Due to his lavish lifestyle and excessive borrowings, Michael Jackson had a negative $500 million net worth at the time of his death.
Michael Jackson, known as the “King of Pop”, was an American singer, songwriter and dancer. As a child, Jackson became the lead singer of his family’s popular Motown group, the Jackson 5, after which he launched a solo career with amazing worldwide success and the No. 1 hits of the albums Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad.
In his later years, Jackson was dogged by allegations of child abuse. He died of a drug overdose in 2009 at the age of 50, shortly before launching a comeback tour.
His supremely talented music captured the hearts of millions worldwide and made him a global pop culture figure for nearly four decades.
While his distinctive sound and style had a major impact on numerous hip-hop, post-disco, contemporary R&B, pop and rock artists, it was his angelic dance style that remains one of the most popular dance styles.
He was the man behind today’s popular dance styles, moonwalk and robot, both of which bear the name MJ style. It was for his relentless contribution to music, dance and fashion that he was named ‘the most successful entertainer of all time’.
Let’s take a close look at Michael Jackson and how he became so rich today.
Michael Jackson Net Worth Details: Is He A Billionaire?
At the time of his death, Michael Jackson had a net worth of negative $500 million. At the time of Michael’s death, one could argue that he was in debt to the tune of $500 million following decades of overspending and overborrowing. His albums have been sold over 750 million times, including 35 million in the year following his death.
In the decade between 1985 and 1995, Michael Jackson earned between $50 and $100 million per year from touring, record sales, endorsements, and merchandise. But Michael spent it just as quickly.
Michael used his 50% ownership stake in the music publishing company Sony/ATV as collateral for a $380 million loan from Bank of America in order to finance his lifestyle.
It cost tens of millions of dollars in interest every year on that loan. Upon receiving $380 million plus $120 million, he blew through it all within a few years. Because of this, Michael Jackson was $500 million in debt at the time of his death in 2009.
He spent about $50 million a year to maintain his lavish lifestyle. In addition to paying out $12 million to Debbie Rowe, he also spent another $20 million settling a child molestation case, not to mention tens of millions on lawyers. In addition to the purchase price, Neverland Ranch costs up to $10 million a year to maintain.
The compound was transformed into an amusement park by spending $35 million. And then there were those famous diamond-encrusted gloves, as well as Bentleys, antiques, and art. Jackson also invested between $50 and $100 million in failed movie and music projects.
The Associated Press reports that Jackson had a net worth of $236.6 million in 2007: $567.6 million in assets, including Neverland Ranch and his 50% share of the Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalogue, and debts of $331 million.
In spite of his negative net worth at death, Michael Jackson remains among the world’s most popular and lucrative celebrities after his death.
Forbes estimated that the Jackson Estate earned $825 million in 2016, the highest figure ever reported for a celebrity, primarily due to the sale of Sony/ATV catalogs.
That figure was $400 million in 2018. Jackson’s postmortem earnings totaled $2.4 billion in the eighth year since his death, making it the eighth year in a row he earned over $100 million.
Since Jackson’s death in 2012, Forbes has recognized him as the top-earning dead celebrity each year except in 2020.
If Michael Jackson were still alive today, he would be a billionaire.
To calculate the net worth of Michael Jackson, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as student loans and credit card debt, are included in total liabilities.
Here’s the breakdown of his net worth at death:
|Net Worth (At Death):||Negative $500 Million|
|Monthly Salary:||$5 Million|
|Annual Income:||$100 Million|
|Source of Wealth:||Record sales, concerts, endorsement deals, merchandise sales|
Michael Jackson Net Worth Last 5 Years
|Net Worth 2022:||$4.5 Billion|
|Net Worth 2021:||$4 Billion|
|Net Worth 2020:||$3.5 Billion|
|Net Worth 2019:||$3 Billion|
|Net Worth 2018:||$2.4 Billion|
Michael Jackson Estate Net Worth
According to Forbes, Jackson’s postmortem earnings totaled $2.4 billion in the eighth year since his death.
In an ironic twist, Michael’s passing probably benefited his finances the most. He has consistently earned the most money of any deceased celebrity since his death on June 25, 2009.
After Michael died, his executors began to shore up the pop star’s finances almost immediately. Sony purchased Michael’s future music rights for $250 million, which at the time was the largest record deal ever.
