Going for It: Rapid Reinvention

Michael Jackson: richest dead celeb

I am still mourning Michael Jackson. It's been more than a year, but it still seems impossible that he is gone. I keep hoping that some enterprising journalist will discover him living on some remote Pacific island, hiding out from a world that was not always kind to him. I have this fantasy that his family has perpetrated this huge fraud--including employing some child actors to pretend to be his kids--to give him a chance to live a peaceful life.

Anyway, he is apparently richer now than he ever was alive, according to Forbes.com. The site lists Michael as the top earning-dead celebrity among several in the last year, including New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and Elvis. MJ even made more than Oprah last year. I didn't think that was possible.

And, he's doing better than the two biggest living musical acts, as well. "Jackson not only took the No.1 spot on our 10th annual ranking of the Top-Earning Dead Celebrities, with gross earnings of $275 million, he out-earned the other 12 deceased stars on the list combined," the site said. "Still more impressive: His estate's 12-month haul was greater than the pooled earnings of this year's two biggest living acts, U2 and AC/DC."

Some of my money is included in that $275 million that makes up Michael's recent haul. I had his records and CDs from back in the day, but I supplemented my collection and bought the "This Is It" video and some T-shirts after he died. It was money well spent.

Michael was hoping for a reinvention. At a news conference announcing his "This Is It" tour, he told fans this was his last hoorah. That's why it was so sad that he died when he did. He never got a chance to reinvent himself. He has had several hoorahs since his death, including this one. Forbes.com said Michael was never named to the Forbes Celebrity 100 list while he was living, which also shocked me. I thought he was richer than anybody back in the days when anything that he recorded seemed to go platinum or gold.

It's so sad that we reached out to Michael in a big way only after he wasn't able to feel the love. As a fan, I wish he'd had a chance to see how popular he still is. I am comforted, though, in knowing that his children should be in a good financial place.



Avis Thomas-Lester

 |  October 26, 2010; 6:43 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Ms. Avis Thomas-Lester,

Thank you for the wonderful and accurate way that you described Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson is sure to stay on the top of this list for some time to come. You are so right when you say, "The man, his talent and the love he held (and gave-my words) will surely be missed for a long time."

Posted by: beinginformed | October 27, 2010 10:08 PM
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Posted by: thriller2 | October 26, 2010 4:05 PM
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Mrs. Lester, don't worry, it is a hoax! It's payback time for the media who tried to destroy him! This Is It! Thriller 2!

Posted by: thriller2 | October 26, 2010 4:02 PM
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Does the American Dream Have to die with Michael Jackson? Childhood education journalism excellence http://t.co/DBFQgzZ

Posted by: thriller2 | October 26, 2010 3:58 PM
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Ms. Thomas-Lester:

Thank you for the very nice article about
Michael. It is a testament to his
enduring popularity that his estate did so
well last year. His children, family and
many fans would so prefer he be here with
us. The man, his talent and the love he
held will surely be missed for a very long

Posted by: lmat | October 26, 2010 2:18 PM
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