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Five years ago today, we lost The King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
Below are some facts about Michael Jackson that you may not have otherwise known.
DURING HIS LIFE
–$1.1 billion in solo career earnings ($2 billion w/inflation).
–His most important business moves were his own – not created by savvy managers. Even before striking out on his own, Jackson chafed under the restraints of his father’s management and at 17 would pore over contracts, making notes and asking questions.
–Jackson studied the greats in all fields—the Beatles, Michelangelo, Edison, Ford—and figured out the qualities that made each great, one of which was always attention to detail.
–He created the entertainer-as-owner paradigm with the mindset of a businessman and his acquisition of businesses and music catalogs like the Beatles, Sly & the Family Stone, and songs made famous by Elvis.
Jackson fundamentally changed the formula for monetizing fame:
–Most successful music video; revolutionized/reinvented the medium
–Starred in multiple movies; pioneered “4-D” with Captain EO
–First music superstar to launch eponymous clothing line
–Launched his own sneaker from LA Gear—and landed a contract bigger than Michael Jordan’s at the time
–Teamed with Sega to appear in a video game, making him the first pop superstar to do so
–By age 25, Jackson was one of the richest entertainers in the world: $43MM earned in 1983; 91MM in 1984
To learn even more about the greatest entertainer of all time, please check out MICHAEL JACKSON, INC. by Zack O’Malley Greenburg.
Zack O’Malley Greenburg is a senior editor at Forbes and his work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, Vibe, and McSweeney’s, among others. His first book, the Jay-Z biography Empire State of Mind, was published in 2011. A child star, he played the title role in the film Lorenzo’s Oil. He lives in New York.