- Michael Jackson’s estate earned $75 million in 2024.
- Michael Jackson’s net worth at the time of death was over $7 million and his assets worth was around $111 million as per U.S. tax court.
- Michael was around in debt of $400 to $500 million at the time of death.
- In final days his expenses was more than his earning.
- MJ made over billion dollars since his death.
World-famous legendary musician, Michael Jackson was an American songwriter, singer, dancer, and all-around entertainer. Years after the world lost his iconic figure in the music industry, Michael Jackson is still remembered for his revolutionary music and his stand-out signature look and outstanding fashion signature.
Michael Jackson was not only popular for his groundbreaking music records but he is also recorded as one of the bestselling artists of all time, especially with his sixth album, Thriller. Thriller has sold over 70 million copies worldwide, making it the bestselling album of all time. To date, Michael Jackson remains one of the most profitable artists even in death. As of 2024, Michael Jackson is one of the highest-paid dead celebrities with estimated earnings of $75 million, thanks to his Mijac Music catalog adding a staggering $30 million as well as his unreleased tracks, posthumous albums, shows, image and likeness, music catalogs such as Sony/ATV, the Jackson estate continues to pour in millions on annual basis. The Jackson estate has made over $2 billion since his death in 2009.
It is quite ironic that even though Michael Jackson is one of the richest recording artists that ever lived, his expenses were seemingly extravagant. Although Michael Jackson raked in millions from his earnings during his lifetime which included more than 61 million albums sold in the US alone and earned him Forbes title of the highest-paid entertainer in the world, Michael Jackson had spent as much as he made and even more than he earned from his successful career. Also, in his bid to maintain the lavish lifestyle he had accrued large amounts of loans which left him in huge debt by the time he died.
Michael Jackson Net Worth in 2009
At the time of his death, Michael Jackson’s net worth was estimated at contradictory figures, his executors estimated it to be $7 million while it was much more estimated at $1.125 billion by the IRS.
However, the long years of a tussle between both parties have been halted by U.S tax court, Judge Mark Holmes. The Judge made a final ruling on the issue by putting a value of $111 million on Michael’s assets at the time of his death, contrary to the IRS valuation of $482 million. After his debts were accounted for, the tax court also sided with the estate on its valuation of Michael Jackson’s likeness and image, by putting a value of $4.5 million on it, $107 million on Jackson’s own composition catalog, and zero at Sony/ATV stake.
Also, in 2013, the IRS had claimed that the estate’s management had undervalued the taxes at a figure which was $500 million dollars lower than what should have been paid. Therefore, the IRS had added $200 million more for the deficiency. As a result of the controversies which trailed Michael Jackson’s name, Michael Jackson’s managers had to take control of the situation and had to take legal action. His executors had made it clear that the valuation of Michael Jackson’s assets at the time of his death was outrageous, according to John Branca, who said: “that would have saddled his heirs with an oppressive tax liability of more than $700 million”. This had led to years of tax battle between Michael Jackson’s estate and the IRS.
Born into a family of music enthusiasts, Michael Joseph Jackson’s father was a guitarist and he had siblings who were keen on their interests in music. Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, and grew up to join the Jackson 5 band which was created by which was founded by his father Joe Jackson in their hometown, Indiana in 1964.
Michael Jackson’s career, although not as long as many would have loved it to be was a highly successful one. Given his background in music, Michael Jackson had an early start with his professional debut in 1964, when he started singing with his brothers in the Jackson 5 band. He became the lead vocal singer because of his innate musical abilities.
The Jackson 5 band proved the quality of the music that they produce when their first album Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5, became Billboard’s No. 1 on the hot 100 charts. From there, the brothers became more recognized as talented songwriters in a strong and promising band.
By 1972, Michael Jackson launched his own solo career, at 13 years. He released his debut album, Got to be there, and his second album, Ben was also launched in the same year. From there, Michael Jackson continued to gain recognition as well as commercial success for his albums. In total, Michael Jackson had 10 studio albums alongside other kinds of albums – 34 compilation albums, 3 soundtrack albums, 6 EPs, 4 remix albums, a live album, and even after death, two albums, Michael in 2010 and Xcape in 2014.
In all, Michael Jackson has sold more than 1 billion records, listing him among the top-selling artists who have sold more than 100 million records. His album, Thriller is one of his best highlights, as he pulled in over $100 million from the album’s sales and tours.
Michel Jackson’s Lavish Life Style and Debts
The exact period that he began the accumulation of such amount of debt is not known, however, he is recorded to have been in $30 million debt in 1993. This figure looks quite minute to his total reported accrued debt. However by 1998, the debt had increased to $140 million and by 2009, his debt had increased by $170 million which left him hooked in debt amounting to about $500 million as at the time of his death in 2009.
It cannot be said that Michael Jackson didn’t have enough to fund his lavish lifestyle. However, his control over his finances went downhill when he had to start maintaining his lifestyle by seeking out loans. Obviously, the loans were not used for investment but were pumped into more liable materials.
Some of the major million-dollar deals he made were his purchase of the $17.5 million dollar Neverland ranch which had to be maintained for $ 5 million annually. Also, he had to pay interest rates of about $5 million yearly for his loans. He had also spent heavily on his purchase of the ATV publishing catalog and spent $115 million more for half of the catalog when he merged it with Sony. He also had to make annual payments of $30 million on his debt.
Posthumous Earnings and Income Sources
It is no news that Michael Jackson has been at the top of Forbes list of the highest-paid celebrities since his death in 2009. Michael Jackson’s total career worth is valued at $4.2 billion with about $2.1 billion in earnings after his death, $825 million from his annual earnings recorded in 2016. Also, his album sales in the United States amount to $8 million for Off the Wall and $33 million for his all-time bestseller, Thriller. More earnings come from the sale of Michael Jackson’s Sony and ATV catalog amounting to $260 million and the sale of EMI Music Publishing stake for $287 million.
With these major earnings by the estate and some posthumous projects facilitated and supervised by Jackson’s entertainment lawyer, John Branca, and music executive, John McClain, he is even worth more than he did at the time of his death. Among these are projects like the Cirque du Soleil show, Michael Jackson: ONE, his posthumous albums which have been raking in more money in Jackson’s name.
Michael Jackson’s Accolades
Michael Jackson’s title as “the King of Pop” was earned wholly as a result of his record-breaking career success. On the Billboard chart, Michael Jackson earned 13 No. 1 singles on the Hot 100 chart, and he has been on the Artist 100 charts for 299 weeks. Also, he was the first artist to lead Billboard album charts and also be the No. 1 single on both pop and R&B charts at the same time. Also, Michael Jackson holds the record of being the most awarded recording artist of all time and has topped the list of the highest-paid dead entertainer since 2010, missing it only in 2012 when Elizabeth Taylor topped the list.
Michael Jackson’s Awards
The multi-award-winning artist also had numerous awards to his credit. He is recorded to have won about 274 awards, including 13 Grammy Awards, 24 American Music Awards, 5 Billboard Music Awards among others.