Final years (2006–09)
Jackson with his children in Disneyland Paris, 2006
Reports of financial problems for Jackson became frequent in 2006, after the closure of the main house on the Neverland Ranch as a cost-cutting measure. One prominent financial issue concerned a $270 million loan secured against his music publishing holdings. After delayed repayments on the loan, a refinancing package shifted the loans from Bank of America to debt specialists Fortress Investments. A new package proposed by Sony would have had Jackson borrow an additional $300 million and reduce the interest rate payable on the loan, while giving Sony the future option to buy half of Jackson's stake in their jointly owned publishing company (leaving Jackson with a 25% stake). Jackson agreed to a Sony-backed refinancing deal, although details were not made public. Despite these loans, according to Forbes, Jackson was still making as much as $75 million a year from his publishing partnership with Sony alone.
Jackson was awarded the Diamond Award on November 15, 2006, for selling over 100 million albums, at the World Music Awards. Following the death of James Brown, Jackson returned to the U.S. to pay tribute during Brown's public funeral on December 30, 2006. In late 2006, he agreed to share joint custody of his first two children with ex-wife Debbie Rowe. Jackson and Sony bought Famous Music LLC from Viacom in 2007. This deal gave him the rights to songs by Eminem, Shakira and Beck, among others.
I've been in the entertainment industry since I was six-years-old... As Charles Dickens says, "It's been the best of times, the worst of times." But I would not change my career... While some have made deliberate attempts to hurt me, I take it in stride because I have a loving family, a strong faith and wonderful friends and fans who have, and continue, to support me.
The 25th anniversary of Thriller was marked by the release of Thriller 25, recorded in Ireland, it featured the previously unreleased song "For All Time" and re-mixes. Two remixes were released as singles to moderate success: "The Girl Is Mine 2008" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008". Thriller 25 sold well as a re-issue, peaking at number one in eight countries and Europe. In 12 weeks Thriller 25 sold over three million copies worldwide. To celebrate Jackson's 50th birthday, Sony BMG released a series of compilation albums called King of Pop. King of Pop did reach the top 10 in most countries where it was issued, and also sold well as an import in other countries.
Fortress Investments threatened to foreclose on Neverland Ranch, which Jackson used as collateral for loans running into many tens of millions of dollars. However, Fortress opted to sell Jackson's debts to Colony Capital LLC. In November, Jackson transferred Neverland Ranch's title to Sycamore Valley Ranch Company LLC, which was a joint venture between Jackson and Colony Capital LLC. This deal cleared Jackson's debt, and he reportedly even gained an extra $35 million from the venture. At the time of his death, Jackson still owned a stake in Neverland/Sycamore Valley, but it is unknown how large that stake was.
In September 2008, financial concerns prompted Jackson to enter negotiations with Julien's Auction House to display and auction a large collection of memorabilia amounting to approximately 1390 lots. The auction was scheduled to take place between April 22 and April 25. Though an exhibition of the lots opened on 9900 Wilshire Blvd between April 14 and 25, the auction was eventually cancelled at Jackson's request.
Jackson at the Staples Center days before his death.
In March 2009, Jackson announced in a press conference at London's O2 arena that he would perform there in major comeback concerts titled This Is It. The shows were to be Jackson's first major series of concerts since the HIStory World Tour finished in 1997, and had been cited as one of the year's most important musical events with over one million people attending in total. Jackson suggested possible retirement after the shows; in his own words it would be his "final curtain call". Although initially a 10 date concert, it was increased to 50 dates after record breaking ticket sales. Jackson rehearsed in Los Angeles in the weeks leading up to the tour under the direction of choreographer/director Kenny Ortega. The concerts would have commenced on July 13, 2009 and finished on March 6, 2010. Less than three weeks before the first show was due to begin in London and with all concerts being sold out, Jackson died of a cardiac arrest.
AEG Live, the concert promoters, released a promotional video that took up an entire commercial break, setting a record for ITV. According to Jackson's website, ticket sales for the concerts broke several records. Randy Phillips, president and chief executive of AEG Live, stated that the first 10 dates alone would have earned the singer approximately £50 million. Columbia Pictures made a feature documentary concert-film from the rehearsal and pre-recorded footage. The contract for the film stipulated that a cut of the film must be screened for Jackson's estate, which stands to receive 90 percent of the profits. A final cut was done on October 28, 2009, for a limited 2 week run in theatres worldwide.
