Michael Jackson set to make Royalty History

Since the Pop icon’s sudden death on Thursday, 25th June there have been widespread reports of skyrocketing music sales and radio airplay domination.

Michael Jackson’s death will lead to a phenomenal increase in royalty earnings from his music according to PRS for Music, the organisation which represents the UK’s 60,000 strong song writing community and nearly two million overseas.

Jackson wrote many of the 100 songs he recorded including Billy Jean, Beat It, Bad, Smooth Criminal and Black or White. Since his death, these songs will continue to earn royalties for his estate and those nominated to look after the songs.

Other songwriters who look set to receive a substantial increase in royalties include our own Rod Temperton (wrote Thriller) from Cleethorpes along with some other U.S songwriters including Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett (co-writers for Man in the Mirror) and Bill Bottrell (co-wrote Black or White with Michael Jackson).


We have witnessed an unprecedented 1,735% rise in the amount of airplay, let alone sales and downloads of Michael Jackson’s songs since his death which will provide a royalty boost for his estate and his songwriters.

PRS for Music

Radio airplay is up 1,735% from the previous week according to Nielsen and Heart Radio Network has reported that their stations within Heart are airing Billy Jean between 13-15 times each day across the network.

Music retailer HMV has reported a 500% rise in sales of Jackson's classics such as Thriller and Bad and after Michael Jackson’s death was announced, all CDs by Michael Jackson 5 on had sold out within minutes.

The Essential Michael Jackson alone was downloaded roughly 70,000 times and there have been 27,776,356 viewings of the Jackson’s Thriller video on YouTube.

Google hits for Michael Jackson have soared to over one billion since his death last week and have been rising at 100,000 every 30 minutes.

Last week PRS for Music launched an online Condolence Book to pay tribute to Michael Jackson and celebrate his career and huge contribution to music. Hundreds of moving tributes continue to be uploaded including those from memorable a diversity of songwriters including jazz singer Carol Kidd MBE, Carol Decker from T’Pau and members from the Raggamuffin band.

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