Michael Jackson Earned More Than Any Living Celebrity In 2016

Michael Jackson is setting records even from the afterlife.

The King of Pop topped Forbes’ list of the highest-paid dead celebrities in 2016, raking in $825 million in pretax earnings — the biggest haul of any celeb in the past year, living or dead.

Jackson’s huge payday was largely due to the sale of his half of the Sony/ATV music-publishing catalog, which included a library of Beatles songs and fetched $750 million in March. He originally purchased the catalog in 1985 for $47.5 million and sold a 50 percent stake to Sony for $115 million in 1995, according to Forbes (Sony bought out his estate’s remaining half earlier this year).

To put Jackson’s haul in perspective, the still-living celebrities who topped their own Forbes list this year had earnings that paled in comparison, like Dr. Phil ($88 million, highest-paid TV-show host), Kevin Hart ($87.5 million, highest-paid comedian), Diddy ($62 million, highest-paid hip-hop act) and Sofía Vegara ($43 million, highest-paid TV actress).

Also joining Jackson on the Forbes list of richest dead celebrities (which measured pretax income from Oct. 1, 2015 through Oct. 1, 2016) were Peanuts creator Charles Schultz at No. 2 ($48 million), golf legend Arnold Palmer ($40 million) and Elvis Presley ($27 million).

Source: http://nypost.com/2016/10/14/michael-jackson-earned-more-than-any-living-celebrity-this-year/

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Joseph Jackson Hospitalized

The 87-year-old was undergoing a routine checkup with his primary doctor in Los Angeles last week when he fell ill. TMZ reports that the music manager was having some tests done when he ‘became weak’ and came down with a high fever. Sources told the website that Jackson saw his doctor on Friday and was immediately hospitalized. He is currently still at hospital as doctors are still attempting to find a diagnosis.

Joe, patriarch of the Jackson family of musical performers, suffered a stroke in Brazil last year where he was treated in a Sao Paulo hospital.

The manager, who was in Brazil to celebrate his 87th birthday, was diagnosed with a stroke associated with cardiac arrhythmia, the Albert Einstein hospital said in an e-mailed statement.

Joe was estranged from Michael – who became one of the world’s most successful and best-known performers – before his 2009 death.  He also strayed apart from his wife, Katherine, and many of his other eight children.

In 2010, Joe confessed during an interview with Oprah Winfry that he beat his children.  ‘I don’t [regret the beatings],’ he said. ‘It kept them out of jail and kept them right.’

Joe was initially defensive about his relationship with Michael, insisting: ‘I don’t think he was afraid of me. What he was afraid of, he may do something wrong and I’d chastise him but not beat him. I never beat him like the media tried to say.’But he was forced to admit he used the strap on his nine children when his wife Katherine stepped in. She said. ‘He used a strap. Yes, he did use a strap.’ Joe then chastised his wife for being too soft.

‘Katherine is too easy with people… just like Michael,’ he said.


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Sony Buys Michael Jackson’s Stake In Lucrative Music Catalog

The Sony Corporation has announced it will pay Michael Jackson’s estate $750 million for Jackson’s 50 percent share of the Sony/ATV music publishing company.

The backstory here has more twists and shouts than a long and winding road (Couldn’t resist, but note that the rights to both “Twist and Shout” and “The Long and Winding Road” belong to Sony/ATV). Sony’s purchase marks the culmination of one of the most remarkable stories in the history of the music business.

It all started when Paul McCartney advised his young friend Michael Jackson that, to really make money in the music industry, you needed to own the publishing of hit songs. McCartney told CBS-TV in a 1989 interview that Jackson joked to him “One day I’ll own your songs.” To McCartney’s shock, Jackson was true to his word.

A music publisher owns the rights to a song’s lyrics and composition. Anytime a song is performed, played on TV or radio, used in a commercial, etc., the publisher collects royalties. Contracts vary but, traditionally, that money is split 50/50 with the songwriter.

In 1985, music publisher ATV owned the rights to some 4,000 songs, including more than 200 by The Beatles. It also owned Little Richard’s Tutti Frutti. Michael Jackson’s lawyer, John Branca, knew Jackson was looking for songs to buy. When Branca learned that the Australian tycoon who owned ATV was putting the company up for sale, Branca and Jackson put in a bid. After long, tense negotiations, Jackson was able to purchase ATV for a reported $47.5 million.

In the mid-1990s, when Jackson was in debt, he sold half of ATV to Sony, forming the joint venture Sony/ATV. To get full ownership, Sony offered Jackson’s estate $750 million.

The Sony/ATV catalog has swelled over the years and now owns or administers the copyrights to more than three million songs, including hits by Sting, Lady Gaga and Alicia Keyes. The company controls some of the best known songs in the world, including “Over The Rainbow” and “New York, New York.” One analyst tells Bloomberg, with the increase in streaming, the trove’s worth is more than what Sony’s paying for it.

