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Jackson to receive Diamond Award

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

London (Reuters): Michael Jackson, a virtual recluse since his acquittal of child molestation charges in June last year, will make a rare public appearance at an awards ceremony in London next month, organisers said. The U S pop star is due to receive the Diamond Award designed to honour artists who have sold more than 100 million albums. Previous recipients include Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Bon Jovi and Celine Dion.

The prize is part of the annual World Music Awards to be held at Earls Court on November 15. The awards are based purely on record sales, rather than popular votes or judges' panels. It will be his first public appearance in the UK for nine years.

''We are thrilled to be bringing the World Music Awards to London, the music capital of the world,'' said Melissa Corken, founder and executive producer of the awards yesterday. ''The UK is the home of many of the world's greatest selling artists of all time. The presence of Michael Jackson is very exciting for us.'' Jackson, 48, has spent time in Bahrain, Ireland and France since the child molestation case ended, and has said he planned to move to Europe in a bid to resurrect his musical career.

The awards coincide with the 25th anniversary of Jackson's groundbreaking album ''Thriller'', which has sold more than 40 million copies since its release in 1981. U S actress Lindsay Lohan will be hosting the awards show, and Beyonce, Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli will be performing on the night.

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