Life and Death of Michael Jackson – His Net Worth, Kids & Plastic Surgery

What was Michael Jackson’s net worth at the time of his death?

Net Worth:$500 million at the time of his death
Age/Date of Birth:
(August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)
In feet: 5 ft 9 in
In Centimeters: 175 cm
African American
Wife or Girlfriend:
Lisa Marie Presley
(m. 1994; div. 1996)
Debbie Rowe
(m. 1996; div. 1999)
Parents:Joseph Walter Jackson and Katherine Jackson

Michael Jackson was one of the most famous musical artists in history whose incredible feats saw him earn between $50 million and $100 million annually with an estimated net worth of $500 million at the time of his death. However, due to exorbitant spending, MJ died broke in 2009. He reportedly spent north of $40 million annually to maintain his luxury lifestyle, incurring debts in the process. Technically speaking, you could argue that it was $500 million in debt

Thanks to MJ executioner’s, his estate has successfully bounced back from bankruptcy. According to Forbes, Michael Jackson’s estate grossed at least $3 billion between 2009 and 2016. In 2016 alone he earned $825 million, making him the highest-earning celebrity dead or alive. Here is all you need to know about Michael Jackson’s $500 million net worth as of his time of death.

Analysis of Michael Jackson’s Net Worth Before Death

Several Ways He Made His Money

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 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 artists’ songs, particularly those from “The Beatles”.

MJ started owning music rights in the early ’80s when he bought the catalogs 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 catalog ATV music for $47.5 million. Later on, the Beatles catalog was merged with Sony in a 50/50 joint venture known as Sony/ATV. It is now estimated to be worth $2 billion.

Michael Jackson

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 with 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

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.

Michael Jackson

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 to 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 million spent on Bentleys, clothes, arts, antiques, and trinkets.
Michael Jackson’s Net Worth at Death was technically a negative $500 million.

Inside Look at Michael Jackson’s Mansion and His Net Worth After His Death

Jackon’s famous home, the Neverland Ranch which was later rebranded and rechristened Sycamore Valley Ranch is a sprawling estate in Santa Barbara County, California, that he bought in 1987. The 2,700-acre property has magical features boasting of a pool, tennis courts, a lake with a waterfall, a “Disney-style” train station, a barn, multiple guest houses, and another separate building with a dance studio and 50-person movie theatre.

Neverland Ranch was originally a golf resort but became Jackson’s home as well as his private amusement park. He stopped living at the property after his 2005 molestation trial and an extensive search of the property. Neverland Ranch was devalued on the real estate market in 2017 recording a significant decrease from the original asking price of $100 million to $67 million.

Between 2006-2008, MJ lived in Bahrain for a little bit after being acquitted of child molestation. There Jackson bought a mansion in Sanad, after reportedly paying US$8 million. At the time of his death, Jackson was living in a rented Beverly Hills home, Los Angeles where he was discovered unconscious.

From 2007 until his death in 2009, the troubled singer and his three children lived in a rented Las Vegas mega-mansion called the “Thriller Villa”, better described as their sanctuary. The estate which stands at 16,122 square feet on 1.7 acres of land features 7 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. The house also has its own 74-seat and a medieval-styled chapel that can double as a recording studio. It also features a bell tower, an 8,500 square foot basement that has been transformed into Jackson’s own private art gallery, and a master bedroom with a fireplace, a seating lounge, and a fully stocked wet bar. Thriller Villa which is a true reflection of Jackson’s extravagant lifestyle was in 2016, listed on the real estate market for a whopping $9.5 million.

Thanks to his executioners, Michael Jackson’s estate was saved and he continues to mint top dollars even from the grave. Although he lived an extravagant lifestyle, MJ was still the highest-paid dead celebrity. As of 2016, late Jackson earned $825 million and $75 million in 2017.

According to Forbes, the king of pop has earned $4.2 billion during his career, pretax and adjusted to current inflation rates. However, since he died in 2009, his estate has brought in over $2 billion. More than any other living artist in that time. The 13-time Grammy Award winner was named the highest-earning dead celebrity for 8 years, from 2010 to 2018, missing only the title in 2012.

Michael Jackson’s First Wife Is the Only Child of Elvis Presley

  • Full Name: Lisa Marie Presley
  • Date of Birth: February 1st, 1968
  • Occupation: Singer-songwriter
  • Years Active: 1997 – Present
  • Duration of Marriage: 1994 – 1996

The first marriage of the King of Pop was to the only child and daughter of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. It is said that Jackson and Presley met for the first time in 1975. Lisa was only seven years old then and she met the great musician at one of his concerts in Las Vegas.

Many years later, precisely in November 1992, they met in Los Angeles and it marked the beginning of their romantic journey. Lisa would obtain a quickie divorce from her first husband Danny Keough on the 6th of May 1994 and marry Jackson twenty days after that.

The marriage took place in a private ceremony outside the United States. Because of that, people doubted that they were truly married until Lisa addressed herself in a statement as Mrs. Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson. In the said statement, Elvis’ daughter proclaimed that she was deeply in love with Jackson, committed to being his wife, and looking forward to raising a family with him. Sadly, that never happened as the union barley survived two years.

