The Michael Jackson estate is now worth $500 million dollars, and it’s easy to chalk all that up to “dead celebrities make a ton of money” but not usually if they pass away with a large chunk of debt.
When Michael Jackson died suddenly in the summer of 2009, the singer was $500 million dollars in debt. Now seven years after his passing, his estate is worth $500 million and it all happened incredibly quickly. Here are just some of the deals that made Jackson’s kids incredibly rich and increased their net worth.
The $750 million deal has Sony Corp. buying out the Jackson estate’s piece of Sony/ATV, the joint music publishing company, whose holdings include songs by The Beatles and Bob Dylan. Jackson, who died in 2009, paid $41.5 million for ATV Music in 1985.
After feuding with the family over its release, the posthumous documentary Michael Jackson’s This Is It, released four months after Jackson passed in July, 2009, went on to become the highest-grossing music documentary of all time, with worldwide box office in excess of $300 million. The estate took in 87 percent of the back-end on the movie, with the source putting the gross figure going into the estate’s coffers at north of $200 million when TV rights and DVD sales are factored in.
Jackson’s catalog continues to be a monster. Estimates of posthumous sales in the first five years after his death were in excess of 13 million in the U.S. alone.
There’s a few more listed on Billboard to help explain the insane turnaround of the Michael Jackson estate. The deals have also pushed Jackson to the top of Forbes‘ list of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities with a reported $115 million, ahead of Elvis Presley, Bob Marley and Marilyn Monroe.