Remembering Michael Jackson: 7 Developments After His Death
Throughout his life, Michael Jackson created a legacy that shaped the nature of the music industry. His impact on the world continues to grow, even three years after his death. The King of Pop’s legacy has not simply lived on; his memory has shattered records.
The megastar suffered a respiratory arrest in his Los Angeles home on June 25, 2009, and was pronounced dead after being brought to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Two months later, the Los Angeles City Coroner ruled Jackson's death a homicide.
Below are the top seven developments of Jackson’s musical legacy since his death, including the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, the success of Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, and daughter Paris Jackson's growth as her father’s “spokesperson” to the public.
1. Posthumous Music Success Breaks Records (June 2009): Jackson's album sales skyrocketed after his death, making him the best-selling albums artist in 2009. In the 12 months that followed the shocking news, Jackson sold over 35 million records worldwide. In addition, with 2.6 million downloads, Jackson became the first musician to sell one million downloads in one week. He also became the first artist to date to have four top 20 best selling albums in one year in the U.S.
2. This Is It Goes Gangbusters at Box Office (September 2010): Jackson’s death put an unexpected stop to preparations for his series of sold-out shows in London, scheduled to start July 13, 2009, just 18 days before his death on June 25. Filmmakers and tour producers agreed to combine footage of the pop star from rehearsals, creating the concert film This Is It. Grossing over $72 million, the film ranks as the No. 2 music concert movie worldwide.
3. Jackson’s Kids Appear Onstage at UK Memorial Concert (October 2011): Michael Jackson’s three young children, Paris, Prince Michael and Blanket, took to the stage as the guests of honor at the UK memorial concert Michael Forever – The Tribute Concert in honor of their superstar father. The trio introduced a pre-taped performance by Beyoncé, who sang the Jackson Five's “I Want to Be Where You Are."
4. Cirque du Soleil Launches Immortal (October 2011): World-renowned performance company Cirque de Soleil kicked off its memorial tribute show, Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, in Montreal. The show aimed to pay tribute to the pop sensation by infusing Jackson’s messages of love, peace and unity into a 90-minute spectacle.
5. Dr. Conrad Murray Charged With Jackson's Death, Sentenced to Four Years in Prison (November 2011): Jackson’s personal physician was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the case of Jackson's 2009 death, and was sentenced to four years behind bars. The Jackson family, pleased with the outcome of the case, released a statement saying that they were not seeking revenge, but rather a sentence that “reminds physicians that they cannot sell their services to the highest bidder and cast aside their Hippocratic oath to do no harm.”
6. Glee Pays Tribute to the King of Pop (January 2012): The hit television series honored Jackson in their Michael Jackson tribute episode at the start of the 2012. Topping the show's previous Madonna and Britney Spears-themed episodes, Jackson's Glee tribute was jam packed with 10 of the star's biggest hits.
7. Paris Jackson Speaks with Oprah (June 2012): In an exclusive interview in the Jacksons' new home, Paris sat down with Oprah Winfrey to discuss her famous father, her childhood and blossoming acting career. The pop star’s daughter plans to continue the Jackson showbiz legacy and is pursuing an acting career. She is to star in her first movie, Lundon’s Bridge and the Three Keys, which comes out in 2013. After years of being shielded from the spotlight, the 14-year-old jumped into the public eye with a tearful tribute to her father at his funeral. Since then, Oprah has referred to Paris as her dad’s “best spokesperson."