Jackie, Marlon and Tito joined Japanese singer AI to record a song titled “Letter in the Sky feat. The Jacksons” for a pair of tribute concerts being held in Tokyo on Dec. 13 and 14. “Letter in the Sky feat. The Jacksons,” is set to be released on Dec. 14, the second day of “Michael Jackson Tribute Live” in Tokyo.
In 2010, Ai Uemura, better known in Japan as pop singer AI, was taken to Los Angeles as part of a Music On! TV program. In that show, AI interviewed the Jackson family and the team behind the abandoned “This Is It” series of concerts that were to be held in London and were billed as Michael’s comeback performances.
AI developed such a rapport with the family that Michael’s mother, Katherine, wrote her a letter to show her appreciation of AI’s love for Michael and his music. AI returned a letter to Katherine, which began an exchange that eventually led to the announcement of the Tokyo tribute shows.
“Naturally, I was nervous when I first met them,” AI says of meeting the famous family. “It was totally unexpected that they would participate in the show and I’m full of gratitude toward them. The whole family has been wonderful.”
“We had a wonderful time,” Jackie said of the recording. “It was the first time we’ve ever rolled cameras in a studio at the same time as doing the vocals — like a reality (TV) show. Right after that, we shot (the rest of) the music video on the same day, so the spirit in the room was great.”
Conceived as a theme song to the tribute shows and co-composed by the Jackson brothers, AI describes the piece as “rather than being a sad song, we took the lyrical concept of writing a letter to Michael and then backed it with an uplifting melody.”