A new single titled "This Is It" was released on October 12, 2009, with a new album of the same name, This Is It which was released worldwide on October 26, 2009, and in North America on October 27, 2009, the day before the Michael Jackson's This Is It documentary film, which became the highest grossing documentary or concert movie ever (more than $252 million worldwide). Two versions of the new song appear on the second "This Is It" album's first disc, which also features original masters of Michael Jackson's hits in the order in which they appear in the movie. The album's second disc features previously unreleased versions of more Jackson hits, as well as a previously unheard spoken word poem entitled "Planet Earth
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Final years (2006–09)
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Main articles: Death of Michael Jackson and Michael Jackson memorial service
Jackson's fans paid tribute to him at his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, shortly after the announcement of his death.
On June 25, 2009, Jackson collapsed at his rented mansion at 100 North Carolwood Drive in the Holmby Hills district of Los Angeles. Attempts at resuscitating him by his personal physician were unsuccessful. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics received a 911 call at 12:22 p.m. (PDT), arriving three minutes later at Jackson's location. He was reportedly not breathing and CPR was performed. Resuscitation efforts continued en route to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and for an hour after arriving there at 1:13 p.m. (20:13 UTC). He was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. local time (21:26 UTC).
The memorial was held on July 7, 2009, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, preceded by a private family service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park's Hall of Liberty. Jackson's casket was present during the memorial but no information was released about the final disposition of the body. While some unofficial reports claimed a worldwide audience as high as one billion people the U.S. audience was estimated by Nielsen to be 31.1 million, an amount comparable to the estimated 35.1 million that watched the 2004 burial of President Ronald Reagan, and the estimated 33.1 million Americans who watched the 1997 funeral for Princess Diana.
Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Jermaine Jackson, and Shaheen Jafargholi performed at the event. Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson gave eulogies, while Queen Latifah read, "We had him," a poem written for the occasion by Maya Angelou. The Reverend Al Sharpton received a standing ovation with cheers when he told Jackson's children, "Wasn't nothing strange about your Daddy. It was strange what your Daddy had to deal with. But he dealt with it anyway." Jackson's 11-year-old daughter, Paris Katherine, cried as she told the crowd, "Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine ... I just wanted to say I love him ... so much."
On August 24, multiple news outlets quoted anonymous sources as stating that the Los Angeles coroner had decided to treat Jackson's death as a homicide; this was later confirmed by the coroner on August 28. At the time of death, Jackson had been administered propofol, lorazepam and midazolam. Law enforcement officials are currently conducting a manslaughter investigation of his personal physician, Conrad Murray. Jackson was buried on September 3, 2009, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California
Jackson's music genre takes roots in R&B, Motown's music, pop and soul. He had been influenced by the work of contemporary musicians such as Little Richard, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Diana Ross, David Ruffin, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Sammy Davis, Jr. and the Bee Gees. He was also an admirer of performers from the English music hall tradition, such as Benny Hill and Charlie Chaplin.
While Little Richard had a huge influence on Jackson, James Brown was for him, since early childhood, his greatest inspiration: "the master" or "a genius" especially when he was playing with his group, the Famous Flames, describing his performance as "phenomenal". He declared: "Ever since I was a small child, no more than like six years old, my mother would wake me no matter what time it was, if I was sleeping, no matter what I was doing, to watch the television to see the master at work. And when I saw him move, I was mesmerized. I had never seen a performer perform like James Brown, and right then and there I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life because of James Brown."
At first, the young Michael Jackson owed his vocal technique in large part to Diana Ross. In October 1969, it was decided that Michael would live with Diana Ross. Not only a mother figure to him, he often observed her in rehearsal as an accomplished performer. He later confessed: "I got to know her well. She taught me so much. I used to just sit in the corner and watch the way she moved. She was art in motion. I studied the way she moved, the way she sang - just the way she was." He told her: 'I want to be just like you, Diana'. She said: 'You just be yourself.'" But Michael especially owed his oooh's to Diana Ross. At first, Michael almost always punctuated his verses with a sudden interjection of oooh. Diana Ross used this effect on many of the songs recorded with the The Supremes, and young Michael was delighted to take ownership.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Unlike many artists, Jackson did not write his songs on paper. Instead he would dictate into a sound recorder; when recording he would sing from memory. Several critics observed Off the Wall was crafted from funk, disco-pop, soul, soft rock, jazz and pop ballads. Prominent examples include the ballad "She's Out of My Life", and the two disco tunes "Workin' Day and Night" and "Get on the Floor".
