Michael Jackson was an American musician, singer, actor, and producer. He was also a philanthropist. Michael Jackson’s net worth was less than $500 million when he passed away. Demise theoretically speaking, one could say that Michael was in debt of $500 million at the time of his passing due to years of excessive spending and borrowing. In the past, he’s sold more than 750,000 albums, with the majority of them being 35 million sold in the year after his death.
Between 1985 and 1995, Michael Jackson conveniently made between $50-100 million per annum through tours and record sales, endorsements, and merchandise. However, Michael spent the money at the same rate as the money he earned. The lavish lifestyle he enjoyed cost him around 50 million dollars a year to run. He gave $12 million to his newborn mother, Debbie Rowe, and spent another $20 million on settling an unsolved child molestation case, in addition to several million dollars spent on lawyers. Neverland Ranch costs $19.5 million to acquire and 10 million dollars a year to run. The owner spent $35 million on transforming the property into an amusement park. Then there were the Bentleys, the art, the antiques, exotic animals, and the famous diamond-encrusted gloves. Jackson also invested between $50-100 million on film and music projects that didn’t get off the ground.
Even after his demise, Jackson remains an extremely adored and well-paid famous person around the globe.
Michael Jackson’s Net Worth at Death
In terms of technicality, Michael Jackson’s wealth as of the time of his demise was less than $500 million. In one instance, Michael obtained a 380-million credit from Bank of America to finance his lifestyle, using his 50% stake in the company that published music Sony/ATV for collateral. The interest rate on loans was thousands of dollars per year. Within a short time, Michael Jackson smashed through $380 million, plus $120 million. This is the reason why, when he died in 2009, passing in the year 2009, Michael Jackson was $500 million in debt.
Michael’s most important asset prior to his passing was his music collection. Although the value of copyrights for his own music was estimated to be 100 million dollars, the most valuable gem of his wealth was his collection of songs from other artists, including those of The Beatles. Michael’s first venture into rights to music began when he bought Sly and Family Stone catalogs in the early 1980s. But the most significant win was in the month of November 1984, when Michael bought the Beatles catalog from ATV at $47.5 million. The Beatles catalog was later combined with Sony to form a 50/50 joint venture named Sony/ATV, which is now believed to have a value of around $2-4 billion.
Buying the Beatles
In 1984, Robert Holmes owned The Beatles catalog of songs. The Australian billionaire had put it up for sale under ATV Music Publishing, a firm he founded that owned the rights to around four thousand songs. It also had an entity called Northern Songs, which was the publishing part that was part of The Beatles. It is a fact that Paul McCartney and John Lennon signed a terrible agreement at the start of their careers that granted the rights to publish over 250 tracks to Northern Songs. When they were in 1984, Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono were offered the chance to purchase the Beatles catalog, but they declined because the price of $40 million was too expensive.
At the time, the 25-year-old Michael Jackson was fresh off the huge success of the Thriller album and at the time of a two-year long shopping spree for publishing rights. The singer invested millions in 1982 and 1984, buying publishing rights from artists such as Sly and the Family Stone and hits like the Great Balls of Fire, When a Man Loves a Woman, and Runaround Sue, for just a few. Jackson’s attorney John Branca heard that the ATV catalog or The Beatles catalog was being offered for sale and contacted Michael about purchasing the catalog. Michael advised that he would not spare a penny, and with the most expensive offer at $40 million, Jackson and Branca were willing to offer $47.5 million ( $115 million in dollars today).
From that point, Michael was free to license any Beatles song. He did this in 1987 when he sold Revolution to Nike for $500,000. In that agreement, Jackson got $250,000, and McCartney and Lennon were each paid $125,000 since they owned the songwriter’s royalties.
Merging With Sony
In 1995 Sony came to Michael with a fantastic offer. Sony offered to pay $95,500,000 ($230 million in the present) to integrate ATV songs with its catalog and create a brand new 50/50 owned publishing giant. Michael accepted and immediately returned twice the amount of his initial investment and gained 50 percent ownership of the larger music publishing firm. In addition, Jackson still controlled 100 percent of his own songs through a separate entity called Mijac Music.
