Michael Jackson shunned

It seems as though self-crowned King of Pop Michael Jackson is being shunned by the entertainment industry lately.

Several weeks ago, Jackson‘s services were rejected by producers of Tom Hanks‘ TV telethon A Tribute to Heroes, who feared that his performance would have been more about him than the victims. Now, performers are dropping out of his “What More Can I Give?” fundraising song.

Jackson had originally claimed that Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Destiny’s Child, Usher and Mya would be joining him in the studio to record the single. But all have since dropped out, citing various reasons.

According to thisislondon.com, a spokesperson for Spears and Timberlake said that while the stars mean no disrespect to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, “they will not be participating with Michael Jackson.”

While no reason was given why Usher and Mya dropped out, a representative for Destiny’s Child said that although the group had initially agreed to record the song, other scheduling commitments had made it impossible for them to sing with Jackson.

Jackson is now recording the single with what some have described as B-list talent, including Tom Petty, Reba McEntire, Brian McKnight, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and his brother Aaron.

Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger and rock band KISS have also said they will not participate in the Washington, D.C., concert “United We Stand–What More Can I Give?” this Sunday. The concert, which was originally called “United We Stand,” was renamed in honor of the all-star charity single organized by Jackson.

Jagger will, however, be playing at a fundraiser in New York City the night before. KISS, meanwhile, pulled out because lead singer Paul Stanley is facing hip surgery.

ABC plans to televise a two-hour version of the Washington concert on Nov. 1 at 8 p.m., the first day of November sweeps. According to Variety, ABC will preempt Whose Line is It Anyway and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire to air the concert.

“United We Stand–What More Can I Give?” will feature performances by the Backstreet Boys, Aerosmith, Bette Midler, ‘N Sync, Destiny’s Child and Mariah Carey. Jackson will perform his new single, “What More Can I Give?” in an all-star finale.

VH1 plans to air “The Concert for New York” at Madison Square Garden live on Saturday. Featured acts will include Paul McCartney, David Bowie and Elton John as well as U2 singer Bono and U2 guitarist the Edge.