According to Huey, Thriller refined the strengths of Off the Wall; the dance and rock tracks were more aggressive, while the pop tunes and ballads were softer and more soulful. Notable tracks included the ballads "The Lady in My Life", "Human Nature" and "The Girl Is Mine"; the funk pieces "Billie Jean" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"; and the disco set "Baby Be Mine" and "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)". With Thriller, Christopher Connelly of Rolling Stone commented that Jackson developed his long association with the subliminal theme of paranoia and darker imagery. Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted this is evident on the songs "Billie Jean" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'". In "Billie Jean", Jackson sings about an obsessive fan who alleges he has fathered a child of hers. In "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" he argues against gossip and the media. The anti-gang violence rock song "Beat It" became a homage to West Side Story, and was Jackson's first successful rock cross-over piece, according to Huey. He also observed that the title track "Thriller" began Jackson's interest with the theme of the supernatural, a topic he revisited in subsequent years. In 1985, Jackson co-wrote the charity anthem "We Are the World"; humanitarian themes later became a recurring theme in his lyrics and public persona.
One of Jackson's signature pieces, "Thriller", released as a single in 1984, utilizes cinematic sound effects, horror film motifs and vocal trickery to convey a sense of danger.
A single from the album Bad, released 1988, "Smooth Criminal" features digital drum sounds, keyboard-created bass lines and other percussion elements designed to give the impression of a pulsing heart.
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In Bad, Jackson's concept of the predatory lover can be seen on the rock song "Dirty Diana". The lead single "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" is a traditional love ballad, while "Man in the Mirror" is an anthemic ballad of confession and resolution. "Smooth Criminal" was an evocation of bloody assault, rape and likely murder. Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine states that Dangerous presents Jackson as a stark paradoxical individual. He comments the album is more diverse than his previous Bad, as it appeals to an urban audience while also attracting the middle class with anthems like "Heal the World". The first half of the record is dedicated to new jack swing, including songs like "Jam" and "Remember the Time". The album is Jackson's first where social ills become a primary theme; "Why You Wanna Trip on Me", for example, protests against world hunger, AIDS, homelessness and drugs. Dangerous contains sexually charged efforts like "In the Closet", a love song about desire and denial, risk and repression, solitude and connection, privacy and revelation. The title track continues the theme of the predatory lover and compulsive desire. The second half includes introspective, pop-gospel anthems such as "Will You Be There", "Heal the World" and "Keep the Faith"; these songs show Jackson finally opening up about various personal struggles and worries. In the ballad "Gone Too Soon", Jackson gives tribute to his friend Ryan White and the plight of those with AIDS.
HIStory creates an atmosphere of paranoia. Its content focuses on the hardships and public struggles Jackson went through just prior to its production. In the new jack swing-funk-rock efforts "Scream" and "Tabloid Junkie", along with the R&B ballad "You Are Not Alone", Jackson retaliates against the injustice and isolation he feels, and directs much of his anger at the media. In the introspective ballad "Stranger in Moscow", Jackson laments over his "fall from grace", while songs like "Earth Song", "Childhood", "Little Susie" and "Smile" are all operatic pop pieces. In the track "D.S.", Jackson launched a verbal attack against Tom Sneddon. He describes Sneddon as an antisocial, white supremacist who wanted to "get my ass, dead or alive". Of the song, Sneddon said, "I have not — shall we say — done him the honor of listening to it, but I’ve been told that it ends with the sound of a gunshot". Invincible found Jackson working heavily with producer Rodney Jerkins. It is a record made up of urban soul like "Cry" and "The Lost Children", ballads such as "Speechless", "Break of Dawn" and "Butterflies" and mixes hip hop, pop and rap in "2000 Watts", "Heartbreaker" and "Invincible
Jackson sang from childhood, and over time his voice and vocal style changed noticeably. Between 1971 and 1975, Jackson's voice descended from boy soprano to high tenor. Jackson first used a technique called the "vocal hiccup" in 1973, starting with the song "It's Too Late to Change the Time" from the Jackson 5's G.I.T.: Get It Together album. Jackson did not use the hiccup technique— somewhat like a gulping for air or gasping— fully until the recording of Off the Wall: it can be seen in full force in the "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" promotional video.
