Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson's Legacy

Michael Jackson's Legacy

With all the turmoil in his personal life, it is easy to forget that Michael Jackson was once the biggest pop star in the world. Fox News' Dan Springer looks back at a long and colorful life.

Jackson lived like king but died awash in debt
King of Pop dies before comeback bid could burnish ailing finances, career

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Michael Jackson the singer was also Michael Jackson the billion-dollar business.
Yet after selling more than 61 million albums in the U.S. and having a decade-long attraction open at Disney theme parks, the "King of Pop" died Thursday at age 50 reportedly awash in about $400 million in debt, on the cusp of a final comeback after well over a decade of scandal.

The moonwalking pop star drove the growth of music videos, vaulting cable channel MTV into the popular mainstream after its launch in 1981. His 1982 hit "Thriller," still the second best-selling U.S. album of all time, spawned a John Landis-directed music video that MTV played every hour on the hour.

"The ratings were three or four times what they were normally every time the video came on," said Judy McGrath, the chairman and CEO of Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks. "He was inextricably tied to the so-called MTV generation."

Five years later, "Bad" sold 22 million copies. In 1991, he signed a $65 million recording deal with Sony.

Jackson was so popular that The Walt Disney Co. hitched its wagon to his star in 1986, opening a 3-D movie at its parks called "Captain EO," executive produced by George Lucas and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. The last attraction in Paris closed 12 years later.
One of Jackson's shrewdest deals at the height of his fame in 1985 was the $47.5 million acquisition of ATV Music, which owned the copyright to songs written by the Beatles' John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The catalog provided Jackson a steady stream of income and the ability to afford a lavish lifestyle.
He bought the sprawling Neverland ranch in 1988 for $14.6 million, a fantasy-like 2,500-acre property nestled in the hills of Santa Barbara County's wine country.
But the bombshell hit in 1993 when he was accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy.

Jackson fans gather in Harlem
(02:03) Rough Cut

Jun. 25 - Fans of Michael Jackson gather at the historic Apollo Theater in New York to celebrate his life and share their sorrow at his death.

Note: original sound only, no reporter narrationFans and admirers of Michael Jackson, who died Thursday, gathered at the historic Apollo Theater in New York City's Harlem district, singing his songs and expressing their sorrow at his loss.

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