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Lifestyle, Entertainment

After court victories, Michael Jackson estate eyes revival

With a series of court victories that bring the end to serious legal crises, the Michael Jackson business is on the upswing 12 years after the pop superstar’s death.

7/30/2021 11:07:00 PM

With a series of court victories that bring the end to serious legal crises, the Michael Jackson business is on the upswing 12 years after the pop superstar’s death.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Michael Jackson 's musical legacy never left, but a kind of comeback is coming. With a series of court victories that bring the end to serious legal crises, with a Broadway show beginning and a Cirque du Soleil show returning after a long pandemic pause, the Jackson business is on the upswing 12 years after the pop superstar's death.

slashed the bill dramatically. The estate suddenly stands nearly clear of a dozen years of disputes. That means Branca expects that in the next 18 months it can finally be taken out of probate court and turned into a trust for Jackson’s three, who are all now adults.

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And the focus of the estate can now shift back to presenting Jackson to the world.The first priority is the revival of the Cirque du Soleil show, “Michael Jackson: One” at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. It is slated to reopen Aug. 19 after a coronavirus closure of nearly a year and a half, in time for a major celebration there planned for Jackson’s Aug. 29 birthday.

The Broadway show, “MJ: The Musical,” will follow quickly on its heels, the first of several planned projects.ADVERTISEMENTdelayof well over a year, as happened for all of Broadway, was “frustrating” but he has renewed excitement about “MJ: The Musical” and shared new details.

“It’s not a chronological depiction of Michael’s life,” he said. “It’s more impressionistic, inspired by Michael’s life and his music. It takes place as Michael is preparing for a tour and MTV wants to get an interview. Michael’s very press shy, and slowly but surely as they develop a relationship begins to talk about different parts of his life that then get enacted in the show.”

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage wrote the show’s book. Tony Award-winner Christopher Wheeldon is directing and choreographing. Broadway newcomer Myles Frost will star as Jackson, after Ephraim Sykes dropped out to shoot a movie. Rehearsals resume in September, and previews begin in December.

Branca said he’s proud of the diversity the show will bring to the stage.“The cast is obviously largely Black,” Branca said, “In an era where that’s sorely wanted on Broadway.”Successes aside, Branca feels lingering bitterness about director Dan Reed’s “Leaving Neverland” and what he felt were American media outlets that “don’t have the time or the wherewithal to do the research to figure out what’s true and what’s not true.”

Hence, the estate’s last lingering lawsuit, now in private arbitration, is one that it brought itself, and one Branca very much wanted filed,against HBOover the documentary.“I was very angry at HBO and Dan Reed and I still am because here’s the thing: You can say anything you want about somebody who’s dead. They’re not here to protect themselves,” Branca said.

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The two men featured in the documentary are appealing the dismissals of their lawsuits. HBO has defended “Leaving Neverland” as a valid and important piece of documentary journalism.Ironically, the victory handed to the estate in its tax case came in part because the judge believed the value of Jackson’s image and likeness had been severely diminished by such allegations at the time of his death, despite his acquittal at his 2005 trial for child molestation. It was one aspect of an

all-around victoryfor the estate that’s bringing a far smaller bill that’s being calculated now.Under the guidance of Branca and his more behind-the-scenes co-executor John McClain, the estate has brought in $2.5 billion in revenue in the past 11 years, and Jackson has remained the top earning deceased celebrity every year since his death at age 50 from a lethal dose of the anesthetic

propofol.But Branca says the way Jackson’s musical legacy echoes through modern artists may be his most impressive legacy.“Kanye West, Drake, Beyoncé, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande — they all point back to Michael,” Branca said. “His influence is really enormous.”

___This story has been corrected to show Jackson’s birthday is Aug. 29, not Aug. 27. Read more: The Associated Press »

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You noted the Estate’s HBO lawsuit as their “last” in your article andyjamesdalton. What about the consumer fraud lawsuit brought against the Estate and Sony for falsely representing 3 fake songs as authentic MJ material and selling them to millions of fans on an official album? 👍 Great article. 'Lies run sprints, the truth runs marathons ' ❤ squareonemj

MJInnocent 🙌 , why are you still promoting a movie that was exposed as a scam two years ago? When are you going to start reporting all the lies that this film contains? It's time to lay the cards on the table, and to report the truth. Thank you, andyjamesdalton for the wonderful article. finally They weren’t court victories so much as successful dodging of legal action.

Two of the serious legal crises was dead in the water from the beginning. Robson and Safechuck told lies just to go after Michael Jackson's money and failed miserably.

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As it should be 🙂 Unfortunately I not understand that situation it's private or public ? thank you Wow, in the 2 years I have been active on Twitter, I have never blocked that many people in record time! 😳 As it should the legacy from the always INNOCENT DEAD BLACK Michael Jackson will live forever cause is cemented upon the good seeds he sowed; the many lies that were constructed for destroying him never succeeded neither won't do it from now on.


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