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April 23, 2014

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Michael Jackson: Estate Lands Historic Record Deal

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Despite shaking up the world less than a year ago with his untimely death, it appears Michael Jackson will remain even more relevant for generations to come -- he's also making history in the process.

This week, the King of Pop's estate brokered a record setting recording deal with Sony Music Entertainment that is estimated to be worth up to $250 million -- the biggest known to date.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the seven year multi-million dollar will include DVDs, video games, and previously unreleased material which could potentially result into 10 new albums.

Sony label heads are 'Workin' Day and Night' to solidify Jackson's image across various "multimedia platforms" over the next several years.

"It's not just a record deal," says chairman of Columbia Epic Records, Rob Stringer. "We're not just basing this on how many CDs we sell or how many downloads. There are also audio rights for theater, movies, computer games."

"I don't know how an audio soundtrack will be used in 2017, but you've got to bet on Michael Jackson in any new platform."

Let's not forget the making of Jackson's landmark Epic Records debut 'Off the Wall.' Although the 1979 opus was re-released in 2001 accompanied with song demos, Sony is planning to reissue the opus again next year packaged with a backlog of video footage.

"The stuff we have in the vaults around that record is fascinating and remarkable," Stringer said.

"We're going to build a whole platform with a documentary. The outtakes are fantastic! We have a lot of great stuff from around every time period [in Jackson's career]. We're plowing through everything now to understand what we've got," he continued.

Since his June 2009 death, Jackson's music catalog has kept retailers busy replenishing their shelves with his timeless hits.

The New York Times reports the Grammy Award-winner has sold 8.3 million combined album sales and 12.4 million downloads of single tracks in America, making him the biggest-selling artist of 2009 in the United States.

The increase in sales place him ahead of Elvis Presley and John Lennon at #3 on Forbes magazine's recent Top-Earning Dead Celebrities listing, netting $90 million.

The first of Jackson's posthumously Sony recordings, 'This Is It' soundtrack, was released in Oct. The label plans to release a new project of unreleased music this November.

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