A Representative of Michael’s Estate has informed Forbes that the final payment has been made on his substantial personal debt which totaled almost half a billion dollars in 2009.
Michael’s enduring popularity since he passed away has secured a huge annual income since then, which the Estate has been able to negotiate, and which they have duly paid off that crippling debt. Financial highlights since 2009 include a $60 million advance for the concert film ‘This Is It,’ which went on to become the most successful concert film in history with a worldwide gross in excess of a quarter billion dollars, as well as a new $250 million record deal with Sony, the largest ever.
More recently, the ‘Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour’ – a joint venture with Cirque du Soleil, grossed $160 million during its first leg, making it this year’s top tour in North America. The show now moves abroad, and is currently wending its way through Germany.
There are still some business debts left for Michael, namely a loan that FORBES estimates at $280 million, connected to the Sony/ATV publishing catalog. But the loan’s interest rate of 2.9%, negotiated down from 5.8% shortly after his death, seems innocuous enough–and perhaps necessary for continued expansion of the company, which is half-owned by Michael’s estate.