With the arrival of Off the Wall in the late 1970s, Jackson's abilities as a vocalist were well regarded. At the time, Rolling Stone compared his vocals to the "breathless, dreamy stutter" of Stevie Wonder. Their analysis was also that "Jackson's feathery-timbred tenor is extraordinarily beautiful. It slides smoothly into a startling falsetto that's used very daringly". 1982 saw the release of Thriller, and Rolling Stone was of the opinion that Jackson was then singing in a "fully adult voice" that was "tinged by sadness".
"Black or White"
The lead single from Dangerous, the danceable hard rock song "Black or White" was one of Jackson's most successful recordings. It contains many features of Jackson's vocal style, including the vocal hiccup he is known for.
Gritty lead vocals on the verse were displayed by the release of "Bad" in 1987 and lighter tones employed on the chorus. A distinctive deliberate mispronunciation of "come on", used frequently by Jackson, occasionally spelt "cha'mone" or "shamone", is also a staple in impressions and caricatures of him. The turn of the 1990s saw the release of the introspective album Dangerous. The New York Times noted that on some tracks, "he gulps for breath, his voice quivers with anxiety or drops to a desperate whisper, hissing through clenched teeth" and he had a "wretched tone". When singing of brotherhood or self-esteem the musician would return to "smooth" vocals.
When commenting on Invincible, Rolling Stone were of the opinion that—at the age of 43—Jackson still performed "exquisitely voiced rhythm tracks and vibrating vocal harmonies". Nelson George summed up Jackson's vocals by stating "The grace, the aggression, the growling, the natural boyishness, the falsetto, the smoothness—that combination of elements mark him as a major vocalist".
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
US patent 5255452, filed by Jackson, described the anti-gravity lean used in the music video for "Smooth Criminal".
Before Thriller, Jackson struggled to receive coverage on MTV, allegedly because he was African American. Pressure from CBS Records persuaded MTV to start showing "Billie Jean" and later "Beat It", leading to a lengthy partnership with Jackson, also helping other black music artists gain recognition. MTV employees deny any racism in their coverage, or pressure to change their stance. MTV maintains that they played rock music, regardless of race. The popularity of his videos on MTV helped to put the relatively young channel "on the map"; MTV's focus shifted in favor of pop and R&B. His performance on Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever changed the scope of live stage show; "That Jackson lip-synced 'Billie Jean' is, in itself, not extraordinary, but the fact that it did not change the impact of the performance is extraordinary; whether the performance was live or lip-synced made no difference to the audience" thus creating an era in which artists re-create the spectacle of music video imagery on stage. Short films like Thriller largely remained unique to Jackson, while the group dance sequence in "Beat It" has frequently been imitated. The choreography in Thriller has become a part of global pop culture, replicated everywhere from Indian films to prisons in the Philippines. The Thriller short film marked an increase in scale for music videos, and has been named the most successful music video ever by the Guinness World Records.
In the 19-minute music video for "Bad"—directed by Martin Scorsese—Jackson began using sexual imagery and choreography not previously seen in his work. He occasionally grabbed or touched his chest, torso and crotch. While he has described this as "choreography," it garnered a mixed reception from both fans and critics; Time magazine described it as "infamous". The video also featured Wesley Snipes; in the future Jackson's videos would often feature famous cameo roles. For "Smooth Criminal", Jackson experimented with an innovative "anti-gravity lean" in his performances, for which he was granted U.S. Patent No. 5,255,452. Although the music video for "Leave Me Alone" was not officially released in the US, in 1989, it was nominated for four Billboard Music Video Awards, winning three; the same year it won a Golden Lion Award for the quality of the special effects used in its production. In 1990, "Leave Me Alone" won a Grammy for Best Music Video, Short Form.
