Many years after his death, Michael Jackson is still raking in the dough. The sale of the King of Pop’s half of the Sony/ATV music publishing catalog, famous for its library of Beatles tunes placed him on top of the list for the highest earning dead celebrities.
Sold to the tune of $750 million, critics and advisors of the pop icon must be scratching their heads in disbelief. This is because the same people derided the catalog as a badly overpriced investment.
According to Forbes, Jackson’s total pretax payday of $825 million, the largest annual haul by a dead celebrity. “He was always doing stuff that was the best, the greatest, the biggest,” says Jeff Jampol, who manages the estates of Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and others.
It was a bad fight to buy the catalog but it turns out to be worth it. It turned out to be the greatest investments Michael Jackson ever made.
Michael Jackson Legacy Making Millions Years After His Death
So how did the King of Pop do it? In 1985, Jackson paid $47.5 million (roughly $140 million in today’s money) to buy the Beatles-packed ATV publishing catalog.
Ten years later, Sony paid him $115 million to form for half of the catalog and formed a joint venture. The media giant then purchased his remaining half in March for a huge sum.
In all, the sales (and accompanying distributions) gave Jackson’s estate; a 30% annualized return on investment. The King of Pop’s estate is currently overseen by lawyer John Branca and music exec John McClain.
Behind Jackson is “Peanuts” creator Charles Shultz who died of colon cancer 16 years ago. The cartoonist hauled a whopping $48 million thanks to his franchise which still continues to entertain people decades after his death.
Michael Jackson might now be rocking in the afterlife but doesn’t mean his legacy in this life died with him. Let us know what you think of the King of Pop’s legacy in the comments below.