How much is Michael Jackson worth?

Net Worth:$750 Million
Profession:Professional Singer
Date of Birth:Aug 29, 1958
Country:United States of America
Height:
1.75 m

He was a hitmaker from the tender age of eight with The Jackson 5 before becoming the official King of Pop with a successful solo career that spanned almost 4 decades before his untimely death in 2009.

Who Is Michael Jackson

The gifted child singer and dancer morphed into the biggest star on the planet, and then into a side-show freak of scandal, illnesses, plastic surgery and odd parenting. Despite an embattled life where he was often the target of ridicule, Michael Jackson became a legend who, even after over a decade off the radar, still had legions of fans scrambling to secure tickets to his final, ill-fated tour. He passed away in 2009, and yet he still makes more money than a vast majority of the population.

As of 2020, the estate of Michael Jackson has an estimated worth of over $750 million dollars. This is set to further increase with the opening of MJ : The Musical in Broadway in 2021.

Childhood Lost

Michael Joseph Jackson, born August 29, 1958, to Joseph Walter (“Joe”) and Katherine Scruse-Jackson, lived in a modest two-room house in a working-class neighborhood of Gary, Indiana with his parents and eight siblings. Michael officially joined older brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon in the family band as a young child. Father Joe Jackson had a strict work ethic, coupled with a yen for even stricter discipline (likely driven by both his regrets about his own lagging career as an R&B guitarist and perhaps the cramped living quarters). But Joe was responsible for both the early successes of the family singing and dancing sensation The Jackson 5, and the frequent and brutal whippings Michael endured at his hand.

From Quintet To Solo

The Jackson 5 signed with Motown Records in 1968 and for the next six years enjoyed a string of Billboard Hot 100 and R&B chart hits. Michael’s talents eclipsed those of his siblings early on, with Rolling Stone calling the young, silver-voiced dancing machine a prodigy with “overwhelming musical gifts” who “quickly emerged as the main draw and lead singer.”  

Throughout the 1970s, Michael released a string of well-received solo albums and appeared in The Wiz with friend Diana Ross. Jackson solidified his superstar talents with the financial and creative successes of the album Thriller. To date, Thriller‘s sales have topped more than 110 millions copies worldwide, making it the most popular album of all time.

Can an individual this talented and driven enjoy a semblance of a ‘normal’ life? Maybe not. Jackson’s last 25 years on earth were punctuated by a string of bad luck and bad choices—both comedic and tragic—that painted Jackson as capricious, eccentric, emotionally stunted, and, perhaps, exploitative.

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By the time that Michael’s hair caught on fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial, he had already undergone (at least) three nose jobs. Despite his vehement denials to the contrary, it appeared that Michael also surgically reshaped his face while he was at it. Starting in the mid-1980s, his skin pigment grew progressively lighter—the result, he claimed, of a topical treatment used to combat lupus and vitiligo. He liberally applied pancake makeup to even out his skin tone to the point of ridicule, replacing a young African-American man with a Kabuki drag queen.  

Scandal, Lisa Marie And Slinking Into The Shadows

Jackson was enthralled by symbols of youth—toys, Ferris wheels, animals, children—and spent prodigious amount of his fortune to furnish The Neverland Ranch, his home outside Santa Ynes, California complete with a movie theater, a personal menagerie and even Ferris wheels on the 2,700-acre property. An innocent sleepover could so easily be misconstrued by the public, especially when they also believed you bought the Elephant Man’s bones and were trying to turn yourself into Diana Ross. In 1993, Jackson was sued for sexual assault by a 13-year-old boy and his father; the case was later settled out of court, but Jackson’s friends say he never recovered from that humiliation.  

From 1994 to 1996, Jackson was married to Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley, yet questions persisted whether the marriage was intended to prove once and for all that Michael’s love for little boys was strictly platonic.  

In 1997, Michael married Deborah Rowe, better known as his plastic surgeon’s associate, in an impromptu ceremony in Australia. This three-year marriage resulted in two children, but Rowe later revealed that the pair never had sex or acted like a couple during their relationship, and the children were conceived via artificial insemination from an anonymous sperm donor. As if that family dynamic wasn’t already bizarre enough, Jackson welcomed a third child, Prince Michael II (“Blanket”), in 2002 through a surrogate mother, but promptly caused a media firestorm when he dangled him over the edge of a hotel balcony for reporters in Berlin.  

In 2003, the documentary Living with Michael Jackson debuted. Journalist Martin Bashir hoped to debunk some of the myths about Michael’s odd behavior during the eight months he spent with him. Instead, it ended up being a somewhat negative portrayal of his life.  

Things only got worse when, soon after, Santa Barbara County prosecutors charged Jackson with child molestation for the second time. Again, Jackson was acquitted on all counts, but the negative press and the stress that followed made him a virtual recluse. He relocated to the country of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf to lick his wounds.  

