What Has Michael Jackson Been Up to Since He Died?

Forget rest in peace. When it comes to pop culture icons like Michael Jackson, R.I.P. stands for reap instant profits. Despite his untimely death by an alleged medically administered overdose two years ago, the King of Pop has been passively involved in almost as many business deals as Donald Trump.

Though media attention is now riveted on the upcoming criminal trial of Jackson’s doctor Conrad Murray for involuntary manslaughter, currently slated to start next month, Jackson’s family and business associates have been busy behind the scenes cashing in on the pop star’s fame.

Michael Jackson Tribute Concert

One of the more contentious projects revolving around the Moonwalker is the Oct. 8 Michael Jackson musical extravaganza with the cheesy name, “Michael Forever – The Tribute Concert,” currently headlined by Smokey Robinson, Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green.

As with most ventures involving the Jackson family, the siblings are squabbling over whether it is appropriate to stage a tribute concert for their loved one concurrent with the court trial of Conrad Murray, the man who is accused of hastening his demise. Both Randy and Jermaine Jackson oppose the timing of the tribute, while mama Katherine Jackson and her offspring Tito, Marlon, Jackie and La Toya Jackson support it.

Other controversies throwing a monkey wrench into the event to be held in Cardiff, Wales, include its remote location; the invitation to Kiss star Gene Simmons, since rescinded, who publicly stated he believed Jackson was a child molester; high ticket prices and the sketchy promise of proceeds going to charity.

The Concert That Morphed into a Movie

“This Is It,” the concert tour that never was, morphed into a high grossing movie of the same name, condensing footage of some 80 hours of rehearsals, behind the scenes happenings and interviews with hangers’ on. The almost two-hour marathon of all-things-Michael took in $72 million in U.S. box office and more than $260 million worldwide.

Raking in the Revenue

In an ironic publicity payoff that musicians should never parrot, the earthly exit of the rhinestone-gloved rocker proved a winning marketing strategy for his music. In just the first year after he died, MJ Inc. earned over one billion dollars, according to Billboard. That includes song downloads, ringtones, CDs and royalties.

Second Coming of Jacko?

Despite all the bad press the “Thriller” singer received over child molestation charges, his reputation was scrubbed clean after his death and is now musical manna. Jay-Z even went so far as to recently compare his wife Beyonce to the pop legend. “I know it’s blasphemy to compare the two because Mike was such an innovator, but I think she’s like, the second coming,” he told a Miami radio station, comparing the diva’s devotion to giving fans a great performance to that of the Motown megastar.

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