Michael Jackson Net Worth: An In-Depth Look

As one of the most beloved and influential entertainers in history, Michael Jackson’s life and career are remembered fondly by millions around the world. But what was his net worth when he passed away in 2009? Here we take an in-depth look at MJ’s financial legacy.

Introducing Michael Jackson

Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29th 1958 in Gary, Indiana. He started out as a member of The Jackson 5, which became popular after performing at Motown Records in 1969. From then on, Michael went on to have a successful solo career with hits such as ‘Thriller’, ‘Bad’ and ‘Smooth Criminal’. His talent, style and charisma made him a global star who is still revered today as the King of Pop.

michael jackson net worth

Album Sales and Music Videos

Throughout his musical career, MJ sold over 750 million records worldwide – making him one of the best selling artists ever. His albums such as Thriller, Off the Wall and Bad remain some of the highest selling records to this day. He also released 13 number 1 singles and 15 music videos that won numerous awards.

Multi-Million Dollar Deals

MJ had signed several lucrative deals during his lifetime. These included a reported $20 million endorsement deal with PepsiCo, $125 million from Sony/ATV Publishing and a $200 million contract extension with Las Vegas’s Caesar’s Palace Hotel & Casino. Furthermore, he negotiated higher royalty rates with record labels; increasing them to more than 50% of profits compared to the usual 20-25%.

Apart from these big deals, MJ also reportedly earned additional income through touring and merchandise sales.

Business Ventures

MJ invested in various business ventures throughout his career. He owned two publishing companies (Mijac Music and Ten Yens Music) which collected royalties from many of his songs, as well as owning a stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing. MJ was also involved in property investment; purchasing large estates including Neverland Ranch, Hayvenhurst Mansion and Mountain View Farmhouse.

Charity Work and Humanitarianism

MJ was known for being generous with his wealth; donating money to charitable causes such as saving starving children in Africa and helping fund medical research into diseases like AIDS and cancer. He also helped establish Heal the World Foundation to promote humanitarian relief efforts around the globe.


Throughout his career, MJ received a number of endorsements from high profile companies such as PepsiCo, KFC, Atari and Apple Inc. He also had numerous celebrity appearances on TV shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show and Saturday Night Live.

Hollywood Film Appearances

In addition to appearing in music videos, MJ also starred in feature films such as ‘The Wiz’ and ‘Moonwalker’. These roles increased his fame and fortune further.

Real Estate Holdings

At the time of his death, MJ owned several properties across the USA, Europe and Asia. The most famous of these was the Neverland Ranch in California which spanned over 2,700 acres and included its own amusement park, zoo, golf course and movie theater.

Final Years and Posthumous Achievements

During his final years, MJ produced three posthumous albums which were met with critical acclaim; ‘Xscape’, ‘Michael’ and ‘Immortal’. Since then, other albums featuring unreleased material have been released including ‘Scream’ (in 2017), ‘Michael Forever: The Immortal World Tour’ (in 2019) and ‘A Tribute To Michael Jackson’ (2020).

Legacy of Wealth

At the time of his passing in 2009, MJ was estimated to be worth around $400 million USD – much of which came from his extensive real estate holdings, album sales and multi-million dollar deals. As a result of posthumous releases and investments in businesses such as Mijac Music and Sony/ATV Publishing, it has since been estimated that his estate has seen further growth to become worth up to $1 billion dollars today.

Through his incredible talent, hard work and savvy investments, Michael Jackson amassed an impressive wealth which lives on long after him through his timeless music and lasting legacy.

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