The Michael Jackson Estate has inked a renewal agreement with BMI to continue to represent the performing rights in Michael Jackson’s songwriting catalog.
The new deal extends BMI’s uninterrupted 41-year relationship with the King of Pop. The Estate and BMI last renewed the agreement back in 2014.
Jackson first signed with BMI at the beginning of his solo career. His songwriter credits include more than 150 songs, with more than 20 reaching multi-million performance status. His music has achieved over 6.5 billion streams, and he remains one of the most popular artists of all time.
Last year the Michael Jackson Estate contended with several sexual assault allegations. The Leaving Neverland documentary on HBO sparked several lawsuits and raised questions about Michael’s relationship with children.
The Estate also sued Disney for using footage of Jackson in a film called The Last Days of Michael Jackson. Disney-owned ABC broadcast the documentary without receiving approval to use Michael Jackson’s imagery. The Estate settled with Disney and filed a request to dismiss that lawsuit.
Now in 2020, a California appeals court is reopening two lawsuits from the men who allege Jackson sexually abused them. The judge presiding over the case reversed the previous dismissals of lawsuits filed by James Safechuck and Wade Robson.
The cases were able to be reopened because of a change to California law. The amendment extends the statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse. Victims can now sue perpetrators up until their 40th birthday. Those lawsuits will be revisited later this year.
For now, it appears as though the sexual allegations re-emerging hasn’t dented the Jackson Estate’s value too much.
While certain performers like Weird Al have opted out of performing his Jackson-based songs, the catalog is more profitable than ever. BMI says on-demand music streams of Jackson’s catalog increased 23% this year.