This Is It

On June 25, 2009, in the midst of preparing for a series of high-profile comeback concerts, Jackson died of cardiac arrest. The death was eventually ruled a homicide, brought on by lethal doses of sedatives administered by his personal physician. Fans learned after his death that the star was addicted to painkillers and sleep aids for a long time.  

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But even in death, Michael triumphs over the competition: he was the #1 selling artist of 2009, selling more than 8 million albums, and This is It, a documentary of Jackson preparing for his final tour, has made more than $250 million. He continues to make headlines through his family and releases of old tracks that never saw the light of day.  

What made him so successful?

Michael Jackson’s talent was simply quite extraordinary. While he had a vocal range and versatility that enabled him to switch between music genres effortlessly, but it was those little vocal “hiccups” and stutters that set Michael’s singing techniques apart from anyone else. Michael wasn’t just a brilliant singer, as a dancer, he was both technically superior as well as wonderfully creative. When he first performed his unique moonwalk in 1983 to the song Billie Jean, he sparked a new dance move which enraptured everyone. Musically, after Michael ventured out on his own as a solo artist, he traded in the happy bubblegum sounds of his young days for a more sophisticated sound which often combined Black R&B, White pop and rock into a different kind of music. This new genre revolutionized the music industry, breaking racial barriers and receiving infinite praise from the Afro-American community.

With an extraordinary voice, killer dance moves and the ability to make new music, it was no wonder Micheal quickly became not just an artist, but a cultural force that the world had not seen before. Thriller was originally projected by its producer to hit 2 million copies in sales, but it went on to stay more than 30 weeks at the number spot and sold tens of millions more copies. The album and video of Thriller and the making of made Michael a very rich artist, although some would say that his later troubles originated from the unparalleled success of Thriller. The enormous wealth Thriller generated left him unchecked as he became more and more divorced from reality.

How did Michael Jackson get so rich?

Michael Jackson’s albums and sold-out concerts generated a huge fortune for him. Thriller alone generated a fortune of more than $175 million dollars, just two years after its release. The years in which he earned the most money were in the 80’s and 90’s. After Thriller, Bad, released in 1987 after a five-year hiatus, stomped the charts with 5 number one singles and went on to sell more than 45 million worldwide. Bad subsequently won Michael an Award of Achievement at the American Music Awards in 1989. His next spectacularly successful album Dangerous released in 1991 was certified 7 times platinum, selling some 30 million copies worldwide. Together with the Bad and Dangerous world tours, there was no stopping Michael’s fortune from accelerating at an astonishing rate.

These and other successful albums, added to his numerous tours around the world, allowed the artist to achieve a level of fame and fortune that few are able to match.

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His wealth enabled him to buy a part of the Sony ATV Beatles song catalogue for some $47 million and a half dollars which would later generate millions of dollars in royalty for Michael. In fact, 10 years later, Sony paid Jackson $115 million to form a joint venture company to hold the rights in equal shares. In 2016, the Jackson estate sold its shares in Sony ATV for a whopping $750 million dollars, and together with royalty earned from Michael’s music and other rights, his estate generated some $850 million dollars in revenue that year.

Significant properties that Michael’s estate held included a 75% share in The Hayvenhurst Mansion and Neverland ranch which boasted a total area of some 2700 acres.

In the later years from the year 2000 onwards, Michael became very much a recluse, owing in large part to the legal troubles he was facing, having been indicted for child abuse. During this period, Michael was reportedly in financial trouble and amongst various disposals he had made of his assets, he also planned a series of come back shows at the O2 Arena in London which were all sold out, but sadly just 3 weeks before the first show, Michael died from a cardiac arrest.

Why is he so famous?

Michael’s talent and music made him The King of Pop, a title he retains even after his death.

His incredible voice and talent for composing and producing music literally took him to the top of the music industry. From a young age, his talent already set him apart and he soon became the vocalist of The Jackson 5. When Michael set course for a career as a solo artist, his popularity exploded with the release of dazzling albums like Thriller, Bad and Dangerous.

Michael’s work in charity, notably in composing, singing and producing We Are the World, a project to alleviate hunger in Africa, in particular, Ethiopia in 1985, was not only lauded as one of the most important projects where artists gave back, the album was also a huge commercial success selling more than 20 million copies worldwide and is the eighth best selling physical single of all time.

Michael Jackson was also recognized as a guru on the dance floor, inventing new dance moves and steps which continue to influence the youths of today. His crotch-grabbing move became a worldwide trend and is today a standard move for rappers and hip hop artists. On stage, Michael seemed to float with his moonwalk, and we’ve also seen him lean 45 degrees without falling on the floor.

In the course of his career, Michael had garnered 17 Grammy Awards, 475 American Music Awards, and many other accolades.

Summing-Up

The fame of Michael Jackson is such that his estate may well be making more money than when he was alive. As the King of Pop, this true legend will continue to live on in his music and dance for multiple generations to enjoy and discover in the years to come.

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