A documentary film about Jackson’s preparations for his final tour, titled This Is It, was released in October 2009. The film, which includes a compilation of interviews, rehearsals and backstage footage of the star, grossed $23 million in its opening weekend and went to No. 1 at the box office. This Is It grossed $261 million worldwide.
Many other endorsements followed the success of the movie and the record deal. A license deal with Pepsi was struck. Cirque du Solei produced two Las Vegas shows centered around his music and image. Jackson’s estate shares ownership of both shows 50/50 with Cirque du Solei.
Michael Jackson also left tens of thousands of items and memorabilia, which are being kept in three massive warehouses in Southern California. All three of his children need to wait until they are 18 before deciding what to keep and what to auction off.
Jackson’s debts were settled thanks to his earlier investment in the Sony/ATV Music catalog, which includes publishing rights to songs by industry heavyweights such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Taylor Swift. The Jackson estate sold its stake in Sony/ATV in 2016 for $750 million, and two years later the estate received another $287.5 million for its stake in EMI Music Publishing.
In addition, the King of Pop has proven that he can continue to make money well beyond his final days. In October 2017, Forbes announced that Jackson topped the list of highest-earning deceased celebrities for the fifth consecutive year, earning a whopping $75 million.
Michael Jackson’s estate has brought in over $700 million since his death in 2009. This is more than any other living artist in that period. Earnings milestones:
- 2018: $400 million
- 2017: $75 million
- 2016: $825 million
- 2015: $115 million
Michael Jackson Income Before His Death
When Michael Jackson was young, he started making money from a band he formed with his brothers, The Jackson 5. Their hits like “ABC,” “I Want You Back,” and “I’ll Be There” helped them earn a lot of money over the years.
Though they won the hearts of many around the world with their combined musical talents, Michael was clearly destined to be a solo artist. His earnings skyrocketed into the millions after he released his first solo album Off the Wall.
Through record sales, concerts, endorsement deals, merchandise sales, and more, Michael made the most of his money. Over the course of his music career, he is believed to have earned more than $4 billion.
Michael Jackson Album Sales
‘Got to Be There’ (1971)
At the age of 13, Jackson launched a solo career in addition to his work with the Jackson 5, reaching the charts in 1971 with “Got to Be There” from the album of the same name. The album was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on August 2, 2013 for sales of over 500,000 copies.
The album released one single, the title track “Ben”, which was a commercial success on the music charts, topping both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the Australian ARIA charts, giving Jackson his first number-one single domestically and internationally. The album sold over 2 million copies worldwide.
‘Music and Me’ (1973)
Jackson’s third solo album, Music and Me, was his least successful. According to SoundScan, Music & Me has sold 400,000 copies to date.
‘Forever, Michael’ (1975)
This fourth solo album of Jackson’s was his last with Motown Records. The album has reportedly sold over one million copies worldwide since its release.
‘Off the Wall’ (1979)
With an infectious blend of pop and funk, Jackson wowed the music world with the 1979 album Off the Wall, which featured the Grammy-winning single “Do not Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” as well as hits like “Rock with You,” “She’s Out of My Life” and the title track. ‘Off The Wall’ sold over 30 million copies worldwide.
Jackson’s sixth solo album Thriller, released in 1982, is the best-selling album in history with seven top 10 hits. The album stayed on the charts for 80 weeks and was #1 for 37 weeks. Thriller remains the best-selling album of all time, with sales of 70 million copies worldwide.
In addition to its unprecedented commercial success, Thriller was nominated for 12 Grammy Awards and won eight times, both records. Jackson’s victories demonstrate the versatility of his work.
For his talent as a songwriter, he received a Grammy (best rhythm and blues song) for “Billie Jean.” He also won awards for the singles “Thriller” (best pop vocal performance, male) and “Beat It” (best rock vocal performance, male). With his co-producer Quincy Jones, Jackson shared the award for Album of the Year.
Paul McCartney also teamed up with Jackson for a duet in 1982, “The Girl Is Mine,” which nearly reached the top of the pop charts.
Jackson shot an elaborate music video for the album’s title track. John Landis directed the horror video with complex dance scenes, special effects and a dubbed voice of actor Vincent Price. The “Thriller” video was a huge success and boosted sales of the already successful album.
In a television special honoring Motown in 1983, Jackson sang his No. 1 hit “Billie Jean” and debuted his soon-to-be-famous dance move, the moonwalk. Jackson, who was already an experienced performer by this point, created the move himself and choreographed the dance sequences for the video of the album’s other No. 1 hit, “Beat It.”