Lisa Filed for Divorce and She Had No Child With the Late Musician

She cited irreconcilable differences when she filed for divorce in January 1996 and left people wondering what inspired the move to end the marriage. It was speculated that the singer’s use of drugs and child molestation accusations contributed to it but it was never authenticated.

Karen Faye who was Jackson’s make-up artist would later disclose that Michael made the first move to end the marriage. According to her, the late singer informed Lisa of his intention to file for divorce; she begged him not to do so and he agreed only to learn the next day that Lisa had filed for divorce.

In the years that followed their divorce, Lisa and Michael tried to rekindle their passion but it never worked out. Probably because of how short their marriage was, the two never had any child together.

The Singer’s Second Marriage Was Solely for the Sake of Procreation

  • Full Name: Deborah Jeanne Rowe
  • Date of Birth: December 6, 1958
  • Occupation: Dermatology Assistant
  • Years Active: Undetermined
  • Duration of Marriage: 1996 – 1999
Debbie and Michael: Image Source

It is no secret that the pop king had three kids with two women before his death. His first child and first son Michael Joseph Jackson Jr was born in February 1997. His second child and first daughter named Paris was born in April 1998. Both were products of Jackson’s marriage to Debbie Rowe.

The marriage which lasted for barely three years ended as Debbie got sick of the massive attention she got for being Jackson’s wife. Reports had it she signed a prenuptial agreement, so all she got when she decided to walk away from the union was a house in Beverly Hills, California, and $8 million to let Jackson take full responsibility for raising the kids.

This made many conclude that what Michael and Debbie had wasn’t a typical marriage. The singer was very eager to have kids that he embraced an offer from a fan who was willing to help him attain his quest. Debbie happened to be the fan, she was a nurse who attended to the singer when he was being treated for vitiligo.

Rowe and Jackson had a marriage that was solely aimed at procreation. Through artificial insemination by an anonymous donor, Rowe took in for Jackson and had Michael Jr and Paris. It would later be claimed that neither Jackson nor Debbie is the biological parents of their kids. She suffered complications while pregnant with Paris and could not bear more children for the king of pop.

Meet Michael Joseph Jackson Jr (Prince)

  • Date of Birth: February 13, 1997
  • Occupation: Media Personality
  • Years Active: Undetermined

Nicknamed Prince, Jackson Jr is the first child of the late superstar. From what we gathered, he graduated from the reputable Buckley School located in Sherman Oaks, California; this was in 2015. He proceeded to Loyola Marymount University in LA thereafter and graduated cum laude.

His career is yet to take shape but we can regard him as a media personality. At least he served as a guest correspondent for Entertainment Tonight in 2013. Prince has been striving to penetrate the entertainment industry not only as a screenwriter and actor but also as a producer and director.

Paris Jackson Is MJ’s Only Daughter

  • Full Name: Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson
  • Date of Birth: April 3, 1998
  • Occupation: Model, Musician, and Actress
  • Years Active: 2003 – Present

Paris is probably the most popular child of the late icon and this is not only because of her showbiz exploits. From her sexuality to her love life, attempts to take her life, and addiction to drugs, this Jackson has always made headlines.

While she is considered bisexual, she has refused to be labeled as such. As a teenager, she suffered from depression, was addicted to drugs, and attempted suicide several times. Because of this, she was made to attend a therapeutic school in Utah which helped her tame her demons.

An Unknown Surrogate Gave Birth to Michael’s Third Child

  • Full Name: Prince Michael Jackson II (Blanket/Bigi)
  • Date of Birth: February 21, 2002
  • Occupation: Undetermined
(R-L) Prince and his older brother Michael Joseph Jackson Jr: Image Source

Micheal Jackson wanted more children, so he employed the services of a surrogate with whom he had his last child, Blanket. The identity of Prince’s biological mother remains unknown amid claims of him being the only biological child of his father; this has not been authenticated.

Of Micheal’s three kids, Prince has most evaded the limelight. He hardly makes public appearances and sometime in 2015, he changed his nickname from Blanket to Bigi to avoid being bullied.

Skin Colour Transformation / Plastic Surgery

It grew from speculations to accusations that Michael Jackson was a chronic skin bleacher. The singer who was brown complexioned in his twenties had come under intense criticisms and mockery from the public over accusations that he opted to bleach as a result of his insatiable urge to be like a white man.

Michael, however, made every attempt possible to debunk the accusations and state the right facts; that he was only a victim of severe vitiligo (a skin condition). Vitiligo is a rare skin condition that leaves white patches on the skin. Jackson had said that his reason for toning up was in order to even out the patches on his skin. He was said to achieve this through the use of some hydroquinone substances and makeup.

Jackson’s reasons would have seemed plausible enough to the public if there were no changes in his face and nose. MJ undoubtedly had a flat nose whilst he was in the Jackson 5 but went under the knife several times in a bid to achieve a smaller and well-pointed nose.

