How Much Money Has Michael Jackson Earned Since His Death?
Death has failed to unseat Michael Jackson from his throne as the reigning King of Pop. Six years after his death in 2009, Jackson is at the top of Forbes’ list of the 13 Top-Earning Dead Celebrities of 2015. According to the magazine, the singer, who died in June of 2009 of a drug overdose for which his personal physician received an involuntary manslaughter sentence, has made 100+ million dollars in each of the years since his death.
Michael Jackson’s lasting earning power is a result of his diverse holdings. One such venture is the Cirque du Soleil’s permanent show at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Michael Jackson: One. The show, centered on four characters who journey into Jackson’s world, and featuring many of his top hits and a dancing hologram of the man himself, commands ticket prices that start at $69. There have also been two albums’ worth of unreleased tracks to come out since the singer’s death. Michael, released in 2010, has sold over a half a million copies and peaked at number 3 on the U.S. charts while 2014’s Xscape has moved 459,000 units thus far and topped out at number 2.
Prior to his death, Jackson bought ATV Music Publishing in 1984, which owned the rights to most of the Beatles’ songs, and then merged with Sony Music Publishing ten years later. The company’s acquisition of EMI Music Publishing made it the largest music publishing company in the world, with a catalog of over 2 million songs and an estimated annual revenue of $1.26 billion. Michael Jackson’s financial documents of 2007 stated that his 50 percent share of the company was worth $390.6 million, according to CBS News.
All told, Michael Jackson has earned over one billion dollars in pre-tax income since his 2009 death. He has not only out-earned every other dead celebrity, but every living solo performer as well. Jackson’s estate signed a seven-year, ten album deal with Sony worth at least $200 million. Additionally, since 2009, he has sold 13.2 million albums, surpassing his total from the twelve years prior by 100,000.
With 1.84 million followers on his Twitter account, started after his death, and more than 75 million likes on Facebook, it is highly unlikely that the King of Pop’s earning power is going to taper off anytime soon.