“My Brother, the legendary King of Pop, Michael Jackson, passed away on Thursday, June, 25th at 2:26PM. It is believed he suffered cardiac arrest in his home; however the cause of death is unknown until results of an autopsy are known. His personal physician, who was with him at the time, attempted to resuscitate my brother as did the paramedic.” – Jermaine Jackson
This Friday, June 25th, marks the one-year anniversary of the tragic death of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop. Like the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lennon and the death of Jackson’s close personal friend Princess Diana, everyone has a story for where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news; a balmy late-June, Los Angeles afternoon had set the stage for the final bow of arguably the greatest and most influential performer, dancer and entertainer this world has ever witnessed.
On the verge of making one of the largest comeback attempts of all time, Michael Jackson passed away under vague circumstances which in the days and months that followed played out in much the same way as the final 15 years of his life: through headlines and inside of courtrooms. Sadly, it turned out that the greatest comeback Michael Jackson could achieve was to never come back at all.
Before his death, Jackson was on the brink of financial disaster; he was more than $400 million in debt, and London bookmakers were placing bets that he would not appear for a planned series of 50 concerts at the O2 arena in England’s capital city. In the year since his death, the Jackson brand has generated hundreds of millions of dollars, owing largely to a film drawn from rehearsal tapes for the O2 Arena shows, Michael Jackson’s This Is It, and over $8 million in album sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Experts in the management of celebrity estates are predicting in the long-term that the Jackson estate may equal or eclipse the value of Elvis Presley’s – that until now has been the ultimate example – which earned $55 million in 2009 according to an estimate by Forbes magazine.
One Year Later, a sense of loss still surrounds Michael Jackson. In the aftermath of his life, the accusations and legal woes that tarnished every gleaming aspect of the man, and the career he’d sculpted slowly retracted and all but vanished. While the fate of his estate, his famed Neverland Ranch and the Physician who presided over his passing still lie in question, and an all-star supporting cast of his family still occupy headlines from news outlets around the globe. If anything can be gleaned from the last twelve months, Michael Jackson’s unparalleled musical legacy is what the world will remember him for – a feat which is unlikely to be impersonated or bettered during the lifetime of any current living generation.