The MTV Video Vanguard Artist of the Decade Award was given to Jackson to celebrate his accomplishments in the art form in the 1980s; the following year the award was renamed in his honor. "Black or White" was accompanied by a controversial music video, which, on November 14, 1991, simultaneously premiered in 27 countries with an estimated audience of 500 million people, the largest viewing ever for a music video. It featured scenes construed as having a sexual nature as well as depictions of violence. The offending scenes in the final half of the 14-minute version were edited out to prevent the video from being banned, and Jackson apologized. Along with Jackson, it featured Macaulay Culkin, Peggy Lipton and George Wendt. It helped usher in morphing as an important technology in music videos.
Jackson and sister Janet angrily retaliate against the media for misrepresenting them to the public. The acclaimed video for "Scream" was shot primarily in black and white, and at a cost of $7 million.
"Remember the Time" was an elaborate production, and became one of his longest videos at over nine minutes. Set in ancient Egypt, it featured groundbreaking visual effects and appearances by Eddie Murphy, Iman and Magic Johnson, along with a distinct complex dance routine. The video for "In the Closet" was Jackson's most sexually provocative piece. It featured supermodel Naomi Campbell in a courtship dance with Jackson. The video was banned in South Africa because of its imagery.
The music video for "Scream", directed by Mark Romanek and production designer Tom Foden, is one of Jackson's most critically acclaimed. In 1995, it gained 11 MTV Video Music Award Nominations—more than any other music video—and won "Best Dance Video", "Best Choreography", and "Best Art Direction". The song and its accompanying video are a response to the backlash Jackson received from the media after being accused of child molestation in 1993. A year later, it won a Grammy for Best Music Video, Short Form; shortly afterwards Guinness World Records listed it as the most expensive music video ever made at a cost of $7 million.
"Earth Song" was accompanied by an expensive and well-received music video that gained a Grammy nomination for Best Music Video, Short Form in 1997. The video had an environmental theme, showing images of animal cruelty, deforestation, pollution and war. Using special effects, time is reversed so that life returns, wars ends, and the forests re-grow. Released in 1997 and premiering at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival, Ghosts was a short film written by Jackson and Stephen King and directed by Stan Winston. The video for Ghosts is over 38 minutes long and holds the Guinness World Record as the world's longest music video.
Phillip Bloch said "Michael Jackson was not influenced by fashion, fashion was influenced by him." From early on Jackson was described as a person with an utterly unique sense of style wearing fringed shirts, platform heels, and wide bell-bottom pants with a “Huggy Bear” inspired hat to top off his look. During Off The Wall, he would update his style wearing tuxedo jackets, pegged pants, thick white socks with black shiny loafers, instantly giving a classic look, new flair, and originality bringing in the start of his iconoclastic style. During the Thriller era Jackson would become a fashion icon and bring about the popularity of items that he wore in his music videos, at award ceremonies, and on stage performances such as his Beat It red jacket, aviator sunglasses, military jackets, jheri curl, high pants with white glittering socks, the Billie Jean black jacket, his black fedora hat, and most famously his glittering white glove that he first wore on the Motown 25 special.
Throughout the late 80's and early 90's, Jackson began to wear his iconic military-influenced outfits in silver, with his trademark armbands, during the Bad Tour. He would continue to perform in these outfits this time in gold during the Dangerous Tour, and during the HIStory Tour, where he wore a more futuristic military space outfit. Towards the mid and late 90's Jackson embraced a softer look wearing mostly lightweight flowy shirts and even appearing bare chested; though he occasionally reverted to his military inspired outfits. During his trials throughout the later years, Jackson wore a surgical masks and carried an umbrella to protect him from the sun. He was subsequently criticized by the media and legal analysts in the 2005 child abuse trial for not dressing in a manner appropriate for a court appearance. Mary Fulginiti Jenow, a former federal prosecutor who is now a criminal defense lawyer described Jackson as looking ready to "break out into the moonwalk." During his final public appearance at Ed Hardy's designer Christian Audigier birthday party, Jackson and Audigier began talks and later started to work together on a clothing line that would be composed of items such as red jacket with Jackson’s portrait on it, a black leather belt with large buckle reading ‘BAD,’ silver socks, silver gloves, and an umbrella. Audigier is said to be busy putting together the final pieces of the brand.
