LOS ANGELES - Michael Jackson fans will place flowers on his grave in Los Angeles this week to mark the fifth anniversary of his death, with the pop icon's financial fortunes positively blooming.
The self-proclaimed King of Pop was struggling to avoid bankruptcy when he died on June 25, 2009. At the time, he was in rehearsals for a series of comeback shows he hoped would resurrect his earlier jaw-dropping wealth.
But in the five years since, the Michael Jackson Estate - which runs his affairs on behalf of Jackson's mother and three children - has earned over US$700 million (S$874 million), according to a new book about the singer's business empire.
"Michael Jackson is making more money now, five years after his death, than he had been since the prime of his career," said Zack Greenburg, author of Michael Jackson Inc.
While the family came to grips with their loss, the Michael Jackson Estate, led by executors John Branca and John McClain, got straight down to business.
A few months after his death, Sony and his lawyers signed a record contract - said to be worth over US$200 million by The Wall Street Journal - foreseeing the release of seven albums over 10 years.
The estate also did deals with Cirque du Soleil for both a touring show and a permanent show based at the Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas.