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Michael Jackson searches for sign language choir of every race

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The artist, knowing his fans expect something special when he returns to the stage for the first time in years, has issued an audition call with very specific requirements for his backing singers. Michael, seen here in LA where he's rehearsing, wants choristers to sign as they perform
 Photo: © Rex

10 JUNE 2009

When you're planning one of the biggest comebacks of all time it pays not to leave any detail to chance, as Michael Jackson is well aware.

Ever the perfectionist, the Thriller singer has laid out a list of precise requirements for the youth choir which will join him on stage for 50 dates at London's O2 arena.

An audition call has been issued through his promoters AEG Live asking for singers who are able to communicate in sign language. They must range in age from five to 13.

And, perhaps keen to resurrect the image of multi-racial unity he was associated during the We Are The World era of the Eighties, the king of pop has also stipulated that the choristers be made up of "exactly equal" numbers of black, white and Asian children.

An e-mail to casting agents, seen by the Daily Mirror, is even clearer on the subject of auditions for six marching snare-drummers.

They must be "young adults, clean-cut and of mixed ethnicity", says the note. Its adds: "They must be real drummers so please do not waste our time suggesting people who are not".

Auditions will be held next week in London and the children will be paid for their time. No past professional experience is needed for the choir.

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