‘We Are the World’ (single, 1985).
In 1985, Jackson showed his altruistic side by co-writing “We Are the World,” a charity single for USA for Africa. A veritable who’s who of music stars participated in the project, including Lionel Richie, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen and Tina Turner. With sales in excess of 20 million copies, it is the eighth-bestselling physical single of all time.
Jackson’s album Bad (1987), released as a follow-up to Thriller, reached the top of the charts with a record five No. 1 hits, including “Man in the Mirror,” “The Way You Make Me Feel” and the title track, which was accompanied by a video directed by Martin Scorsese.
Jackson spent more than a year on the road performing concerts to promote the album. Although Bad was very successful, it could not repeat the phenomenal sales of Thriller.
“Bad” is estimated to have sold about 35 million copies worldwide; in 2017 it was certified diamond for sales of 10 million in the U.S. alone.
In 1991, Jackson released Dangerous, featuring the hit song “Black or White.” The video for this song, directed by Landis, included an appearance by child star Macaulay Culkin. In the final minutes of the video, Jackson caused some controversy with his sexual gestures and violent actions. Many were surprised to see the Peter Pan-like Jackson act in this way.
Dangerous is one of the best-selling albums of all time having sold over 32 million copies worldwide, and was certified 8× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in August 2018.
‘HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I’
Jackson’s musical career began to decline with the lukewarm 1995 recording of HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I, which included some of his earlier hits as well as new material. The record spawned two hits, “You Are Not Alone” and his duet with his sister Janet, “Scream.”
The spaceship video for “Scream,” which cost a record-breaking $7 million to produce, won a Grammy Award for its sophisticated effects.
Another track on the album, “They Do not Care About Us,” earned Jackson heavy criticism for using an anti-Semitic term.
The album has sold over 20 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time, and one of the best-selling multi-disc albums of all time.
Jackson returned to the studio to record Invincible (2001), his first full album of new material in a decade.
With 5.4 million copies sold, Invincible was the eleventh best-selling album of 2001 according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. It has since sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.
In December 2010, the posthumous album Michael was released, with controversy over whether the singer had actually sung some of the tracks himself. Brother Randy was among those who doubted the authenticity of the recordings, but the Jackson estate later denied the claims, as reported by the New York Times.
Sources say Sony Music Entertainment shipped 3 million “Michael” albums worldwide, of which 900,000 were designated for the United States.
Another posthumous album, Xscape, was released in May 2014. R&B star and Jackson protégé Usher sang the first single, “Love Never Felt So Good,” at the iHeartRadio Music Awards that month. The album, which features eight songs recorded by Jackson between 1983 and 1999, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart.
With first-week sales of 157,000 copies in the United States, it debuted at number two on the Billboard charts. The album sold 67,000 more copies in its second week. The album sold 35,000 copies in its third week, bringing its total sales to 259,000.
Michale Jackson Bought the Beatles
The Beatles’ song catalog was in the possession of Robert Holmes in 1984. The Australian businessman had offered it for sale in the form of ATV Music Publishing, a company he founded that owned the rights to some 4,000 songs, including Northern Songs, the Beatles’ subsidiary.
In fact, Paul McCartney and John Lennon signed a terrible contract early in their careers that gave Northern Songs the publishing rights to over 250 songs. Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono had the opportunity to buy the Beatles catalog in 1984, but refused because of the price of 40 million dollars.
The then 25-year-old Michael Jackson was on a two-year buying spree for the rights to his music after the success of Thriller. Between 1982 and 1984, he spent millions of dollars buying publishing rights to artists such as Sly and the Family Stone, and acquired hits such as Great Balls of Fire, When a Man Loves a Woman and Runaround Sue, to name a few. John Branca, Jackson’s longtime attorney, learned that the ATV catalog/The Beatles catalog was for sale and approached Michael about buying it. Michael told him to spare no expense, and so Jackson and Branca offered $47.5 million ($115 million in today’s dollars), the highest offer.
Michael could license any Beatles song from then on, which he did in 1987 when he licensed Revolution to Nike for $500,000. McCartney and Lennon received $125,000 each, as they still owned the songwriters’ royalties from that deal.
Merging With Sony
Sony approached Michael Jackson in 1995 with an incredible offer. For merging ATV music with the Sony catalog and creating a new publishing company in which he had a 50% stake, Sony offered Michael $95 million ($230 million today).
