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According to the WSJ, Sony Music has sold 31.5 million Jackson albums worldwide since his death, generating an estimated $125 million in royalties and advances.

MICHAEL JACKSON:
ONE YEAR AFTER

Millions Will Mourn as the Media Barrage
Begins All Over Again
Today marks the year anniversary of Michael Jackson’s sudden death at the age of 50 last June 25, from what we later learned was a fatal dose of propofol administered by his physician, Dr. Conrad Murray. At the time of his death, he was deep into rehearsals for what was supposed to be a 50-date engagement at London’s O2 Arena starting July 13.

A week later, Jackson dominated the HITS Album chart, with Thriller, Essential and Number Ones in the first three spots, selling more than 100k apiece. In all, a total of nine Jackson-related albums made the Top 50, including his eight Epic solo albums, and one Motown Jackson 5 collection.

A year later, Jackson’s estate, thanks to the astute work of John Branca and John McClain, has generated an estimated $200 million, according to a Wall Street Journal story, allowing it to pay off much of its debt and avoid foreclosure on the Encino complex where his mom Katherine and his three kids still live.

Curiously, Billboard estimated the estate’s earnings at $1 billion, breaking the figure down into music sales ($429m), film/TV ($392m), publishing ($130m), licensing/touring ($35m) and recording contract ($30m).

What we do know is his ill-fated tour documentary This Is It is now the highest-grossing concert film of all time, racking up $260 million in box office, while his songs were played more than 140k times on U.S. radio.

According to the WSJ, Sony Music has sold 31.5 million Jackson albums worldwide since his death, generating an estimated $125 million in royalties and advances. Jackson was the top-selling artist of 2009, with 8.3 million albums sold in the U.S., and since the start of 2010, has moved close to a million. Deals for a videogame and a pair of Cirque de Soleil shows based on his music are also in the works, as is an unreleased album of Jackson songs scheduled for release in November. The late entertainer’s estate continues to hold a 50% stake in Sony/ATV, which serves as backing for a $300 million loan from Barclays which matures at the end of the year.

The media will be all over the Jackson story this weekend. Tonight, NBC’s Dateline will feature an interview with Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson: A Mother’s Story, while CNN will run Michael Jackson: The Final Days. CBS Early Show is devoting its entire 8 a.m. hour this morning to a tribute, with performances by Christina Aguilera, L.L. Cool J and Marc Anthony. MTV will run a Michael Jackson Top 10 Video Countdown and Michael Jackson’s Influence on Music, while BET will air Michael Jackson History: King of Pop and VH1 Classic will show the 1992 TV movie The Jacksons: An American Dream. Memorials are scheduled for his hometown of Gary, IN, and N.Y.’s Apollo Theater.

In addition, a Jackson Family Foundation dinner is slated for the Beverly Hilton Saturday night, though neither Katherine nor Michael’s kids, Prince, Paris and Blanket, will be there. Meanwhile, Katherine’s photo book, Never Can Say Goodbye, which came out last Monday, has already sold 25k copies.

The legal squabbles continue as well, with Joe Jackson pressing his wrongful death civil suit alongside an ongoing lawsuit against Murray.

Look for Michael’s Google hits to pass the current total of 126 million.

Check the HITS Rumor Mill for some photographic blasts from the past.

 

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