Michael Jackson is set to be just as big dead as he was alive, thanks to a staggering new Sony deal with the late pop star's estate. Nine months after the King of Pop's death, the administrators of his estate have signed one of the biggest recording contracts in history - giving Sony bosses full access to Jackson's back catalog and unreleased material.
The music executives plan to release 10 albums of Jackson material between now and 2017 - the length of the deal. The first album in the deal was in 2009 "This Is It"; the second release will be available in November and will feature a track Jackson wrote with Lenny Kravitz for his "Invincible" album. The tune was axed because the King of Pop feared it was "too rocky", according to Kravitz.
The new Sony deal will guarantee the Jackson estate up to $250 million in advances. Confirming the deal, Columbia/Epic Label Group chairman Rob Stringer, who spearheaded the deal with the Jackson estate, says, "It's not just a record deal. We're not just basing this on how many CDs we sell or how many downloads. There are also audio rights for theater, movies, computer games ... You've got to bet on Michael Jackson."