In just a few weeks, Michael earned back twice his original investment and received a 50% stake in a much larger music publishing company. Through a separate company called Mijac Music, Jackson continued to own 100% of his songs.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing would be the new name of the Jackson/Sony joint venture, producing 200,000 songs over the next decade. Between 2005 and 2003, Sony/ATV owned two million songs, including songs by Lady Gaga, Bob Dylan, Beck and Eminem. The company generated $500 million in income and earned $1.25 billion from licenses and royalties in 2012. The company is currently worth $2 to $4 billion.
Michel Jackson’s Lavish Lifestyle and Debts
Jackson’s extravagant and luxurious lifestyle left him penniless. Between $30 and $50 million a year were spent on his lifestyle alone, and he racked up massive unpaid bills with his lawyers, agents, and publicists. Among them:
- The purchase of the Neverland Ranch will cost $17 million plus $5 million in annual maintenance costs
- $20 million was paid to settle a child molestation suit
- Spending $65.9 million on a variety of video projects, including “Ghosts,” a 35-minute short film he wrote with Stephen King
- Divorce settlement of $12 million with girlfriend Debbie Rowe
- An annual interest payment of $5 million on his debt
Millions spent on Bentleys, antiques, art, clothes, chimpanzees, diamond-encrusted gloves, and other trinkets.
Michael loaned Bank of America $380 million to finance his lifestyle using his 50% stake in Sony/ATV as collateral.
This loan alone cost tens of millions in interest every year. It took him just a few years to blow through $380 million plus $120 million.
After his 2005 child molestation trial, Jackson’s reputation was virtually destroyed and his finances were in shambles. He soon found refuge in a friendship with Bahrain’s Prince Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, who helped the pop star pay his legal and utility bills and invited him to his country as a personal guest.
In Bahrain, the prince took care of the singer’s expenses and built a recording studio for him. In return, Jackson reportedly promised to collaborate on a new album for Al-Khalifa’s record label, write an autobiography and author a stage play. The finished work never materialized, however, and Jackson soon faced a $7 million lawsuit from his friend for failing to keep his promises.
In even greater financial distress, Jackson defaulted on the $24.5 million loan he had taken out for his Neverland Ranch in 2008. Unable to part with cherished mementos, including the crystal gloves he used during his performances, Jackson sued the following year to stop some of his personal items from the house from being auctioned off.
As he approached the end of his life, he engaged in financial transactions with banks, hedge funds, and other shady characters in order to maintain his lifestyle and stage a professional and financial comeback.
Having spent through the entire $380 million loan prior to his death, Michael had little hope of making the interest payments, let alone paying off the principal. Michael’s debt was the primary reason he was forced to stage “This Is It,” which arguably caused his death.
That is why at the time of his death in 2009, Michael Jackson was $500 million in debt.
Who Inherited Michael Jackson’s Estate?
Michael Jackson’s executors have launched an aggressive financial comeback since his death. To avoid selling his valuable music portfolio, they wanted to bring the estate back into solvency.
According to Michael’s will, 40% of his estate will be divided equally among his three children. Another 20% went to various charities for the children, while the remaining 40% was earmarked for the support of his mother, Katherine. After Katherine’s death, the remaining 40% will go to Michael’s children, so his three children will ultimately receive 80% of the estate.
What House Does Michel Jackson Own?
In the 1980s, Jackson established a Southern California ranch called Neverland, a fantasy retreat for a shy and quiet artist who was never really comfortable with media attention and rarely gave interviews.
On the 2,700-acre estate, Jackson kept exotic pets, such as a chimpanzee named Bubbles. He also installed amusement park-like rides and sometimes opened the ranch for children’s events. The home features six bedrooms, a pool house, three guest cottages and a four-acre lake.
The mansion was put on the market in 2015 for $100 and relisted in early 2019 for $31 million. In December 2020, the property was sold to billionaire Ron Burkle for $22 million.
The Jackson 5
Joseph believed in his sons’ talent and formed them into a musical group in the early 1960s that would later become known as the Jackson 5.
Initially, the Jackson Family consisted of Jackson’s older brothers Tito, Jermaine and Jackie. Jackson joined his siblings when he was 5 years old and developed into the group’s lead singer. He showed remarkable range and depth for such a young artist, impressing audiences with his ability to convey complex emotions. His older brother Marlon also became a member of the group that evolved into the Jackson 5.
