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Could London Have Brought Jackson Back?

Michael Jackson - and those backing him - had hoped London would be the place where he'd moonwalk his way to financial salvation.

That won't happen now. But there were a lot of people who, even before Jackson's death, frankly doubted it would ever happen.

There was one key phrase that Michael Jackson kept repeating about his planned London concerts: "This is it! I mean this is it!"

As one music writer put it, London is where Jackson hoped to put his financial "Humpty" back together again. Everybody knew he needed the money.

Many doubted he'd actually perform the 50 concerts for which tickets were being sold, but that didn't stop people buying them. Within five hours of becoming available, 800,000 tickets had sold.

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His managers weren't shy about what the planned concert series was all about.

"I'm not going to pretend it's not about money," said Randy Phillips, Jackson's concert promoter. "Money is important."

The Wall Street Journal reports that Jackson was roughly $500 million in debt, though his partnership with Sony/ATV Music Publishing is worth nearly $1 billion. The money is held in a trust, protected from creditors, the Journal reports, adding that it may take months to figure out if his assets are worth more than the debts he owed.

A lifestyle inadequately described as lavish and numerous lawsuits had taken their toll. No one, it is said, really understood Michael Jackson's finances, including Michael Jackson. But his outgoings had long overtaken his income.

The murkiness about Jackson's affairs even extended to what he was going to do during his fifty London shows.

The London concerts had already been postponed by a week before he died. But there was talk of a mega-Asian tour to follow, and a triumphant return to the U.S. in 2011.

Now, we'll never know if any of that was really going to happen.

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