Episode 5 – MJAS Exclusive: The Business of Michael Jackson’s Estate

Abstract: In this fifth episode, a bonus MJAS Exclusive, Elizabeth and Karin discuss the recent sale of the Sony/ATV catalogue by the Michael Jackson Estate. They use a range of sources to explain exactly what the Estate is, how it functions, and go on to reach new conclusions on Jackson’s posthumous resonance from an academic perspective.


Merx, Karin, and Elizabeth Amisu. “Episode 5 – MJAS Exclusive: The Business of Michael Jackson’s Estate.” Podcast, Michael Jackson’s Dream Lives On: An Academic Conversation2, no. 2 (2016). Published electronically 7/04/16. http://michaeljacksonstudies.org/episode-5-mjas-exclusive-the-business-of-michael-jacksons-estate/.

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Episode 5 – MJAS Exclusive: The Business of Michael Jackson’s Estate
By Karin Merx & Elizabeth Amisu

‘Milton’s bones, for instance, were dug up at the end of the eighteenth century for souvenirs, just as fragments of his early poems had been exhumed and confiscated by minor poets. Neglected at first, eventually competed for, like Homer, by contending cities, the poet goes to meet his shades. But not unsung. With his dying breath, frequently, an industry springs up around him – memorialists, literary undertakers, chisellers, epitaph-makers. The custodians of his fame take charge of manuscripts and the will. He enters his tomb.’

– Lawrence Lipking, The Life of the Poet: Beginnings and Endings

All Our References and Where to Easily Find Them
1. Statement From Michael’s Estate(MJWN)
2. Michael’s Estate Sell Sony/ATV Catalogue – Press Release (MJWN)
3. Key Concerns Of Trust And Estate Lawyers– Forbes.com
4. ‘Interview with author, Lynton Guest’ In Episode 27 -Sony/ATV Purchase Roundtableby The MJCast (1:12:30-1:37:00)
5. ‘Even After $750M Sony/ATV Deal, Michael Jackson Misconceptions Abound‘ by Zack O’Malley Greenburg.
6. Artist, Michael Jackson’s Last Will and Testament.
7. Zack O’Malley Greenburg, Michael Jackson, Inc.(Atria, 2014): 225-226.
8. ——— ‘Michael Jackson’s Career Earnings’ In Michael Jackson, Inc.(Atria, 2014): 250-251.
9. Comprehensive and clear analysis on the Sony-ATV ‘buy-sell clause’by Nonlocal Universe.
10. Michael Jackson, “Radio Interview.” By Jesse Jackson. Keep Hope Alive(27 March 2005).
——— “Anti-Racism Speech” (Harlem, 2002)
——— “Killer Thriller Speech” (London, 2002)
11. Joseph Vogel, “Chapter 9 – The Final Years” In Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson. Sterling, 2011.
12. Sir George Herbert, early modern poet (1593 – 1633) famously asked his friend, Nicholas Ferrarto burn his work, The Templeposthumously, however, Ferrar went on to sell the work.
13. Professor Rivkah Zim, Lecturer of Early-Modern English and Comparative Literature at King’s College London. See Elizabeth on the course video here.
14. ‘Chapter 20 – The Power of the Editor and Michael Jackson’s Posthumous Releases’ In The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson: His Music, His Persona, and His Artistic Afterlife (Praeger, 2016).
15. Lawrence Lipking, The Life of the Poet: Beginning and Ending Poetic Careers.Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.
16. ‘Goodbye Neverland‘ by Elizabeth Amisu (2014)
17. Profile of poet, John Milton, author of Paradise Lost.
18. Profile of poet, Homer, author of The Iliad.

Karin Merx BMus, MA, is editor of The Journal of Michael Jackson Academic Studies, and author of  ‘A festive parade of highlights. La Grande Parade as evaluation of the museum policy of Edy De Wilde at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam’. 
Elizabeth Amisu, PGCE, MA, is editor of The Journal of Michael Jackson Academic Studies and author of The Dangerous Philosophies of Michael Jackson: His Music, His Persona, and His Artistic Afterlife