You're Nobody 'Til Somebody...

...kills you:

Over the last year, the Jackson brand has generated hundreds of millions of dollars, and experts in the management of celebrity estates say that in the long term it might very well equal or eclipse the value of what until now has been the ultimate entertainment estate: that of Elvis Presley, which earned $55 million last year, according to an estimate by Forbes magazine.

"Michael Jackson's This Is It," a film drawn from rehearsal tapes for the O2 arena shows in London that had been scheduled before he died a year ago, grossed $261 million around the world, according to boxofficemojo.com. And last year Jackson sold nearly 8.3 million albums in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan -- far more than any other artist.

Later in the article, it's pointed out that what the estate really needs is a "Graceland," a destination. Evidently they're selling Neverland.

I don't think it's very surprising that those child-molestation charges are being forgotten. People weren't buying Michael Jackson the man, they were buying an ornate mask. I think that's the case with all artists. Sometimes there's some bleed-over. But if you can make people feel good, they don't tend to care.

Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In