Michael Jackson’s Net Worth: A Look Inside the King of Pop’s Impressive Wealth

michael jackson's net worth Michael Jackson getting out of a car in a red outfit.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - Exact date unknown - circa 1990 - Michael Jackson arriving at a celebrity event. Image from Shutterstock.

Last updated on September 1st, 2023 at 02:19 am

Michael Jackson, otherwise known as the King of Pop, was clearly one of the greatest pop artists of all time. From his days in The Jackson 5 to his solo career, Michael lit stages around the world on fire with his versatile vocal range and his uniquely inspiring dance moves. 

His songs such as “Thriller,” “Billie Jean,” and “Dangerous” earned him millions of dollars that helped to fund his lavish lifestyle. From his various estates to his outrageous wardrobe, it seems Michael Jackson enjoyed his earnings.

Here are some interesting facts about Michael Jackson’s net worth that you may not know.

Michael Jackson Cannes Festival 1997
Michael Jackson at the Cannes film festival in 1997. Photo by Georges Biard.

What Is Michael Jackson’s Net Worth?

The King of Pop was a successful singer, songwriter, and performer who earned about $500 million from record sales, tours, merchandise, in the course of his career.

About $100 million came from his own music, while the rest came from his portfolio of other artists’ songs, most notably the Beatles. He is said to be one of the most profitable artists of all time.

This money was used to support Jackson’s desire to have the best in life whether it be cars, houses, clothes, or his jeweled gloves that he became famous for.

How Did Michael Jackson Make His Money?

Michael Jackson began earning his money at a very young age when he was in a band with his brothers, called The Jackson 5. Through their years they earned quite a lot of money with their hits like “ABC,” “I Want You Back,” and “I’ll Be There.”

Although their combined musical talents stole the hearts of many around the globe, it was clear that Michael was destined to be a solo artist. Once he made the break with his first solo album Off the Wall, his earnings skyrocketed into the millions. 

Michael made the most of his money through his record sales, concerts, endorsement deals, merchandise sales, and more. It is believed that he earned more than $4 billion throughout his music career.

Michael Jackson Net Worth at Death

At the time of his death in 2009, Jackson reportedly had a net worth of about $500 million, though this amount has been disputed over the years. Due to his lavish lifestyle, he also is believed to have spent more than every penny he earned.

Many reports show that Jackson was in debt of more than $500 million at the time of his untimely death. His last tour that was scheduled, This Is It, was supposed to be his way of earning more money to pay off debt and continue living his extravagant life. But technically, he may have died an almost penniless man. 

Michael Jackson 2003
2003: Michael Jackson at The Cable Show. Photo by INTX: The Internet & Television Expo.

Michael Jackson’s Net Worth Post Death

Despite being famous, the singer had a terrible overspending problem, thus he was actually in debt when he died. Experts guess he was spending between $30 million and $50 million every year on his lifestyle alone.

Then there were his legal troubles. Lawyers aren’t cheap, especially with the types of allegations Michael Jackson was facing.

Add in the purchase of Neverland, which cost $17 million, $65 million on a video project, and a $12 million divorce settlement, and it’s easy to see how the artist got in the hole.

After his death, Jackson’s estate entourage has worked to pay off his debt and has been successful at doing so. Jackson’s estate has reportedly brought in more than $700 million since his death in 2009. 

This amount came through the documentary that was made of the time leading up to his would-be tour This Is It. Although the tour never happened due to Jackson’s death, the documentary has brought in more than $500 million. 

In addition to continued music sales, Jackson’s image has been licensed to companies such as Pepsi and Cirque du Soliel. His estate continues to bring in quite a bit of money from various sources. 

After settling all debt and buying back the rights to Jackson’s music, the estate is said to be worth over $2.4 billion. This makes Michael Jackson the richest non-living person to date.

What Did Michael Jackson’s Family Do With His Estate After His Death?

Michael Jackson, though he was busy with his musical career and his desire to live a lavish life, did make plans to ensure his family would be taken care of should he die. Since his shocking death in 2009, his family has worked to ensure his name stays intact.

In his will, Jackson reportedly left 40% of his estate to his children, 20% to various charities supporting children, and 40% to his mother Katherine. His will also stated that 40% of his estate would be distributed to his children if his mother passed away.

Since his death, Michael Jackson’s family has done everything they could to ensure that his legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of his fans. Between Jackson’s family and estate lawyers, they have fought to ensure that his estate continues to grow.

The home Jackson lived in and entertained in, Neverland Ranch, was put up for sale in 2015 and took about five years to be sold. It finally sold at a fraction of the original price of $100 million to billionaire Ron Burkle for $22 million.

Up Next: 47 Interesting Facts about Michael Jackson

Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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