However, careless botching attempts left Michael dependent on surgery to achieve his desired result. MJ had a very large share of nose jobs and facelifts. You might be able to guess his reason but Jackson never admitted the obvious. He sometimes even denied ever having any nose job or touching his face.

As early as in the late 70s MJ had his first nose job during the period he left the Jackson 5 to become a solo performer. Michael had more face and nose jobs in the 80s and 90s until it got to a point he had to wear nose prosthetics to cover up botched results of the already tired nose.

Profile Summary 
First Name:Michael
Last Name:Jackson
Also Known As:
MJ, The Gloved One, Wacko Jacko, Jacko, King Of Pop, Applehead, Mike, Mikey, Smelly
Singer, songwriter, and dancer
Famous For:Being among the world's most successful and popular pop stars, a global icon and a mainstay in pop culture for almost 40 years,
introducing and popularizing the iconic dance move, Moonwalk.
Michael Jackson is also known for his huge social charity and humanitarian work.
Colleges/Universities Attended:
Montclair College Preparatory School
Educational Qualifications:
Not available

Birthday & Zodiac
Age/Date of Birth:
(August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009
Zodiac Sign:Virgo

Birth Place:
Gary, Indiana, United States
African American
Country of Residence:
The United States of America
Physical Attributes
In feet: 5 ft 9 in
In Centimeters: 175 cm
In kilograms: 64 kg
In pounds: 141 lbs
Eye Colour:
Dark Brown
Hair Color:
Other Body Measurements:
Chest: 38 Inches - Waist: 28 Inches - Biceps: 13 Inches
Marital Status:
Lisa Marie Presley
(m. 1994; div. 1996)
Debbie Rowe
(m. 1996; div. 1999)
Family and Relatives
Joseph Walter Jackson
Mother: Katherine Jackson
Daughter named Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson (born 3 April 1998) and sons named Prince Michael Jackson II (born 21 February 2002), and Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr.(born 13 February 1997).
Siblings:Rebbie Jackson (Older Sister), Jackie Jackson (Older Brother), Tito Jackson (Older Brother), Jermaine Jackson (Older Brother), La Toya Jackson (Older Sister), Marlon Jackson (Older Brother), Brandon Jackson (Older Brother), Randy Jackson (Younger Brother), Janet Jackson (Younger Sister)
Other Relatives:
Samuel Joseph Jackson (Paternal Grandfather), Crystal Lee King (Paternal Grandmother), Prince Albert Scruse (Maternal Grandfather), Martha Upshaw (Maternal Grandmother)
Net Worth
Estimated Net Worth:
$500 million at the time of his death
Salary:Not available
Source of Wealth:
His music career, business merchandise, and endorsement deals

Further Questions You May About Michael Jackson

Award-winning American actress, fashion model, and artist, Farrah Leni Fawcett, also died on Thursday, June 25, 2009, just as pop star Michael Jackson. News of the actress's death remained on the headlines for about four hours before Michael Jackson knocked her off the 'front page'.

Michael Jackson was killed by an overdose of propofol that was administered to him by his physician, Conrad Murray.

Speaking in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1993, the singer said he had a skin disease called vitiligo. According to him, "...I have a skin disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin. It's something I cannot help. When people make up stories that I don't like who I am, it hurts me,".

The King of Pop fathered three children, a daughter named Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson (born 3 April 1998) and two sons named Prince Michael Jackson II (born 21 February 2002), Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr.(born 13 February 1997).

According to several reports, Michael Jackson was an ISFP 4w3.

Michael has 13 Grammy Awards in addition to the Grammy Legend Award and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. They are:

  • 1980: Best R&B Vocal Performance "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough"
  • 1984: Album of the Year "Thriller"
  • 1984: Record of the Year "Beat It"
  • 1984: Producer of the Year, Non-Classical "Thriller" (with Quincy Jones)
  • 1984: Best R&B Song "Billie Jean"
  • 1984: Best Recording for Children "E.T. the Extra Terrestrial" (with Quincy Jones)
  • 1984: Best Male Pop Vocal Performance "Thriller"
  • 1984: Best Male R&B Vocal Performance "Billie Jean"
  • 1984: Best Male Rock Vocal Performance "Beat it"
  • 1985: Best Long Form Music Video "Making Michael Jackson's Thriller"
  • 1986: Song of the Year "We Are the World" (with Lionel Richie)
  • 1990: Best Short Form Music Video "Leave Me Alone"
  • 1996: Best Short Form Music Video "Scream"

Michael Jackson began wearing a hand glove on his left hand in 1983, right after the release of Thriller, which was when he said his vitiligo started.

Though the embellishment on Jackson's right-hand glove looked like diamonds, they were not. The hand costume was custom-designed with white spandex and covered in Swarovski  lochrosen crystals.

Chuck Dez
Chuck is a personal finance and entertainment writer with over 15 years of experience covering famous biographies, personal finance, celebrity net worth, and celebrity lifestyles. He loves the process of researching new information, discovering and learning new things, as well as putting into words, interesting things others might like to read.


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