More than $1 billion! That’s what an expert claims Michael Jackson could have earned if he had performed a worldwide concert tour and created a Las Vegas show before his death. An accounting expert familiar with the singer’s earning potential told jurors that Jackson could have earned in excess of $1.1 billion had he lived.
Arthur Erk, a certified public accountant who handles royalty audits for musicians, testified during the wrongful death trail earlier this week and informed jurors that Jackson may have earned $1.5 billion for the shows if he had charged higher ticket prices during later shows on the “This Is It” tour.
According to Erk, he was using conservative estimates to figure Jackson’s earning potential if he had lived for several more years, completed a worldwide tour and created a Las Vegas show based on his music, reports AP (via Black America Web). The estimates also took into account endorsements and royalties that Jackson could have garnered and are heavily dependent on Jackson performing a 37-month, 260-concert world tour. Erk’s figures also took into account an estimated $134 million the singer would have probably spent before retiring from show business at age 65. But Erk did not consider Jackson’s estimated $400 million in debt. Jackson was 50 years old when he died.
Erk’s testimony is part of the case brought by Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, against concert promoter AEG Live LLC.
“AEG Live defense attorney Sabrina Strong questioned Erk’s assumption during cross-examination because Jackson had never completed a tour that long and hadn’t performed a tour in more than a decade” reports AP.
Katherine Jackson charges that AEG Live is liable for her son’s death since it failed to properly investigate the doctor convicted of giving the singer an anesthetic overdose.
AEG, however, denies it hired the doctor and as such bears any responsibility for Jackson’s June 2009 death.
Do you think MJ’s celebrity star would’ve shone this brightly had he lived?