Return to ads
All categories
Community News
Celebrity News
Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson

Posted by
Posting ads for 49 years
Originally published March 21, 1991 Sony Corp.

is betting that Michael Jackson will become entertainment's first billion-dollar man.Under a deal announced yesterday, Jackson would make six albums for Epic Records and a number of films for Columbia Pictures, both owned by Sony.

For that, Jackson could earn as much as $1 billion.That's a million dollars a thousand times over.And it would make Jackson the highest-paid entertainer in history.Not that Jackson was hurting before yesterday's announcement; at age 32, he was already earning about $1 million a week, second only to Bill Cosby.

Each made at least $100 million over the last two years - a sum that dwarfs any of the multimillion-dollar contracts or paychecks that have gone recently to professional athletes.Mike Tyson, for example, was the highest-paid athlete on the planet last year, with income of $28.6 million.

That isn't even 3 percent of the $1 billion this contract could bring Jackson.But then, Tyson doesn't dance backward dragging his foot.No one involved would reveal the duration of the Jackson contract yesterday.

But it does call for the creation of Jackson's own recording label, Nation Records, to which he will sign new and established artists, and for short film projects with directors such as David Lynch (Twin Peaks), Tim Burton (Batman) and Richard Attenborough (Gandhi).

And it would commit him to several feature films and television projects.Jackson's first effort will be an album of original material, as yet untitled, to be released on Epic in the summer.

It will be followed by a starring role in a musical action-adventure to be written by Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands) and Larry Wilson (co-author of Beetlejuice), and based on a Jackson idea.The deal makes last week's Jackson-family headline - news that Michael's sister Janet had signed with Virgin Records to make three to five albums for an estimated $32 million - seem like small potatoes.Sony's assessment that Michael Jackson could earn $1 billion over the unspecified length of the contract is based on his success in the '80s.His three solo albums sold a combined 75 million copies worldwide, his '87-'89 tour earned in excess of $125 million, and he had the three top- selling long-form music videos.Under the partnership, the percentage of gross earnings from his projects that Jackson will receive is higher than the industry norm."This enables him to cross mediums," said Robert Zito, president of Sony Software Corp."We at Sony feel this contract could be breaking ground for a new type of entertainment opportunity," Zito continued, saying the star will be able to ''design video games" if he so desires.Bob Merlis, vice president and national publicity director for rival Warner Bros.

Records, characterized the deal this way: "Clearly, Michael Jackson is more than a recording artist to Sony.

He's a corporate asset.

"The deal comes at a time when Jackson's coffers continue to bulge but his status as a pop icon has fallen.According to Forbes magazine, he was the second-highest-paid entertainer in the world during the two-year period that ended in December.

(Jackson earned a total of $100 million, behind Cosby, who earned $115 million.

)Sales of his Bad LP (1987) are approaching 25 million copies worldwide.

The album generated fewer hits and less excitement than 1982's Thriller, which has sold more than 40 million copies.Not everyone in the music industry was bubbly about the Jackson deal.

Wayne Isaak, vice president and executive director of East Coast operations for A&M Records, Janet Jackson's former label, believes that such big-ticket negotiations could bleed away money previously used to develop new talent."At a certain point, these huge deals are very limiting to the whole business," Isaak said yesterday.

"Because the companies need so much capital up front, there's a limit to how much effort they can put into developing young talent, which is the heart of the business.

"After a career as child star of the Jackson 5 at Motown Records, Jackson signed with Epic in the mid-'70s.

His three most recent solo efforts - Bad, Thriller and Off the Wall - were all produced by Quincy Jones.Wall Street reaction to the news was muted.

Sony stock closed at $49, up only 25 cents a share, and was not among the 15 most actively traded stocks.
Reply to this ad
Recently viewed ads
Saved ads
Please log in to browse your saved adverts or sign up if you don't have an account yet.
Popular Stuff