundtrack of the 80s: Iconic Sounds & Defining Albums.” Hits by Jackson, including “P.Y.T.,” “Off the Wall” and “Man in the Mirror,” are still featured prominently on the playlist, but songs by other artists such as Patti Austin and James Ingram are now also mentioned.
The show was announced just as controversy resurfaced around Jackson as a result of the documentary “Leaving Neverland,” in which two men detail the sexual abuse they allege they were subjected to as boys by the singer. In Britain, the documentary was shown on free-to-air Channel 4 in early March, and broke streaming records for the broadcaster. Jackson fans protested the showing of the film and mounted a short-lived ad campaign against it on the sides of London buses.
Jones said then that he was excited at returning to the O2 after a successful show last year. ““I had an absolutely beautiful time celebrating my 85th birthday with all-a-y’awl in London at The O2 last year, and I’m looking forward to doing it again this year, except this time, in honour of ‘Off The Wall’, ‘Bad’, and ‘Thriller,’” Jones said in a statement. “It’s an absolute dream to present this music live, so I hope you’ll come join me for a hang-thang! It’s time to rock wit y’awl!”
It’s unclear when Jones’ show was re-branded. The legendary producer tweeted a poster for the concert last Friday with the new wording.