The brand new Jackson/Sony company will be referred to by the name of Sony/ATV Music Publishing and will expand over the next 10 years to 200 000 songs. Between 2005 and 2013, Sony/ATV expanded to manage two million songs, including catalogs and songs of a variety of artists such as Lady Gaga, Bob Dylan, Beck, and Eminem. The company made $1.25 billion in royalties and licensing. It also earned an annual income of $500 million. The company today is valued between $2-4 billion.
Earnings and Expenses
In his entire life, Jackson made around 500 million dollars from his own concerts, music, and endorsements. However, when he died in 2009, he died in 2009 and was $500,000 in debt. Jackson was left without a penny because he had spent all his money on an expensive and complicated life. He spent anywhere from $30 to $50 million a year on his lifestyle by himself and was able to rack up huge unpaid bills from his agents, lawyers, and publicists.
- $17 million was spent to purchase the Neverland Ranch and $5 million annually in maintenance expenses
- $20 million accommodation for the child molestation case.
- $65 million in a variety of video projects, which includes his 35-minute feature film “Ghosts” that he co-wrote with Stephen King
- The divorce settlement is worth $12 million, along with his girlfriend, Debbie Rowe.
- $5 million per annum in interest for his outstanding debts.
- The sum of tens of millions was spent on Bentley’s antique clothing, art diamond-encrusted gloves, and other trinkets.
In order to finance his extravagant life, Jackson took out a $380 million loan to fund the worth of his catalog of music. The pop singer was known for being naive regarding his finances. And he was overly optimistic about the value he had achieved. Near the point of completion of his career, it was a time when he was in the midst of financial deals with hedge funds, banks, and other unsavory individuals in an effort to keep his lifestyle intact while attempting a professional financial comeback. Before his death, Michael could not pay back the $380 million loan. He could not even think about making the required interest payments and paying back the principal. The debt was the main cause Michael had to perform the return concert “This Is It,” which is said to be the main reason for his death.
Who Inherited Michael Jackson’s Estate?
In the time since, Michael Jackson’s executors have orchestrated a ferocious financial comeback. One of their top objectives was to bring the estate to financial viability. So they didn’t have to sell his coveted music collection.
Michael will specifically include a 40% share of the wealth to his three children to be divided equally. A further 20% was donated to various charities for children. The remaining 40% was used to the mother of his children, Katherine. After Katherine’s passing, the 40% portion is transferred to Michael’s children. This means that the three kids will eventually share the estate in 80.
Jackson Net Worth After His Death
It’s ironic that death was the best thing to have ever occurred to Michael’s finances. Since the day he passed away on June 25, 2009, he’s consistently the highest-earning deceased celebrity in the world. In the days following Michael’s death, the executors began to strengthen the pop star’s finances. They quickly sold Michael’s future musical rights to Sony at a price of $250 million. It was the most high-priced record deal ever signed. Michael’s lawyer also searched through many home videos from the final year of his career. They then made the film “This Is It,” which was released to theaters all over the globe. The film has earned more than $500 million.
Following the film’s success and the record deal, numerous other endorsers came in. Pepsi approached with a deal to license Michael’s picture. Cirque du Soleil produced two Las Vegas shows around his image and music. Jacksons estate has 50/50 partnerships with Cirque du Soleil for both shows. In addition, Michael Jackson left tens of thousands of items from his collection and memorabilia. They are stored in three massive warehouses located in Southern California. The items will be kept until the singer’s three children are 18 years old. At That point they can choose what they want to keep and which items can be sold off.
Since the time Michael Jackson died in 2009, His estate has brought in more than $700 million. This is more than the average of any musician alive at that point. The executors of his estate have easily paid off his loan. From Sony and protected the future of his multi-billion-dollar music catalog.
The milestones Of Jackson’s earnings:
- 2018 2019: $400 million
- 2017 $ 75 Million
- 2016 $825 million
- 2015 115 million