As for Michael Jackson’s estate, it still owns Jackson’s master recordings as well as Mijac Music, the publishing company that owns all of the songs he wrote. In a statement by co-executors John Branca and John McClain, the sale to Sony will allow them to maximize the “the value of Michael’s Estate for the benefit of his children.”



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Thriller Becomes The First-Ever 30 Times Multi-Platinum Album

The new milestone continues Jackson’s reign as the best-selling artist of all time, with over 100 million sales for “Thriller” worldwide and 1 billion total sales to his credit.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller has become the first album ever to be certified 30 times multi-platinum for U.S. sales, marking more than 30 million sales in the States.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) made the announcement Wednesday (Dec. 15) with the Estate of Michael Jackson, Epic Records and Legacy Recordings, as the new milestone continues Jackson’s reign as the most selling artist of all time with over 100 million sales for Thriller worldwide and 1 billion total sales to his credit.

“RIAA has awarded Gold & Platinum records on behalf of the music business for nearly 60 years, but this is the first time an artist has crossed the 30X multi-Platinum plateau,” RIAA chairman and CEO Cary Sherman said in a statement. “We are honored to celebrate the unique status of Thriller in Gold & Platinum history. What an exceptional achievement and testament to Thriller’s enduring spot in our hearts and musical history.”

Jackson’s Thriller was released Nov. 30 1982 and spent nearly 2 1/2 years on the Billboard album chart with 37 weeks at No. 1, holding the modern day record. It was also the first album in history to spend its first 80 weeks in the album chart’s top 10, which has only been replicated once since.

The Quincy Jones and Jackson-produced LP was also the first ever certified RIAA 20 times multi-platinum, doing so after 112 weeks on the album chart — less than two years in all. Seven tracks off the album became top 10 singles with three — “Beat It,” “Billie Jean” and “Thriller” — topping the singles chart.

Worldwide, Thriller topped charts in nearly every market, hitting No. 1 in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, South Africa, Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada and apartheid South Africa. The album won a record-setting 8 Grammys with nominations in 12 categories — another first.

“It is crystal clear that Michael Jackson is simply the greatest and biggest artist of all time,” Epic Records chairman and CEO LA Reid said in a statement. “Not only are his charts hits and sales stats staggering, but his pure musicality was other-worldly. Thriller was groundbreaking and electrifying…it was perfection. I am extremely proud that Michael is the heart and soul of Epic Records and he will forever remain the one-and-only King of Pop.”


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Michael Jackson Estate Sued for Shutting Down Tribute Film ‘Messages to Michael’
The father of a deceased producer and friend of Michael Jackson’s has sued the entertainer’s estate, claiming he’s been denied the opportunity to make a tribute film to Jackson under a contract his son had with the late singer.

Sharad Chandra Patel, whose son Raju Patel produced Bachelor Party, a 1994 version of The Jungle Book and The New Adventures of Pinocchio and was a Jackson friend, filed suit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court to enforce a creditor’s claim that was rejected by the Jackson estate. Patel alleges that his son, who died of cancer in 2005, had a film company with Jackson called Neverland Entertainment and that a 2002 contract provides that all proceeds from their films will be split 50-50.

When Jackson was arrested and charged with child molestation in 2003, Raju is said to have stayed loyal to his friend and business partner. After the scandal subsided, Jackson is said to have wanted to make a film dedicated to the millions of fans who also stood by him during the controversy, and a 2005 contract signed three months before Raju died provided that Raju and Jackson would make Messages to Michael, “a tribute to Michael and his loyal fans.” That contract, which includes language saying Raju “or his nominee” could make the film with Jackson “or his nominee,” then allegedly was assigned from Raju to his father Sharad (who also is a producer) before the son died.

In the six years since Jackson died, Sharad has been trying to get access to Jackson’s music and personal effects in order to make the film but has been shut out by estate executors John Branca and John McClain.

“Michael wanted to create a film tribute to the dedicated fans who stood by him during difficult times when many others turned their backs on Michael,” the lawsuit reads. “Michael trusted his good friend and filmmaker, Raju, to make the film a reality.” But Branca and McClain “have disregarded the terms of the agreement, as well as Michael’s wishes for his fans, because [they] are simply motivated by the biggest payday.”

Patel alleges his son’s contract with Jackson entitles him to make the film with the Jackson estate’s cooperation. Instead, the estate chose to partner with Sony on the 2010 documentary film This Is It, which included never-before-seen footage of Jackson. The estate is alleged to have collected “a 90 percent share of film profits” from This Is It, much more than the 50-50 split it would have obtained if it had cooperated with Patel’s film under the contract with Jackson.

To read more visit: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/michael-jackson-estate-sued-shutting-845655

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Epcot To Replace Michael Jackson’s Captain EO

Michael Jackson’s space mini-opera Captain EO will moonwalk across the Magic Eye Theater movie screen one last time on December 6.

In its place will be the new “Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival.” The date of debut of the new Pixar attraction was not announced.

The 3-D movie, revived in 2010 following Jackson’s death, originally ran from 1987 until 1996 at Epcot’s Imagination land.

