Michael Jackson stood in front of an audience of cameras, flashbulbs and screaming fans with the promise of a comeback. Bearing his signature sunglasses and bejeweled armband, he pronounced with pumping arms: “This is it!” He would take the stage at the O2 arena in London in July for his last tour. “This will really be it. This is the final curtain call.”
A few months later, Jackson was dead. Though he didn’t survive to perform his anticipated grand finale, the pop star portended the summer with eerie accuracy. With his posthumous return to radio, television and the cultural zeitgeist, this year will ultimately belong to Michael Jackson, the King of Pop.
Forbes estimates Jackson has made $90 million in gross earnings since his death June 25. This figure is based primarily on estimated royalties from album sales, radio play, rights to his name and likeness and royalties from his stake in the Sony/ATV music catalog.
Attorney John Branca, an executor of Jackson’s estate, refused to comment for this story. Calls to the attorneys of Michael’s mother, Katherine Jackson, who oversees the 80% of the estate left to her and the pop star’s children, were not returned.