A musical biography of Michael Jackson's life will be staged in 20 centres throughout New Zealand in March.
HIStory: This Is It is an opportunity for Jackson fans to witness a concert they may never have experienced and to relive memories of the iconic singer. The concert is the product of 25 years of dedication by celebrated Las Vegas performer Kenny Wizz who has championed Michael Jackson's genius.
HIStory: This Is It is begins its nationwide tour in Timaru on Tuesday 1 March and heads from Invercargill to Kerikeri. With Wizz as Michael Jackson, together with a band of talented musicians, fully choreographed dancers and authentic costumes , HIStory This is It is the recreation of what fans want but can never again see - a Michael Jackson concert.
This musical biography will take fans right back to the Jackson 5 era before continuing on a thrilling journey to the current decade. Hit after hit tells the story of one of the greatest pop icons the world has ever known. In all, HIStory: This Is It features more than 20 songs performed live by Kenny Wizz.
Repeatedly described as a musical juggernaut, Jackson's influence on popular culture and music is virtually unparalleled. Besides his inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Hollywood Walk of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, Jackson held 13Grammy awards and 26 American Music Awards including "Artist of the Century".
His roll of accolades, however, is almost too massive to mention, and for most the focus weighs more heavily on the music Jackson has shared since the 1960s. Songs such as ABC, Ben, Smooth Criminal, Beat It and many more will be performed on the upcoming HIStory tour, providing a flawless live experience.
A year after the King of Pop's death his popularity has reached epic proportions. Fans continue to grapple with their loss in a multitude of ways, such as contributing to the 8.2 million Jackson albums sold just in 2009. Along with the cinema release of This Is It, DVDs, merchandise and games, Billboard estimated that Jackson generated more than $1 billion in revenue since his death.
But seasoned performer Kenny Wizz isn't simply riding the surging wave of Jackson's popularity. HIStory is the result of more than two decades perfecting "the art of sharing MJ".
Wizz was shattered by Jackson's death in June 2009 and closed his act down despite calls from fans to continue.
"My decision [to return] was more about giving back to fans rather than making money," he said.
Wizz feels Jackson's death has made concert-goers more critical of his performances. "It's more difficult because my act is observed through a microscope now he's gone. People want the closest thing possible."
The rampant popularity of recreation concerts is driven by their ability to transport a person to a time and place they once loved and it's a founding principle of the success of Showtime Presents, the producer behind the immensely popular concert series Queen - It's a Kinda Magic, who will bring the HIStory This is It tour to New Zealand.
Kenny Wizz is known to be one of the best Michael Jackson impersonators in the entire world and was just 20 when Michael Jackson's career exploded with the release of the pivotal album 'Thriller'.
During that time, Wizz's strong resemblance to Jackson heralded the start of a long career as a conduit for Jackson music. His regular performances in Atlantic City gratified audiences and allowed him to perfect his act. After tours in Europe and Asia, Wizz settled in Las Vegas where his show was signed for 11 years at the Riviera Hotel and Casino.
Wizz feels it's almost time to hang up his Glitter gloves, and will do so in about four years' time. For now, however, the legend continues, with Jackson's extraordinary musical legacy set to live under a dazzling spotlight.
HIStory This is It opens in Timaru on Tuesday 1 March with concert dates following in Invercargill, Dunedin, Christchurch, Oamaru, Ashburton, Nelson, Blenheim, Wellington, Whanganui, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Taupo, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Gisborne, Napier, Whangarei, Kerikeri and Auckland. For more details visit www. mjhistoryshow.com.
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