One June 25, 2009—five years ago today—Michael Jackson passed away.
His legacy, of course, lives on through his music, and even in death, the King of Pop (rather, his estate) is still bringing in the big bucks—to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, according to one estimate.
"Michael Jackson is making more money now, five years after his death, than he had been since the prime of his career," said Michael Jackson Inc. author Zack Greenburg, per the Telegraph. "If you look at the numbers, it's actually over $700 million in five years. Over that period of time...no living artist has gotten anywhere close to that."
In the past year alone, Michael remained an omnipresent force in the world of music and pop culture. On May 13, 2014, his new album XScape debuted, thanks to producer L.A. Reid scouring through "hundreds" of the artist's unreleased tracks.
And who could forget the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, when Michael's hologram made a special appearance onstage?! His video-projected self performed "Slave to the Rhythm," a track from his posthumous album.
These licensed reincarnations of the late star aren't the only ones kicking back royalties to his estate, either. The 2009 film This Is It, patched together with rehearsal footage from Michael's final tour and released just months after his death, made a reported $254 million worldwide, and Michael Jackson ONE, the Cirque du Soleil tour based on his music, has been cashing in since February 2013.
Greenburg concluded, "Regardless of where the King of Pop's spirit resides, one thing's for sure: Michael Jackson, Inc. is alive and well."