Alynda Wheat
July 13, 2009 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Joe Jackson is stoking controversy again. The father of late pop icon Michael Jackson, who died of undetermined causes June 25 at age 50, told ABC News today that his son was not physically capable of performing the 50 shows slated for his This Is It comeback concerts in London. “I was worried about his health because all the shows that I’m seeing—no artist can do those many shows you know, back to back like that,” said he elder Jackson, who’s been criticized for comments he’s made in the wake of his son’s shocking death. “I knew Michael couldn’t do all those shows.” Joe Jackson asserts that the singer initially agreed to do only 10 shows, but that concert promoter AEG Live added dates when the concert series proved enormously popular. In a statement released today AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips acknowledged that tour dates were added, but put the initial figure closer to 31. (AEG previously released video footage of Jackson rehearsing for the concerts just days before his death, moving a bit slower than he had in the past but seeming ready to perform.) Phillips also maintained that with the concerts spread out until February of next year the pace would have been manageable for Jackson. “If [50] was too many, then one would have been too many,” he said. The King of Pop’s This Is It tour was slated to begin today.

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