MICHAEL JACKSON'S BOOK OF CONDOLENCE!!

MICHAEL JACKSON'S BOOK OF CONDOLENCE!!
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    Friday, 26 June 2009
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Here is an opportunity for all fans of Michael Jackson to post their comments, condolence and share their memories with all and sundry.
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  • omaks
    Tributes to Michael Jackson
    Started by omaks 7 Replies
    <span style="font-family: 'Georgia'"><font color=dimgray><i>Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. I had a crush on MJ when I was a younger... He will be missed....</i></font></span><br /> <br /><span style="font-family: 'Georgia'"><font color=dimgray><i><b> Sun Re O {Rest Well}:rose:</b></i></font></span>
    Last replied by Beam on Wednesday, 01 July 2009
  • omaks
    Michael Jackson - News Updates
    Started by omaks 2 Replies
    <font color="DarkSlateBlue">June 27, 2009 <br /> <br /><b>Jackson Estate Has Piles of Assets but Loads of Debt </b> <br /> <br />By TIM ARANGO and BEN SISARIO <br /> <br />As Hollywood reacted with sadness and shock to the death of Michael Jackson, Sony executives in New York were on the phone all night Thursday with advisers to Mr. Jackson trying to understand the financial morass the pop star is leaving behind. <br /> <br />“It’s all a mess,” said one executive involved in Mr. Jackson’s financial affairs who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of respect for the entertainer’s family. “No one really knows what is going on, but these are early days.” <br /> <br />Mr. Jackson’s business life, like his public life, was a perplexing mass of contradictions. Unlike many performers, he was a keen negotiator and shrewd investor — in 1985 he pulled off one of the great deals in music business history when he bought the publishing rights to the Beatles catalog for $47.5 million. Today it is part of a larger collection of songs worth more than $1 billion, and owned in partnership with Sony. <br /> <br />But his personal finances, at least in recent years, were perpetually in tatters, as he burned through millions of dollars to maintain his Neverland ranch, go on art-buying sprees and indulge in whimsies like traveling with a pet chimpanzee named Bubbles. And he burned through financial advisers almost as swiftly, with a revolving door of characters coming in and out of his life. <br /> <br />“Michael never thought his personal finances were out of control,” said Alvin Malnik, a former adviser to Mr. Jackson who is the godfather of Prince Michael II, the youngest of his three children. “He never kept track of what he was spending. He would indiscriminately charter jets. He would buy paintings for $1.5 million. You couldn’t do that every other week and expect your books to balance.” <br /> <br />The big question now is what happens to his assets. So far, that is unclear even to Mr. Jackson’s closest representatives, several of whom were hired only weeks ago, in Mr. Jackson’s latest round of managerial housecleaning. They say it could take years to sort through the financial and legal mess left after the singer’s death, not to mention millions of dollars worth of tickets sold for a series of 50 concerts Mr. Jackson had planned in London. <br /> <br />Mr. Malnik, for example, said that in 2004 he agreed to be the executor of Mr. Jackson’s estate. “I said yes, but I never inquired further, and I don’t know what’s happened since then,” he said. Mr. Malnik said there was still a chance that he was an executor, but had not heard anything since the death. Other advisers said that Mr. Jackson left behind at least two wills. <br /> <br />It is also unclear how much would be left for any heirs. It has been estimated that Mr. Jackson earned about $700 million as a performer and songwriter from the 1980s on, much of it spent. And his debts have been estimated at $400 million to $500 million. <br /> <br />His single biggest asset is a 50 percent share in Sony/ATV Music Publishing — which owns the rights to more than 200 Beatles songs, along with thousands of others — valued at more than $500 million, but he has about $300 million of debt against it held by Barclays, Mr. Jackson’s biggest creditor. He also owns his own publishing catalog, called Mijac, which is estimated to be worth $50 million to $100 million, and has an unknown amount of debt attached. <br /> <br />In late 2005, while Mr. Jackson was living in the Middle East after being acquitted of child molestation, his finances were particularly precarious. Sony then negotiated a deal with the singer that resulted in Mr. Jackson paying a lower interest rate on his debt in return for Sony gaining more authority to operate Sony/ATV and the option to buy half of Mr. Jackson’s share. <br /> <br />One question Sony executives have now is with whom they will negotiate. Mr. Jackson’s share is owned by a trust that he set up around the time of his molestation trial in 2005; people close to the situation say that his mother, Katherine, now controls it. <br /> <br />Mr. Jackson’s investment in song catalogs was no accident. Contrary to his popular image as a naïf, he took an active interest in the wider music business, associates say, with a shrewdness he inherited from his father, who shaped the careers of Michael and his brothers. <br /> <br />Martin Bandier, chairman and chief executive of Sony/ATV, said that Michael Jackson “had a keen sense of the value of music copyrights” and was a highly effective dealmaker. <br /> <br />“There was nobody better to close a deal,” Mr. Bandier said. “Michael called Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller a few years back to tell them that he wanted to buy their copyrights and that they would have a safe home at Sony/ATV.” <br /> <br />Mr. Jackson also negotiated a