Net Worth

Michael Jackson’s bequest

How rich was Michael Jackson?

Michael Joseph Jackson, the King of Pop, is a megastar in terms of his musical success. In terms of income, too, he was one of the highest-paid artists in the world. The Guinness Book calls him the most successful artist of all time. Forbes estimated his income during his lifetime. Scored throughout his career Michael Jackson a fortune of 1 billion euros. But even after his death, his heirs continue to earn money, which is by no means unusual for artists. So his records and products associated with his music have earned him for the past five years $ 700 million one. Such remarkable earnings in the highly competitive music business seems less surprising when you consider that Jackson’s records – which were only part of his earnings – have sold roughly 300 to 400 million copies according to conservative estimates. But how did the little boy become a larger-than-life superstar, whose glamor has consistently outshone all dark sides of his career?

Michael Jackson’s career

Michael Jackson's bequest
Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in the American town of Gary, Indiana, to a large family. Like his older brothers, the young Michael was supported musically by his father Joseph, sometimes with draconian methods, and pushed from one talent show to the next. Soon they should Jackson 5, as the band is called, make it big and sign a record deal with Motown Records. Nevertheless, Michael Jackson initially remained under the strict aegis of his father, his father acted as the manager of the entire troop. Although Michael celebrated his thirtieth stage anniversary in 2001 in Madison Square Garden in New York, his solo career basically only began in 1979 with the album Off The Wall, which he produced for the first time without his father as a manager. He had fired this unceremoniously. After he realized that he could do it without him and that he was much bigger than the band on his own.

The album Off The Wall was a enormous success and occupied the upper chart positions. Nevertheless, Michael Jackson toured on with his brothers. He brought solo songs from his album to the joint tours, which reached number 3 on the American Billboard charts. At Off The Wall he worked for the first time with producer Quincy Jones, who was involved in two other Jackson albums. This was the first time Michael found out what a lucky star his career was going and that the public wanted to hear more from him as a solo artist. But the work on the next album was a disaster. Right from the start Michael wanted to create something that no one has achieved before in music history. He wanted to release an album that sold more than any other album before. Often he jumped from a springboard into pools and wished for just that during the jump (read his autobiography).

The album Thriller and its great success

But working on such an ambitious project was exhausting and unsatisfactory. Numerous songs were re-recorded, most of them removed from the tracklist. The release date was getting closer and still not even half of the album had been produced. When Michael and Quincy Jones released the album at the last minute at Sony for publication, however, they had achieved a masterpiece. The album, released in 1982, reached number 1 in the charts in the USA, England and Germany and is still the most successful album of all time, according to the Guinness Book, with 109 million records sold. Michael received eight Grammys for this album, more than any other star before him. There was no separate thriller tour. He also had to finance his prestige project, the thriller music film, out of his own pocket, as Sony Music was not prepared to bear the cost of the video clip (1 million US dollars).

On the one hand, the album Bad, released in 1987, was in the fortunate position of riding the wave of success of Thriller, which made it number 1 in numerous international charts, but it did not quite meet the high expectations. Despite great success, it never reached the sales figures for Thriller. At the Grammy Awards, Michael Jackson surprisingly went empty-handed. He only received a Grammy for the video for Leave Me Alone, which was integrated into his film Moonwalker. Although Bad lived mainly on synthesizers, the ignorance with which the album was considered at the Grammys met with great incomprehension in the public and the music industry. Bad got its own Bad Tour, which became a huge success worldwide. At that time, Michael was increasingly spending more of his money and making it Neverland Ranch for a sum that, according to various estimates, is between approx $ 20 to 30 million lay.

The successful album Dangerous

Dangerous, released four years later and again well-awarded, was supposed to be the album that sold the fastest up to that time. In many music stores it was sold out within a very short time in the first week. But during the Dangerous Tour allegations against the singer came to light, which accused him of pedophilia. They were discontinued in exchange for an extrajudicial payment. The stain remained. Jackson processed his experiences on the 1995 album History. For both albums there was an extensive world tour in which Jackson filled entire stadiums, as he did with Bad. At the time, he caused quite a stir as himself Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of the King of Rock’n’Roll, married. History was to become the best-selling double album in music history with 15 million units sold. The album experienced extensive marketing, for which he had larger-than-life statues of himself drive along the Thames and initiated a military parade.

Jackson’s last album Invincible received almost no publicity, but nevertheless reached number 1 in the charts in numerous countries and sold around 10 million times – which Jackson called a flop, so there was no tour. Shortly before his comeback in 2009 as part of his This Is It concert series, the musical genius died of an overdose of painkillers.

Neverland Ranch and other Michael Jackson properties

The fortune of the King of Pop Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson was celebrated as a musical genius, but at the same time feared as a businessman. So he secured the Rights to all Beatles songsthat should bring him a lot of money from now on. What is common today with Black Music Stars, the Jackson began much earlier: He brought out his own collections, numerous merchandising, including a video game for SEGA (Moonwalker). In addition to an extensive catalog of rights, which also included the Beatles songs, which Jackson acquired for 47.5 million US dollars, he also owned the Neverland Ranch north of the US metropolis of Los Angeles and a private amusement park and zoo in front of it.

In addition, Michael was known for his fine taste in art and automobiles. Among other things, Jackson owned a Bentley and several valuable art paintings and objects that he kept in his Neverland Ranch. The Jackson Estate is still making money through its posthumously released records Michael and Xcape, as well as Cirque du Soleil-approved shows The Immortal World Tour and One three-digit million range.

The German premiere of the documentary “Leaving Neverland“Dated on ProSieben. The two-part film by Dan Reed premiered on January 25, 2019 at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. In Leaving Neverland, two men tell of childhood sexual abuse by Michael Jackson. Since the English premiere there has been a lot of discussion about Michael Jackson and of course also about the events depicted in the film. It is best to see this movie for yourself to form an opinion.

Image sources:
Solarpix / PR Photos
Wild1 / PR Photos

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