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Chris Brown Rides Michael Jackson's Coattails to a Comeback

Natalie Cole, Chris Brown, Mary J Blidge, Michael Jackson F Micelotta/American Idol 2009/Getty Images, Kevin Mazur/Getty Images, Mark Ralson/Getty Images, Carlo Allegri/ Getty Images

As if Chris Brown didn't already owe enough of his career to Michael Jackson.

The forgetful avowed abuser, who in his pre-Rihanna beating days was widely tipped to be the next M.J. (at least dance-wise), is leading the pack of performers set to honor the King of Pop at a tribute concert in Vienna Sept. 26.

The event—which incidentally will double as Brown's comeback, marking his first public performance since the February attack—is being organized by Jermaine Jackson, who today announced the first round of performers taking part in the bash at the imperial Schoenbrunn Palace.

All told, 20-25 artists are expected to take part in the "very special tribute," which Jackson said would feature "unforgettable music, as well as [shed] light on this wonderful humanitarian."

Forget the world, Brown would settle for healing his career.

In addition to Brown, Mary J. Blige, Akon, Natalie Cole, Sister Sledge, German boy band US5, and Angela Bassett, who once played Katherine Jackson in a TV biopic of the family, are set to attend. While the rumored likes of Whitney Houston and Madonna weren't among the names announced this morning, organizers insist the final lineup isn't set.

Those performers who do show will play some of Michael's greatest hits before an expected audience of 65,000 at the venue and millions more tuning into the international broadcast.

Sometime during the show, Jermaine himself will also take to the stage and perform a virtual duet with Michael, which no doubt will be the emotional highlight of the night and, per Jackson, a "magic moment for all who loved his music."

More acts, including "major Bollywood names" and Middle Eastern acts, will be announced in the coming days.

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Take a look back at the King of Pop's first and most star-studded memorial in our Mourning Michael Jackson gallery.

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