favorable royalty rate with Sony for his recordings; according to some estimates, he earned at least $300 million in record royalties since the early 1980s. And since Sony’s rights to his master recordings are set to expire in the next several years and would become owned by Mr. Jackson, according to one of his advisers, his estate would stand to earn even more from sales and from the licensing of music to film, television and any other media. <br /> <br />On the other side of the ledger, however, was Mr. Jackson’s biggest liability: his exorbitant lifestyle. His large Neverland estate in California, which contained a zoo and an amusement park and at its peak had as many as 150 employees, cost millions of dollars each year to maintain. He nearly lost it last year when he defaulted on a $24.5 million loan. <br /> <br />Neverland was saved by a real estate company, Colony Capital, and according to court papers, Mr. Jackson then contracted for an auction of memorabilia from the ranch. About 2,000 items — like statues of E. T. and 13 of Mr. Jackson’s trademark glittering gloves — were to be put up for sale in April 2009, and the value of the auction was estimated at up to $20 million. <br /> <br />But with only weeks before the sale was to begin, Mr. Jackson sued to prevent it, saying that he had never been given an opportunity to review the contents. In a settlement, the auctioneer, Julien’s Auctions of Los Angeles, returned all of the property to him. <br /> <br />Another big question left by his death is his deal with AEG Live, the big concert promoter behind the London shows. The company invested at least $20 million to produce the concerts and might have to refund more than $80 million in tickets, according to industry estimates. Randy Phillips, the chief executive of AEG Live, said in a telephone interview on Friday that that the concerts were insured, but that the company needed to wait for the coroner’s report before filing a claim. <br /> <br />“Over the weekend we’re all going to be working late trying to figure out what the basis of our insurance claim might be,” Mr. Phillips said. “It’s very, very critical for us that we get the toxicology report from the coroner so we know what the cause of death is.” <br /> <br />Perversely, the fortunes of Mr. Jackson’s estate could benefit from his death. First, there will undoubtedly be an influx of revenue from music sales after the entertainer’s death. Together, the sales from his own recordings, plus income from Sony/ATV and his own catalog would be worth $30 million a year, according to one of his business associates. And the amounts he spent on his lifestyle would be gone. <br /> <br />The winners in all of this could be his family. <br /> <br />“I’m of the view that Michael’s passing, as untimely as it is, is the one opportunity his family and his children have to preserve his asset legacy,” said Charles Koppelman, who is chairman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and a former music industry executive who several years ago was a financial adviser to Mr. Jackson. “They will earn a tremendous amount of money over the next 12 to 18 months given the outpouring, and he won’t be spending.” <br /> <br />Bill Werde, the editorial director of Billboard, compared Mr. Jackson with Elvis Presley as a star whose very likeness would remain a valuable asset for decades to come. <br /> <br />“If this estate finds smart management, his image and likeness is going to be very easy to exploit,” he said. “There’s a fan base that is hungry for seemingly as much Michael as they can ever get.” <br /> <br />Just how much the outside world learns about the details of Mr. Jackson’s finances may well turn on whether he set up a trust intended to distribute his assets privately, limiting the role of a court. If there is not enough money left behind to satisfy his creditors, the ensuing battle could make the details public, according to lawyers interviewed on Friday. <br /> <br />“If there’s going to be litigation by creditors against these assets, that’s what would happen,” said Andrew S. Garb, a lawyer at Loeb & Loeb in Santa Monica, Calif. Creditors could essentially demand an accounting of the assets left in the trust by Mr. Jackson to satisfy claims, he said. <br /> <br />If instead Mr. Jackson relied on a will, and advisers think there are at least two, then personal financial information would be revealed through probate proceedings. (In the case of multiple wills, generally the most recent valid document prevails.) <br /> <br />Regardless of how Mr. Jackson structured his financial affairs, someone could try to challenge the validity of the documents. For example, someone might argue that he signed a document under duress or that he did not understand the import of signing. <br /> <br />“If, for example, he left everything to some unrelated person and did not provide for his children, that may be another basis to indicate he didn’t know what he was doing,” said Lawrence Heller, a partner in the Los Angeles office of the law firm Bryan Cave. <br /> <br />Mr. Koppelman says he believes the delays, even with the costs of litigation, could ultimately benefit the estate. “I think it’s going to be so confusing that they’ll be able to pile up a lot of money. There’s a real opportunity to save his financial empire.” <br /> <br />“He was a fantastic visionary on the business front,” Mr. Koppelman added. “He just couldn’t deal with his personal finances.” <br /> <br />Jonathan D. Glater contributed reporting.</font>
    Last replied by omaks on Friday, 26 June 2009
  • omaks
    The Michael Jackson Years - Fond Memories
    Started by omaks 1 Reply
    What are your most memorable things about Michael Jackson? Let's hear it here.
    Last replied by omaks on Friday, 26 June 2009
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