Michael Jackson was one of the most famous musical artists in history. His net worth stands at $600 million today. However, at the time of his death in 2009, his estate’s net worth was roughly equal to its debts. Reports from credible sources have revealed that the pop icon’s estate bounced back from the brink of bankruptcy earning almost $2 billion since 2009 when he met his untimely death. And if all the expenses incurred in running Michael Jackson’s estate- $1.2 billion as well as taxes- $350 million are taken into account, the net worth of his estate is estimated to be about $450 million.
Michael Jackson Net Worth: How he made his money
Michael Jackson’s most valuable asset was actually his music catalogue. The copyright value of his own songs was estimated to be $100 million. However, he made most of his money from other artist’s songs, particularly those from “The Beatles”.
Michael started owning music rights in the early 80’s when he bought the catalogues of “Sly and the Family Stone”. Thereafter, he purchased a series of classic singles, including “Shake Rattle and Roll”, “Runaround Sue”, “Great Balls of Fire”, “When a Man Loves a Woman”, among others. His greatest break came in November 1984 when he bought the Beatles catalogue ATV music for $47.5 million. Later on, the Beatles catalogue was merged with Sony in a 50/50 joint venture known as Sony/ATV. It is estimated to be worth $2 billion today.
Michael Jackson had sold 98 million units of his own albums in the US alone. In 2009, he sold 24 million albums outside of the United States. The total amount generated out of these sales amounted to about $383 million.
Per reports, Michael Jackson’s estate got a tremendous boost from the sale of 50 million albums, sold during the ‘Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour’
In addition, his estate got another big boost from the film ‘This Is It’. This movie has made over $500 million. It was actually recorded through the help of Michael Jackson’s lawyers after combing through thousands of hours of his personal home videos from the last year of his life.
– Business deals
Immediately after this, the executors of Michael Jackson’s estate, in a bid to salvage his estate, sold his future music rights to Sony for $250 million. This is said to be the largest record deal in history. His estate continues to earn money from Sony.
Other business deals between the executors of Michael’s estate and other parties started coming in after the success of the record contract and the movie. One of the most notable deals he entered into was with Pepsi. It involved the licensing of Michael’s image.
Cirque du Solei was involved in producing two Las Vegas shows around Michael Jackson’s image and music. In both of these shows, Michael’s estate is in a 50/50 partnership with Cirque du Solei.
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Michael Jackson Net Worth: The Foundation
Michael Jackson began as the lead singer of the Jackson 5 music group. He got his break with the single “Ben” which topped the Billboard Hot 100.
Michael Jackson’s financial woes
Michael’s woes emanated from his lavish lifestyle. It is a known fact that in his lifetime, Michael Jackson spent money way faster than he earned it. At the time of his death in November 2009, his debt was in the tune of $500 million. Sources said Mike spent between $30 to $50 million every year on his lifestyle alone. This uncontrolled spending eventually led him to financial ruin. He ended up racking up large amounts of unpaid bills with his agents, publicists, and lawyers.
Below are a few examples of his lavish spending:
— $17 million which he used to purchase the Neverland Ranch and its maintenance costs amounting to $5 million annually.
— $5 million paid annually to take care of interest on his debts.
— 12 million spent on a divorce settlement with Debbie Rowe.
— $20 million spent on settling a child molestation lawsuit.
— Several millions spent on Bentleys, clothes, arts, antiques, and trinkets.
Michael Jackson’s estate would be worth much higher than it does presently if he would have managed his finances properly. With all his financial and marital problems, he still managed to be one of the most famous musicians in the world.
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