MTV News got their information from this wire story, which says part of that billion dollars is due to a “lucrative new record deal,” and to the success of the concert film Michael Jackson: This Is It. And Billboard calculates that Jackson’s back catalog has earned about $383 million in sales.
Back in October of 2009, a mere four months after Jackson died, he was third on the Forbes List of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities, with $90 million. Jacko was behind Yves St. Laurent ($350 million) and the songwriters Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rogers ($235 million). Jacko was ahead of Elvis Presley ($55 million).