Mumbai – December 15, 2017 – Sony Music and the Estate of Michael Jackson have agreed to a landmark recording deal that will continue the label’s 42-year relationship with Michael Jackson and his music, it was announced today by Rob Stringer, Sony Music CEO and John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson.
Effective, Sony Music will extend the term of their administration of Michael’s record catalog in a long term recording agreement. Sony will also have the opportunity to partner on additional projects that the Estate may produce during the term of the agreement.
Rob Stringer, Chief Executive Officer, Sony Music Entertainment comments, "Michael Jackson was an unsurpassed genius and an iconic force in music entertainment. The music—and videos—he made as an artist as part of the Sony Music family are essential to pop culture history. We're proud to be part of that history, and to find new innovative ways to make Michael's music available to future generations of fans.”
John Branca and John McClain commented, “We couldn’t ask for more creative and innovative partners than Sony and Rob Stringer (whose history working personally with Michael goes back to the 1990s). Michael continues to inspire generations of artists who have come after him and attract new fans who understand that his music and message are more important than ever. We look forward to continuing to preserve and develop his remarkable musical legacy with Sony.”
To date, Michael Jackson has achieved 40 RIAA certifications and 40 #1 chart positions and 102 Top 5 chart positions. Michael Jackson's overall worldwide record sales exceed the 1 billion threshold including over 100 million sales of “Thriller” which remains the biggest selling album in history.
The last seven years of the creative partnership between Sony and the Estate have been characterized by the same kind of record-setting achievements that Michael realized during his lifetime. His recordings continue to meet new sales benchmarks: Last year, Thriller became the first and only album in RIAA history to pass the triple Diamond mark with a 33X platinum certification; Bad also achieved Diamond status.
Jackson’s latest release, the compilation album, Scream was his 16th Billboard Top 40 Album and 30th charting album and its release kicked off the worldwide, first annual Michael Jackson Halloween campaign. His previous release, 2014’s Xscape rocketed to #1 in 49 countries and produced the worldwide hit, “Love Never Felt So Good”. In conjunction with the release of that album, the Estate astounded the world with the technical wizardry of a ‘virtual Michael Jackson' performance during the Billboard Music Awards, which gave the show its biggest ratings in years and became the topic of conversation worldwide.
Sony and the Estate have also partnered in the production of two critically acclaimed documentaries directed by Spike Lee: Bad 25 and Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall.
Other innovations created in conjunction with Sony include the first completely crowd-sourced music video for “Behind the Mask” (2010), the first Twitter music video premiere for “A Place With No Name” (2014) and a groundbreaking augmented reality campaign for Scream (2017).
Michael Jackson’s star power and cultural relevancy continues with each passing year as his artistry, style, choreography and music continue to inspire generations of pop, soul, R&B and hip-hop artists and fans. Even as audiences change how they access music, they continue to discover and consume Michael’s songs and albums. Rob Stringer’s comment to the New York Times in 2010 that “you’ve got to bet on Michael Jackson in any new platform” proved prescient. Michael Jackson is one of the premiere streaming artists in the global marketplace. Michael ranks in the top five of all catalog artists for both audio streaming and video streaming for 2017, as well as in the top 5 of all artists for the combined audio and video streaming for 2013 – 2017, alongside contemporary artists Chainsmokers, One Direction, Beyonce and Sia.
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About Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre, including Arista Nashville, Beach Street Records, Black Butter Records, BPG Music, Bystorm Entertainment, Century Media, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Day 1, Descendant Records, Disruptor Records, Epic Records, Essential Records, Essential Worship, Fo Yo Soul Recordings, House of Iona Records, Insanity Records, Kemosabe Records, Legacy Recordings, Masterworks, Masterworks Broadway, Ministry of Sound Recordings, Monument Records, OKeh, Polo Grounds Music, Portrait, RCA Inspiration, RCA Nashville, RCA Records, Relentless Records, Reunion Records, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International, Syco Music and Verity Records. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.
About The Estate of Michael Jackson
The Estate of Michael Jackson continues to produce artistically exceptional and enormously successful ventures. Earlier this year, Optimum Productions, owned by the Estate of Michael Jackson produced “Michael Jackson’s Halloween”, a new, one-hour perennial animated special. At the 2017 Venice Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival, Optimum premiered Michael Jacksons Thriller 3D, a new 3d conversion of the acclaimed film directed by John Landis and written by Landis and Michael Jackson. The Estate’s first project in 2009, "Michael Jackson's This is It" became the highest grossing music documentary of all time. A history making touring show produced in partnership with Cirque du Soleil, Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour, played 4 continents, 157 cities, was seen by 3.7 million fans and became one of the top grossing tours of all time. The second venture between the Estate and Cirque du Soleil, the critically acclaimed Michael Jackson ONE, a permanent show at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas, gave Cirque its biggest opening ever in Las Vegas and continues to be one of the top shows in the city. In 2016, the Estate released the documentary MICHAEL JACKSON's Journey From Motown To Off The Wall, directed by Spike Lee. The documentary made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2016, and its subsequent broadcast on SHOWTIME® became the channel's highest rated music documentary of all time and its second highest rated documentary ever.