A fan driven online petition was successful in relaunching the Francis Ford Coppola directed, George Lucas-produced short film.

The 17-minute movie depicts a then peak-fame Jackson attempting to “change the world” with music. Jackson, with a rag tag band of robots and aliens, manage to successfully overthrow the Angelica Huston-portrayed Supreme Leader in her bleak nightmarish dystopian world.

According to a Disney statement, fans are invited to “change the world” again,

If you can’t make it to Epcot before December, watch the movie here:


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New Book Alert- MJ: The Genius of Michael Jackson

Steve Knopper is on a rescue mission: To restore Michael Jackson’s legacy as a significant artist.

Go elsewhere, in other words, if what you want from Knopper’s MJ: The Genius of Michael Jackson is to wallow in the lurid farrago of indictments, trial records and baffling behavior that characterized Jackson’s final years. Not that this book ignores that stuff. Indeed, Knopper’s meticulous accounting in the book’s last chapters all but mires the narrative in a swampy crawl toward an unbearably sad, stunning denouement.

But Knopper, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone who is more conscientious historian than tabloid newshound, only deals with whatever can be substantiated. OK, so did Jackson molest children? Concludes Knopper: “All evidence points to no – although sleeping in bed with children and boasting of it on international television did not qualify him for the Celebrity Judgment Hall of Fame.”

That phrase, as much as any other, exemplifies the book’s clear-eyed composure regarding its endlessly complicated, weirdly compelling subject. It should also alert readers that Knopper’s principal objective is to re-establish Jackson’s historic stature, six years after his death at age 50, as the greatest song-and-dance man of the 20th century’s latter half (Fred Astaire owning the other); a global cultural phenomenon whose long-range impact on pop music was matched only by those of the Beatles and Elvis Presley; and a creative visionary whose meticulous studio coups were as notable as those of Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys’ similarly eccentric – and similarly troubled – genius savant. Knopper doesn’t use that latter analogy, though his mode of analysis makes it easy to make such connections on our own.

Through reminiscences and observations Knopper gathers from more than 400 interviews, MJ  deftly recounts the familiar aspects of the story, which begins with Joe Jackson, a cold, hard Gary, Ind., steelworker, pressing five of his talented young children into the rhythm-and-blues circuit. Those magnetic “Jackson 5” kids become child stars of the Motown music stable by the early 1970s, though Knopper writes that even in those years Michael was distancing himself from his brothers. There are anecdotes scattered throughout the early chapters of the younger Michael incessantly drawing pictures and closely scrutinizing dancers, singers and even mimes – which is how he all but patented the Robot dance.

The turning point of Jackson’s life was his partnership with jazz-pop impresario-arranger Quincy Jones, who produced the three signature albums of Jackson’s solo recording career, 1979’s Off the Wall, 1982’s Thriller and 1987’s Bad.  As Knopper’s book cannily elucidates, it was Jackson’s own painstaking, mostly intuitive creative process that helped shape these masterworks – and those that followed.

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Sony, Michael Jackson Estate in Talks for Transfer of Massive Catalog

Sony ATV, the famous music-publishing catalog that Michael Jackson bought in 1985 and used for decades as a financial lifeline, will soon be sold in full to the late singer’s estate — or the estate may sell its own half back to Sony Corp. The technology giant will “either become 100 percent owner or divest,” a source close to the deal tells Rolling Stone, adding that Sony reps will soon meet with Jackson’s estate reps to work out the terms. The company has begun what is known as a “buy-sell process,” with one source saying that “this is just the first step” for the company.

The catalog, which owns publishing rights for 750,000 songs, including tracks by the Beatles, Taylor Swift, the Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye and many others, is worth an estimated $2 billion. It has been a 50-50 venture between Sony and Jackson since 1995, when the King of Pop agreed to merge his share with Sony’s music-publishing catalog. In 2007, an auditor said Jackson’s half of the catalog was worth $390 million — providing crucial assets for the big-spending superstar during a period when he was releasing almost no new music or making money off concert tours.

Reps for Jackson’s estate declined to comment.

Jackson had been deeply in debt in 2006 when he agreed to give Sony an option to buy his half of the catalog at some later date. Sony exercised that option sometime last month. “The structure of a joint venture is sometimes difficult to manage,” the source says.

Company reps would not comment, but leaked Sony documents last year suggest execs were dubious of its potential in a time of low digital-music revenues. Kenichro Yoshida, Sony’s chief financial officer, said in a statement last year that Sony ATV “has a rather complex capital and governance structure and is impacted by the market shift to streaming.”

The Beatles lost control of much of their publishing in the Sixties after a series of complicated business deals. When Jackson bought the catalog, for $47.5 million, Paul McCartney unsuccessfully bid against him. “The key thing to remember today is don’t sell your catalogue,” Marshall Gelfand, Jackson’s accountant, told the Los Angeles Times at the time. “The whole explosion of music videos and the trend toward using more music in movies is going to make copyrights even more valuable. If you are an established artist today, you should only consider selling your catalogue as a last resort to raise cash.”

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