How Much Money Has Michael Jackson Made Since His Death?
|Net Worth||Over $2 Billion|
|DOB||Aug 29, 1958|
|Age||50 (at the time of death)|
|Profession||Entertainer, Singer-songwriter, Musician, Choreographer, Record producer, Actor, Businessperson, Film Producer, Dancer|
Michael Jackson's net worth
Michael Jackson, an iconic American artist, was a singer, songwriter, actor, producer, and philanthropist. Upon his passing, his net worth was negative $500 million due to a history of excessive spending and borrowing. Despite this, his estate has managed to accumulate over $2 billion in the decade after his demise. Notably, his record sales exceeded 750 million albums with 35 million sold in the year after his death, as per Celebrity Net Worth.
According to recently audited records, posthumous business dealings have brought in an average of $360 million a year, equating to more than $2 billion since he died. "As of December 31, 2021, the estate generated gross earnings exceeding $2 billion," a lawyer for the estate said.
Negative net worth at death
Michael Jackson's net worth at his death stood at a staggering negative $500 million. To fund his extravagant lifestyle, he borrowed $380 million from Bank of America, leveraging his 50% stake in Sony/ATV. The annual interest on this loan was in the tens of millions. Within a short span, he managed to exhaust the entire $380 million along with an extra $120 million, resulting in his $500 million debt upon his passing in 2009.
Jackson's music catalog was his most valuable asset when he died—estimated to be around $100M. Alongside his own songs, it included tracks from artists like The Beatles. He started with Sly and the Family Stone in the 1980s and added classics like "Great Balls of Fire." His major success was buying The Beatles' ATV Music in 1984 for $47.5 million. This combined with Sony to become Sony/ATV, now valued at $2-4 billion.
Buying the Beatles
In 1984, Jackson's lawyer John Branca found out about the ATV catalog's sale and approached Jackson who owned The Beatles Album. Without budget restrictions, Jackson authorized a winning bid of $47.5 million, outdoing offers up to $40 million (equivalent to about $115 million today).
Following the acquisition, Jackson gained the freedom to license Beatles songs. In 1987, he did just that, licensing "Revolution" to Nike for $500,000. Out of this deal, Jackson received $250,000 while McCartney and Lennon, still holding songwriter's royalties, each earned $125,000.
Music publishing ventures
In 1995, Sony offered Michael $95 million to merge ATV Music with their catalog, creating Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Michael gained 50% ownership and kept control of his songs through Mijac Music. By 2013, Sony/ATV had 200,000 songs, including Lady Gaga. In 2012, it earned $1.25 billion from licensing and had a $500 million income. It's now worth $2-4 billion.
Financial journey: From earnings to debt
In his lifetime, Michael Jackson earned approximately $500 million from his music, concerts, videos and endorsements. However, by 2009, he was essentially burdened with a $500 million debt. Jackson's lavish lifestyle left him financially depleted as he consistently spent $30 to $50 million annually. This led to substantial unpaid bills with his legal team, agents and publicists. Notable instances include:
Neverland Ranch: $17 million purchase, $5 million annual maintenance
Lawsuit Settlement: $20 million for child molestation case
Video Projects: $65 million on various video projects, including "Ghosts"
Divorce Settlement: $12 million settlement with Debbie Rowe
Interest Payments: $5 million annual interest on debts
Splurging: Tens of millions on Bentleys, antiques, art, clothes, chimps, diamond gloves, and more
Who inherited Michael Jackson's estate?
Michael Jackson's will designated 40% of his assets to his three children, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Paris Jackson, and Prince Michael Jackson II, split equally. An additional 20% went to children's charities, and the remaining 40% was for his mother, Katherine Jackson. When Katherine passes, that 40% shifts to his kids, meaning his three children will ultimately share 80% of the estate.
Michael Jackson bought Neverland Ranch in 1987 for $19.5 million (around $44 million in today's dollars). He transformed the property into a fantasy land with an amusement park, animals and a working train. The centerpiece is a 12,600 sq ft mansion with 5 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, a dance studio, and a 50-person movie theater. Despite hosting notable events like Kim Kardashian's birthday and Elizabeth Taylor's wedding, financial difficulties arose after legal troubles in 1993 and 2003. Jackson's declining income led to a $25 million debt on the property. Finally, in December 2020, billionaire Ron Burkle purchased Neverland for $22 million.
Social media following
In his career, he achieved 834 awards, which included 13 Grammys, 26 American Music Awards, and an induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He also held an impressive 39 Guinness World Records, including the title of the Most Successful Music Entertainer of All-Time.
How did Michael Jackson die?
On June 25, 2009, Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles, California, at age 50.
Who owns Michael Jackson's music?
Sony acquired Jackson's stake in 2016.
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