Jackson takes NASDAQ's center stage to promote NYC concerts

NEW YORK: "King of Pop" Michael Jackson reigned over the opening

ceremonies of the NASDAQ last Thursday in a rare public appearance to

promote his two much-hyped Madison Square Garden concerts this week.



David Weild, the exchange's EVP, said in a statement that the NASDAQ

recognizes Jackson's "extraordinary vision and commitment to excellence

in the entertainment industry, as well as being a humanitarian."



A few minutes before the 9:30am opening, Jackson appeared at the closed

ceremony wearing a black outfit. Outside, throngs of fans watched the

event in Times Square via the exchange's seven-story video wall.



After the opening, NASDAQ officials wheeled out a birthday cake for the

star, who turned 43 that day, and presented him with a poster of Shirley

Temple.



Weild and NASDAQ vice chairman Alfred R. Berkeley III are chairmen of

the 30th anniversary concerts, along with celebrities such as Elizabeth

Taylor, Whitney Houston, and Liza Minelli. The NASDAQ pair will host a

star-studded dinner and carnival in Jackson's honor at Tavern on the

Green after the September 7 concert.



This appearance marks Jackson's second trading-floor visit this year. In

January, he went on a private tour of the New York Stock Exchange.



Michael Jackson is represented by Howard Rubenstein.



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