Entertainment Industry

Category: Michael Jackson

Fate of Beatle songs, one of Jackson's most valued assets, up in the air

One of Michael Jackson's most valued assets was his 50% stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which has more than 750,000 copyrights. They include many hit Beatles songs as well as songs by Bob Dylan, John Mayer, Lady Gaga and the Jonas Brothers.

The total catalog has been valued by some at more than $1 billion. Of course, given the challenges facing the music industry, that figure may be a little optimistic. Regardless, Sony Corp. no doubt would like to get its hands on the 50% it doesn't already own. Jackson's half was held in a trust, a person familiar with the situation said. Jackson still has considerable financial woes, and his beneficiaries may be required to sell off many of his assets, including the catalog, to clear the singer's debt.

-- Joe Flint

Michael Jackson's death leaves AEG in the lurch

JACKSON The death of Michael Jackson came just weeks before he was to start a series of comeback concerts that the onetime King of Pop hoped would relaunch his career and straighten out his finances.

02-AEG-PRIMARY-LOGO Now concert promoter AEG Live is left in the lurch. The company, which is owned by reclusive media mogul Philip Anschutz, had shelled out more than $20 million on the concerts. "High School Musical" director Kenny Ortega had been brought in to oversee the elaborate production of the shows, which were being rehearsed near the Burbank Airport. Just last month, AEG Chief Executive Randy Phillips told the Los Angeles Times that Jackson's concert shows were going to be "the biggest, most technologically advanced arena show -- and the most expensive -- ever mounted."

The 50 shows that Jackson had committed to at London's O2 arena had sold out. Presumably those tickets, which were going for hundreds of dollars, will be refunded. AEG's Phillips had said that Jackson had taken a four-hour physical that revealed no medical problems. AEG had said previously that it had gotten insurance for about half of the Jackson shows and would self-insure the rest.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Michael Jackson. Credit: Markus Schreiber / Associated Press

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