Michael Jackson was one of the 21st century’s greatest sensations. Born and raised in a music-oriented family, he began his professional musical career at the tender age of six in 1964, while performing alongside his elder brothers in the Jackson 5 family group. However, a string of highly controversial accusations dented his image as an entertainer, causing a nose-dive in album sales and eventually leading him into debt. At the time of his death in 2009, his name and image were estimated to be worth about $2,105 by his estate. This is as reported by the Hollywood Reporter. So how did it rise to approximately $1 billion just a couple of years later?
His stake in Sony/ATV
Sony/ATV is presently the world’s biggest music publishing entity. And back in 1985, Michael Jackson had made a particularly well thought out investment after following Paul McCartney’s advice to buy a stake in ATV Music Publishing. He soon after acquired it for $47.5 million. In 1995, he agreed to merge it with Sony Music Publishing. The company later on bought EMI Music Publishing, making it the biggest music publisher in the world, with over three million songs in its catalogue.
They include those from iconic figures and groups such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift. In 2016, Sony bought the “Beat It” singer’s stake in the company, which constituted 50 percent of the corporation for a reported $750 million. The deal helped Michael top the list of the highest earning entertainers in the world. His stake in EMI is still intact as it was a joint venture between him and Sony.
— Oxygen Crime (@OxygenCrime) July 24, 2017
The This Is It Phenomenon
Just days before his death, Michael Jackson had been involved in a series of rehearsals in preparation for scheduled concerts. They were at the time recorded for performance purposes and not for release. But after his demise, the recordings became invaluable, as they showcased his last days. Thus the Michael Jackson’s This Is It concert documentary was born.
Did you know that Michael was the first artist in HISTORY to top the Billboard pop singles, R&B singles, and album charts SIMULTANEOUSLY? pic.twitter.com/MOgr40mUdf
— Michael Jackson (@michaeljackson) August 3, 2017
It included backstage footage, auditions, and instances of him directing performances. The film was made following a deal between the Jackson Estate, Columbia Pictures and AEG Live. It got a phenomenal reception, making it the highest grossing ever of its kind in the world. Today, it holds a box office record of $261.2 million.
[Featured Image by MJ Kim/Getty Images]