June 26, 2009
"Gone Too Soon"
Posted by Mehrsa Baradaran

For the past 30 minutes, this man in a car parked right outside of my house has been blasting Dangerous. When “Will you be there?” played, about three other guys on the street stopped to sing along. (I live in Harlem where it’s not uncommon to sing while you are walking or just standing there in the middle of the day). I have to admit, I got a little choked up listening to those guys. It took me back to listening to this very song on repeat in my room in high school. Even though there are more important things going on in the world, it’s hard not to take a moment to consider the legend.

And since this is a business-focused blog, I thought I would mention Mr. Jackson’s terrible state of financial affairs. It seems that he was indebted to some banks and a few foreign creditors for over $500 million. Even though his assets are twice that, his estate may not be able to keep his most important asset, ATV Music. He bought the firm, which owned copyrights to the entire Beatles back catalog, songs such as Bob Dylan's Blowin' In The Wind, and the works of Joni Mitchell and Fleetwood Mac star Stevie Nicks - all for $46 million. In the 1990's, he sold half of the company to Sony for more than $150 million. It says here that the joint venture is now estimated to be worth around one billion dollars. Trick is that when he needed more money, he used his stake in ATV/Sony as collateral to secure $200 million in borrowings from the Fortress Investment Group. If he defaulted, Fortress would gain the share.

Seems there was a lot weighing Michael down toward the end, which makes me appreciate his lyrics even more:

But They Told Me
A Man Should Be Faithful
And Walk When Not Able
And Fight Till The End
But I'm Only Human

Everyone's Taking Control Of Me
Seems That The World's
Got A Role For Me
I'm So Confused….

May Michael Jackson finally find peace.

Music, Popular Culture | Bookmark

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