Michael Jackson would have been pleased. In the year since his tragic death, he has sold more albums than any other recording artist. His estate is making boat loads of money and he is more popular than ever. The comeback he had sought is incredibly successful even though sadly, he is not around to reap the benefits. His children, Prince, Paris and Blanket seem to be thriving under their grandmother’s care. Michael Jackson is finally starting to be understood and appreciated for the unique, talented human being that he was rather than the sensational, freakish and ridiculed “Wacko Jacko” portrayed in the media.
It’s ironic that without his prolific spending, Michael Jackson’s estate has made more money after his death than the singer could have made with the series of concerts he was planning last year. Despite initial objections by Katherine Jackson, the late singer’s mother, co-executors John Branca and John McClain have done a spectacular job shepherding the estate which has generated more than $250 million in income. “When we met with him before he died we went through an agenda,” McClain told the Associated Press. “We’re doing the things we think Michael would have wanted.”
The $5 million mortgage on the Jackson family Encino compound has been paid as well as $70 million of the singer’s debts. The interest payments on the remaining debts are being covered by the estate’s cash income. A deal with Sony, for Michael Jackson’s unreleased recordings, has generated $125 million so far, half of the total of the past year’s earnings, and guarantees $200 million over seven years. “This is It,” the documentary based on rehearsal footage for the ill-fated concert tour, has made $252 million worldwide, giving the estate $60 million, not including DVD sales. Even the estate’s 50 % share in the Sony Beatles catalog has produced $11 million. A Cirque du Soleil show based on Jackson’s music, is planned for 2011.
In fact, in the year since Michael Jackson died from an overdose of propofal, he has sold 8.3 million albums in the U.S., topping the 4.6 million album total by Taylor Swift. Worldwide, Michael Jackson has sold a whopping 31 million albums since his death on June 25, 2009.
Jackson’s finances are finally under control and expected to produce enough future income to provide for his mother, his children and for children’s charities he designated in his will. Like Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson will most certainly continue to earn huge sums after his death.
But while the King of Pop finally put his finances into capable hands, we are reminded that one year ago, he unwisely put his life in the hands of an distracted and irresponsible doctor, who has still not been given the dose of justice that he richly deserves.