Jackson and his brothers spent endless hours rehearsing and honing their act. At first, the Jackson 5 played local gigs and built a strong fan base. They recorded their own single, “Big Boy,” with the B-side “You have Changed,” but the record did not meet with much interest.
The Jackson 5 went on to work as opening acts for R&B artists such as Gladys Knight and the Pips, James Brown, and Sam and Dave. Many of these artists were signed to the legendary Motown record label, and the Jackson 5 eventually caught the attention of Motown founder Berry Gordy. Impressed by the group, Gordy signed them to his label in early 1969.
Jackson and his brothers moved to Los Angeles, where they lived with Gordy and Diana Ross of the Supremes as they settled in. The Jackson 5 were introduced to the music industry at an event in August 1969, and the group later opened for the Supremes.
Their first album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5, charted in December 1969, and the single “I Want You Back” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart shortly after. It was quickly followed by other singles that topped the charts, such as “ABC”, “The Love You Save” and “I’ll Be There”.
For several years, Jackson and the Jackson 5 kept a busy touring and recording schedule under the supervision of Gordy and his Motown associates. The group became so popular that they even had their own animated series that ran from 1971 to 1972. At the same time, Jackson launched his solo career.
Despite the group’s great success, trouble was brewing behind the scenes. Tensions were mounting between Gordy and Joseph over the management of his children’s careers, and the Jacksons wanted more creative control over their material. The group officially split from Motown in 1976, although Jermaine remained with the label to pursue his solo career.
The group now called themselves The Jacksons and signed a new recording contract with Epic Records. By the time of the release of their third album for the label, 1978’s Destiny, the brothers had proven themselves to be talented songwriters.
The overwhelmingly positive response to Jackson’s 1979 solo album Off the Wall helped the Jacksons as a group. Triumph (1980) sold more than 1 million copies, and the brothers went on an extensive tour to support the recording. At the same time, Jackson was exploring more and more opportunities for self-expression.
In 1983, Jackson embarked on his final tour with his brothers in support of the album Victory. The recording’s only major hit was Jackson’s duet with Mick Jagger, “State of Shock.”
Michael Jackson’s Early life and Family
Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana. With his father’s encouragement, Jackson’s music career began at the age of 5.
Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, was a homemaker and a devout Jehovah’s Witness. His father, Joseph Jackson, was a guitarist who put his musical ambitions on hold to provide for his family as a crane operator. Behind the scenes, Joseph pushed his sons to succeed. He was also reportedly known to be violent towards them.
Jackson was one of 10 children. Nine of his siblings, including Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy and Janet, all made names for themselves in the music industry.
Michael Jackson’s Personal Life and Relationships
Wives and children
In August 1994, Jackson announced that he had married Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of rock icon Elvis Presley. The couple gave a joint television interview with Diane Sawyer, but the union proved short-lived. They divorced in 1996. Some believed the marriage was a publicity ploy to burnish Jackson’s image after child molestation allegations.
Later that year, Jackson married nurse Debbie Rowe. The couple divorced in 1999.
Jackson and Rowe had two children through artificial insemination: son Michael Joseph “Prince” Jackson Jr. born in 1997, and daughter Paris Michael Katherine Jackson born in 1998.
When Rowe and Jackson divorced, Michael received full custody of their two children. Jackson had a third child, Prince Michael “Blanket” Jackson II, with an unknown surrogate mother.
After Jackson’s death in June 2009, his children were placed in the care of their grandmother, Katherine, as stipulated in his will. In accordance with their father’s wishes, Prince, Paris and Blanket were largely kept out of the spotlight.
They stepped in front of the microphone in 2009 to address fans at their father’s funeral, and again in January 2010 to accept the posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award for their father at the Grammys.
In July 2012, a judge temporarily suspended Katherine Jackson’s guardianship of Prince, Paris, and Blanket after she was falsely reported missing by a relative.
During that time, TJ Jackson, Tito’s son, was given temporary custody of the children.
Katherine’s “disappearance” came shortly after a dispute between her and several members of the Jackson clan who questioned the validity of Jackson’s will, pointed fingers at the Jackson matriarch, and demanded the resignation of the executors of the estate.
It soon emerged that the elderly woman was not missing, but had merely taken a trip to Arizona. On Aug. 2, 2012, a judge reinstated Katherine Jackson as primary guardian of Prince, Paris and Blanket and also approved a plan granting T.J. Jackson joint guardianship of the children.
