It had to happen eventually: With no work coming his way, Michael Jackson, sources say, has agreed to do a tour with sister Janet and his brothers.
I'm told that Michael reluctantly met with his siblings on Monday in Las Vegas. Sisters Janet and Rebbie, as well as Jermaine, Randy, Marlon, Tito and Jackie, all knocked on Jackson's Las Vegas door around 7:30 p.m. Nanny Grace Rwaramba, who runs the door, made them wait between 30 and 60 minutes before allowing the brood in.
What was discussed was the family's financial situation and the fact that Jackson has so far been unable to get work in Vegas. Sources say concert promoter Leonard Rowe of Atlanta, who worked with the Jacksons in the 1980s, was there and made a proposal: a family tour with all members.
The weird thing is, Michael seemed to understand what was happening.
That's good, too, because Jackson is still "radioactive," according to those familiar with the casino business. For example: The owner of one big casino hotel in the Caribbean recently told his chief executive to make sure Jackson was not invited to a big music event being arranged there this summer.
A successful Jackson family tour could change all that for Michael. It would also be a financial boon to a family that needs cash in a hurry. Jackson recently took a new mortgage on his parents' home, and his own home — the Neverland Valley Ranch — is in hoc to the tune of $25 million. Jackson himself relies on cash from royalties on his own songs. But that only comes to a maximum of $7 million a year. As described in court testimony, Jackson could go through that kind of money in just a couple of weeks.
The tour idea also works for Janet Jackson, whose last two albums have been huge duds. The idea of Michael and Janet performing a couple of duets, or Janet's brothers backing her on her own hits, would be a tantalizing notion to any promoter.
The question remains: If Michael agreed, will he go through with it?