MUMBAI: Madame Tussauds London unveiled Michael Jackson’s 13th waxwork on 9 July, in tribute to the late King of Pop, who died on 25 June. Depicted in the classic performance pose of his ‘This is It’ tour poster – arms outstretched, pelvis thrusting forward, on tip toes with his trade-mark fedora pushed forward – the figure is a celebration of his extraordinary career. Michael Jackson was totally unique and his iconic status made him one of the most popular stars at Madame Tussauds. With 13 figures made for Madame Tussauds London, he is the most featured star ever, with only The Queen having been portrayed more often.
This figure was being made to celebrate his much-anticipated return to the stage. Principal sculptor Stephen Mansfield worked on the waxwork with a team of 20 to create the statue of Jackson. Madame Tussauds created the new figure to mark Jackson’s return to the stage and decided to proceed as planned in tribute to the icon. "As the response to his tragic death has shown, Michael Jackson was one of the most powerful forces in contemporary music and culture and he has remained one of the most popular personalities at Madame Tussauds throughout his career. We enjoyed a very special relationship with Michael and this is the 13th time we have portrayed him – a reflection of that popularity. It was always our intention to make this new figure a celebratory one, signalling his much anticipated return to the stage but also acknowledging all of his incredible achievements.
We hope it will still be a celebration – and a tribute to one of the most innovative and influential entertainers the world has seen," said Madame Tussauds PR manager Liz Edwards. World Michael Jackson Network spokesperson Matt Blank added, "The new wax figure will undoubtedly be very popular among the general public and fans alike. It is in this sad time that people need to share their grief, not just through tears but also through celebrating the life and legacy of the King of Pop. This new figure is a great focus for those to enjoy everything about Michael Jackson, his career and the immense happiness he brought to millions all over the world." Jackson’s new figure was created using information gathered at a sitting the singer gave in 1989, together with extensive photography and research to reflect the ‘This is It’ image. Dressed in trade mark black Fedora, white v-neck t-shirt, sparkly black jacket, white glove, black ankle length trousers, white socks and black loafers, the figure will be situated in a dedicated area in the Music Zone, which will also feature some archive materials depicting the long relationship between the singer and the attraction. It took four months to make the statue, which will first be seen by 25 competition winners. The first fans to see the statue will also be able to watch archive footage of Jackson at sittings for previous waxworks, as well as video of him visiting the tourist attraction when on trips to the capital.