Plastic Surgery and Vitiligo
Jackson was severely injured in 1984 while filming a commercial for PepsiCo, suffering burns to his face and scalp. The year before, Jackson, who was at the height of his career creatively and commercially, had signed a $5 million advertising contract with the beverage giant.
Jackson had surgery to heal his injuries, and it is believed that at this time he began experimenting with plastic surgery. His face, especially his nose, was to change dramatically in the years to come.
In the late 1980s, rumors surfaced that Jackson was lightening his skin color to appear whiter and sleeping in a special chamber to increase his life expectancy.
In 1993, Jackson agreed to a rare television interview with Oprah Winfrey to dispel the rumors. He explained that the change in his skin color was the result of a skin condition known as vitiligo, and he spoke about the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father.
Allegations of child abuse against Jackson first surfaced in 1993, when a 13-year-old boy claimed the music star groped him. Jackson was known to spend the night with boys at his Neverland Ranch, but this was the first public allegation of misconduct. Police searched the ranch but found no evidence to support the allegation.
The following year, Jackson settled out of court with the boy’s family. More allegations surfaced, but Jackson maintained his innocence.
In the 2003 television documentary Living with Michael Jackson, British journalist Martin Bashir spent several months with the singer and even got him to talk about his relationships with children.
Jackson admitted that even after the 1993 allegations, he continued to have children stay over at his ranch and that he sometimes slept with the children in his bed. “Why can not you share your bed? That’s the most loving thing you can do, to share your bed with someone,” Jackson told Bashir.
In 2003, Jackson got into more legal trouble when he was arrested for incidents involving a 13-year-old boy. He was charged with a total of 10 counts of lewd conduct with a minor, attempted lewd conduct, administering alcohol to facilitate molestation, and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.
The resulting trial in 2005 was a media circus with fans, opponents and camera crews surrounding the courthouse. More than 130 people testified, including Culkin. The actor told the court that he was friends with Jackson as a young teenager and never had any problems when he stayed at Neverland Ranch.
Jackson’s accuser also appeared via videotape and described how he had been given wine and molested. However, jurors found problems with his testimony as well as that of his mother. Jackson was found not guilty on all charges on June 14, 2005.
Michael Jackson’s Death
Jackson died on June 25, 2009, at the age of 50, after suffering a cardiac arrest at his home in Los Angeles. Resuscitation attempts failed and he was taken to the hospital, where he died the same morning. In February 2010, an official coroner’s report concluded that Jackson’s cause of death was acute propofol intoxication, or a fatal overdose of a prescription drug cocktail containing the sedatives midazolam, diazepam and lidocaine.
With the help of his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson had been taking sedatives to help him sleep at night. Murray told police he believed Jackson had developed a particular addiction to propofol, which Jackson referred to as his “milk.” Murray reportedly administered propofol at a dosage of 50 milligrams to the pop star in the evenings via IV and was trying to wean him off the drug at the time of his death.
A police investigation revealed that Murray was not licensed to prescribe most controlled drugs in the state of California. The actions he took to save Jackson also came under scrutiny, as it was found that the standard of care for administering propofol had not been met and the recommended equipment for patient monitoring, precise dosing and resuscitation had not been in place.
As a result, Jackson’s death was ruled a homicide. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter on Nov. 7, 2011, and sentenced to a maximum of four years in prison.
Funeral and Memorial service
On July 7, 2009, a televised funeral service for fans of the “King of Pop” was held at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. While 17,500 free tickets were awarded to fans by lottery, an estimated one billion viewers watched the funeral service at TV or online.
Jackson’s death triggered a wave of public grief and sympathy. Memorials were erected around the world, including one at the arena where he was to perform and another at his childhood home in Gary, Indiana.
The Jackson family held a private funeral for immediate family members and 200 guests at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, on September 3, 2009. Prominent mourners included Jackson’s ex-wife Presley and actress Elizabeth Taylor.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In 2013, the Jackson family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against AEG Live, the entertainment company that had promoted Jackson’s planned comeback series in 2009. They believed the company had failed to effectively protect the singer while he was under the care of Conrad Murray.
One of their attorneys, Brian Panish, discussed AEG’s alleged misconduct in opening arguments at the trial on April 29, 2013: “They wanted to be No. 1 at all costs,” he said. “We do not want sympathy … We want truth and justice.”