Jackson's creative sense of style has also made a huge impact on the younger generation. He has been described as having an innovative sense of style that impacted the trendsetters of today who mimmick his fashion like Usher, Chris Brown, Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye West, and many others. His style has inspired the fashion-forward for two decades and continues to do so. 
On November 24, 2009, his trademark white glove was auctioned off for $350,000, plus tax, to Hoffman Ma of Hong Kong, a Chinese businessman
See also: Records and achievements of Michael Jackson and List of awards received by Michael Jackson
Jackson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, set in 1984
Jackson transformed the art of the music video and paved the way for modern pop music in his own country. Jackson's work, distinctive musical sound and vocal style have influenced scores of hip hop, rock, pop and R&B artists, including Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Usher, Chris Brown, Britney Spears, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Ludacris, 50 Cent, The Game, Fall Out Boy, Green Day, Miley Cyrus, John Mayer, Lenny Kravitz, and R. Kelly. For much of his career, he had an "unparalleled" level of worldwide influence over the younger generation through his musical and humanitarian contributions. Jackson's music and videos, such as Thriller, helped break down racial barriers when first shown on MTV, putting the relatively new channel on the map, changing its focus from rock to pop music and R&B, and therefore shaping it to what it is today. Jackson remained a staple on MTV through the '90s. Brazilian journalist Sergio Martins, in his article about the artist and his death in Veja magazine, wrote that after Jackson's work being a versatile dancer became a must for subsequent male stars of pop music. Michael Jackson, along with his musical style and videos have gone onto become pop culture phenomenons.
Michael Jackson was inducted onto the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1984. Throughout his career he received numerous honors and awards, including the World Music Awards' Best-Selling Pop Male Artist of the Millennium, the American Music Award's Artist of the Century Award and the Bambi Pop Artist of the Millennium Award. He was a double-inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1997 and later as a solo artist in 2001. Jackson was also an inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. His awards include multiple Guinness World Records (eight in 2006 alone), 15 Grammy Awards (including the "Living Legend Award" and the "Lifetime Achievement Award"), 26 American Music Awards (24 only as a solo artist, including one for "artist of the century")—more than any artist—, 13 number one singles in the US in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era—and estimated sales between 350 and 750 million records worldwide, making him the world's best selling male solo pop artist.
Queues for a Michael Jackson concert in West Berlin in June 1988
He was characterized as "an unstoppable juggernaut, possessed of all the tools to dominate the charts seemingly at will: an instantly identifiable voice, eye-popping dance moves, stunning musical versatility and loads of sheer star power". In the mid-1980s, Time noted "Jackson is the biggest thing since The Beatles. He is the hottest single phenomenon since Elvis Presley. He just may be the most popular black singer ever". By 1990, Vanity Fair had already cited Jackson as the most popular artist in the history of show business. Daily Telegraph writer Tom Utley called him an "extremely important figure in the history of popular culture" and a "genius". In late 2007, Jackson said the following of his work and future influence, "Music has been my outlet, my gift to all of the lovers in this world. Through it, my music, I know I will live forever."
His total lifetime earnings from royalties on his solo recordings and music videos, revenue from concerts and endorsements have been estimated at $500 million; some analysts have speculated that his music catalog holdings could be worth billions of dollars. This speculation however is contradicted by financial documents obtained by the Associated Press, which showed that as of March 31, 2007, Jackson's 50 percent stake in the Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalog (his most prized asset) was worth $390.6 million and Michael Jackson’s net worth was $236 million. As one of the world's most famous men, Jackson's highly publicized personal life, coupled with his successful career, made him a part of popular culture for the last four decades.
Shortly after his death on June 25, 2009, MTV briefly returned to its original music video format to celebrate and pay tribute to his work. The channel aired many hours of Jackson's music videos, accompanied by live news specials featuring reactions from MTV personalities and other celebrities. The temporary shift in MTV's programming culminated the following week with the channel's live coverage of Jackson's memorial service. At the memorial service on July 7, 2009, founder of Motown Records Berry Gordy proclaimed Jackson as "the greatest entertainer that ever lived." In November 2009 some of Michael Jackson's memorabilia was auctioned in New York, including the Rhinstone Glove used during his first moonwalk performance, which sold for $350,000 at nine times its expected price. Among other items were a 1989 "Bad" tour jacket which sold for $225,000 and a fedora hat which sold for $22,000