Friday, June 25, 2010
Michael Jackson's Death - A Year Ago Today
It hardly seems like a year has passed since ambulances were called to the rented Los Angeles home of Michael Jackson, but June 25 marks the one-year anniversary of the pop star's death. He was pronounced dead at a LA hospital after suffering cardiac arrest. So much has happened during those twelve months, not the least of which is that his estate earned $783 million from album and DVD sales, his 50 percent stake in the Sony/ATV music catalog and various publishing deals. Let's take a look at what's happened in the year since his death.
His Kids -- Prince Michael, Prince Michael II (Blanket) and Paris. Remember when Jackson used to wrap scarves around his kids' faces to shield them from the prying eyes of the paparazzi? He must be rolling over in his grave at the thought of how visible they've become, beginning with his memorial service on July 7, 2009. Jackson's will named his mother, Katherine, as the guardian of all three children.
Last summer, a custody battle arose between Katherine and Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of Paris and Prince Michael. Rowe was eventually granted visitation rights, and has forged a relationship with Katherine, as well. The will cut out Rowe and his father, Joe Jackson, leaving his $500 million estate in trust for his kids, his mother and various charities.
His Personal Physician -- Dr. Conrad Murray. Controversy and scandal have surrounded the doctor since Jackson's death, which was officially ruled a homicide in August of last year. The cause was acute intoxication of the anesthetic propofol combined with other sedatives. Six months later, on Feb. 8, 2010, Dr. Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter by prosecutors in Los Angeles. He pleaded not guilty, was released on $75,000 bail and is currently awaiting trial.
Joe Jackson recently alleged that Murray had been drinking at a strip club hours before he administered the fatal dose of propofol. Murray and his reps have denied this.
The Estate. As mentioned, Jackson's estate has earned a whopping $783 million in the year since he died. The documentary 'This Is It' was released in theaters in October of 2009 and delved into Jackson's rehearsals for a series of comeback concerts in London. The film has earned $260 million worldwide and is the most successful concert movie ever.
In March, the Jackson estate and Sony Music Entertainment announced a $250 million deal to release 10 albums of new and re-issued Jackson material through 2017. The first album of new music is scheduled for a November 2010 release.
The Autopsy. On Feb. 8, 2010, a full autopsy was released, confirming that Jackson suffered from the skin pigmentation condition vitiligo, wore a wig, weighed 136 pounds and was covered with small scars on his nose, knee, shoulder, neck, wrists and behind both ears.
His Music. In November, Jackson won four posthumous American Music Awards, but was beaten for the Artist of the Year award by Taylor Swift. In February, more than 70 stars, including Miley Cyrus and Barbra Streisand, recorded a new version of 'We Are the World' (co-written by Jackson in 1985) for Haiti earthquake relief. On April 20, the Jackson estate and Cirque du Soleil announced plans for Las Vegas touring and permanent shows, as well as a Jackson-themed nightclub, opening in late 2012.
Other Stuff. In September, Jackson was buried in a Renaissance-themed mausoleum near Los Angeles in a private ceremony attended by Elizabeth Taylor, Lisa Marie Presley and 200 other guests and family members. A tribute concert was planned by Jermaine Jackson, but scrapped in December as organizers went bust.