Lawyers for the Jackson family asked for as much as $1.5 billion – an estimate of what Jackson could have earned up to that point – but in October 2013, jurors decided AEG was not responsible for the singer’s death. “The death of Michael Jackson, while a terrible tragedy, was not a tragedy caused by AEG Live,” said the company’s attorney, Marvin S. Putnam.
Michael Jackson’s Legacy
Since his death, Jackson has been portrayed in several biographies and inspired the creation of two Cirque du Soleil shows. He was posthumously honored with the 2018 Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation Legacy Award for Humanitarian Service, which his children Paris and Prince Michael accepted on his behalf.
‘This Is It’ Documentary
This Is It, a documentary film documenting Jackson’s final tour preparations, was released in October 2009. The film, which comprises a compilation of interviews, rehearsals, and backstage video of its star, debuted at No. 1 at the box office, grossing $23 million in its first weekend. This Is It made a total of $261 million over the world.
On June 25, 2018, A&E commemorated the ninth anniversary of the artist’s shocking death by airing Michael Jackson’s Final Curtain Call. On that day, numerous fans took to social media to pay tribute to the King of Pop. Brooke Shields and Naomi Campbell were among the celebrities who commemorated their old friend.
‘Michael Jackson: One’ in Las Vegas
In August 2018, fans celebrated the Michael Jackson Diamond Celebration at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas with a performance of Michael Jackson by Cirque du Soleil: One.
Documentary ‘Leaving Neverland.
Allegations of sexual abuse against Jackson were revived in early 2019 with the airing of Leaving Neverland at the Sundance Film Festival and subsequently on HBO. The four-hour documentary explores the recollections of two men who describe how the pop star lured them close to him as boys and won the trust of their parents before forcing them to engage in sexual activity in hotel rooms and at his Neverland Ranch.
The documentary was sharply criticised by Jackson’s supporters, who pointed out that both men had previously testified that abuse never occurred. The Jackson estate, meanwhile, called the two accusers “perjurers” and filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO.
People Also Ask FAQs
Who Has Michael Jackson’s Money?
As part of his will, MJ left 40 percent of his estate to each of his three children. Twenty percent of his estate was left to several of his children’s charities, with the remaining forty percent going to his mother, Katherine.
Does Michael Jackson have biological kids?
Jackson has always maintained his three children – Prince, Paris, and Blanket – are biologically his. However, while they were in public, Jackson covered their faces. According to him, Prince and Paris were conceived through science with Debbie Rowe – and Blanket, through a surrogate mother.
Did Michael Jackson have a will?
Michael Jackson’s entire estate will be placed in a family trust, according to the 2002 document. Katherine Jackson is named as legal guardian and beneficiary of the trust for Jackson’s three children. Singer Diana Ross would be responsible for the children if she became incapacitated or died.
Who owns Michael Jackson’s music?
In September 2016, Sony acquired the Jackson estate’s stake in Sony/ATV in a deal valued at around $750 million. The Jackson estate retained a 10% stake in EMI Music Publishing, and its ownership of Mijac Music, which holds the rights to Michael Jackson’s songs and master recordings.
Where is Michael Jackson House?
As part of the Los Padres National Forest, Sycamore Valley Ranch, formerly Neverland Ranch, is located at 5225 Figueroa Mountain Road, Los Olivos, California.
How much money did Debbie Rowe get from Michael Jackson?
In a settlement, Rowe received around $10 million. She also gave Jackson full custody of her children.
Why is Michael Jackson so famous?
Michael Jackson was an American singer, songwriter and dancer who became known as the “King of Pop.” Jackson became a member of the Jackson 5, his family’s popular Motown group, as a child. In his solo career he enjoyed worldwide success, which was reflected in the charts.
Michael Jackson Quotes
Let us dream of tomorrow where we can truly love from the soul, and know love as the ultimate truth at the heart of all creation.
I’m happy to be alive, I’m happy to be who I am.
My mother’s wonderful. To me she’s perfection.
But I will never stop helping and loving people the way Jesus said to.
If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.
I’m a black American, I am proud of my race. I am proud of who I am. I have a lot of pride and dignity.
The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.
People write negatives things, cause they feel that’s what sells. Good news to them, doesn’t sell.
When I see children, I see the face of God. That’s why I love them so much. That’s what I see.
The meaning of life is contained in every single expression of life. It is present in the infinity of forms and phenomena that exist in all of creation.
I’m just like anyone. I cut and I bleed. And I embarass easily.
View our larger collection of the best Michael Jackson quotes.
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