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Michael Jackson, Inc.: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of a Billion-Dollar Empire Hardcover – June 3, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (June 3, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476705968
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476705965
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In his meticulously researched Michael Jackson, Inc, Zack O'Malley Greenburg has brilliantly shown us a side of the late King of Pop we've never seen before: The mercurial but oh-so-canny businessman who made hundreds of millions in his lifetime and is on his way to making even more after his untimely death." (William D. Cohan, New York Times bestselling author of Money and Power and The Price of Silence)

"A fascinating, fresh, detailed account of how Michael Jackson changed the game for artists in the entertainment industry. Packed with new angles and insights, Greenburg avoids cheap sensationalism in favor of real, research-based reporting. The result is at once a story of Jackson's remarkable business acumen, as well as a cautionary tale about the price of the ticket. While Jackson's success came at a great cost, reading this book makes clear how he paved the way for generations of artists to come." (Joseph Vogel, author of Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson)

"Zack follows every step of the way as the King of Pop becomes the Citizen Kane of Pop, creating an empire so strong that even Jackson’s most mind-boggling excesses couldn't bring it down. Michael Jackson Inc. is the deepest examination and most resounding proof yet that Jackson was as pioneering in business as he was in music -- a pathfinder in the establishment of Artist as Brand." (Jem Aswad, editor-in-chief of SPIN)

"Jackson was crazy like a fox, and could be as cold in business as he was hot onstage and in the studio. I'm crazy for this gripping, beautifully-reported book." (Michael Gross, author of House of Outrageous Fortune)

“The King of Pop is perfectly captured by Zack O'Malley Greenburg, who has a journalist’s eye for detail with Michael Jackson, Inc. The words dance across the page, the mark of a writer with vivid, natural storytelling talent. Bravo, Zack!” (Chuck Leavell, keyboardist for the Rolling Stones)

“What a story Zack Greenburg tells well, one that is as absorbing and exciting as Michael Jackson on stage in his prime. It’s a modern, pop version of Citizen Kane.” (Steve Forbes)

"We know the circus that Michael Jackson's personal life became in the media, yet Zack found the stories of who he became in the business world, which was starkly different and industry influencing. Jackson went hard in the vocal booth and even harder in the boardroom. Artist-entrepreneurs like Jay Z, Diddy and Lady Gaga owe him the world; we're indebted to Zack for shedding light on Jackson's business acumen." (Datwon Thomas, contributing editor at Ozy.com)

“We all know Michael Jackson worked hard to become the undisputed King of Pop. Zack Greenburg’s well researched Michael Jackson, Inc. follows the money and shows us how he learned from the best, defied the odds, and turns out to have been just as good at business—making this a fun, compelling read and one of the most incisive looks at the business of show business at its highest level.” (Fab 5 Freddy, hip-hop pioneer and longtime host of Yo! MTV Raps)

“Greenburg explores the brilliance and business acumen of Michael Jackson. He intricately carves the truth behind the man who went from rags to revolutionizing—and paving the way for artists to ultimately become business moguls.” (David Banner, Grammy-winning musician, actor and entrepreneur)

"Greenburg adroitly reviews Jackson's artistic growth and achievements not with pecuniary jargon or obsequious praise, but as a narrative of the fruitful relationships the artist established with others. He includes surprising facts about Jackson's recording breakthroughs as well as his ambitious, and very expensive, long-form music videos, which became the industry standard... A useful, informative examination of this important artist’s career." (Kirkus)

“Offers a perspective fans around the world may have never seen…You feel like you’re getting to know the man he was… Read it. And if you’re a singer and/or songwriter or remotely involved in music, you truly should, just to understand how a master of the game played it to win.” (Ebony)

About the Author

Zack O’Malley Greenburg is a senior editor at Forbes and his work has also appeared in The Washington PostSports Illustrated, Vibe, and McSweeney’s, among others. His first book, the Jay Z biography Empire State of Mind, was published in 2011. A child star, he played the title role in the film Lorenzo’s Oil. He lives in New York. 

More About the Author

Zack O'Malley Greenburg is a senior editor at Forbes, where he covers the business of music. He is the author of "Michael Jackson, Inc.: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of a Billion-Dollar Empire," due out for Simon & Schuster's Atria imprint in June 2014. His first book, the Jay-Z biography "Empire State of Mind" (Penguin/Portfolio, 2011) was called "one of the year's best rock books" by Bloomberg News. A child star, Zack played the title role in the film Lorenzo's Oil alongside Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon. He graduated from Yale with a degree in American Studies in 2007 and immediately joined the staff at Forbes, where he has since chronicled pension fund scandals, investigated the tourism business in post-conflict Sierra Leone, and written cover stories on the business of Justin Bieber and Toby Keith. Zack's work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, Vibe, and McSweeney's, among others; he has served as a guest on television programs including and Good Day New York, Erin Burnett OutFront, Entertainment Tonight, and 60 Minutes. He lives in New York.

Customer Reviews

This book is very interesting and sad at the same time.
DARRELL F. NEWSON
Everyone interviewed talks about how he was a genius at business and was well learned, reading everything he could get his hands on and constantly asking questions.
HuntleyMC
The book is well written and well-documented with numerous interviews and little reliance on third party reports.
elizabeth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Zachary H. Bissonnette on June 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fantastically well-executed look at the financial life of Michael Jackson: the mismanagement and neglect before and after his death but also, and surprisingly more interestingly, the vision that he brought to his business during his career.

There are few angles of the Michael Jackson story that have been left unexplored. This was one of them, and this book looks at it spectacularly.

Every Michael Jackson fan should read it but actually, it will probably be as interesting or more interesting to general business readers who can only name one or two Michael Jackson songs.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By elizabeth on June 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the story of how Michael Jackson pioneered a new template for "pop star as brand and business owner." Greenburg details Jackson's vision of himself as a new kind of entertainer: not selling rights to his songs, acquiring other copyrights, leveraging his popularity to start shoe & clothing lines. It's a concept that didn't exist before Jackson; he broke new ground in this area just as he revolutionized the music video, dance, and so many other things.

It is also a cautionary tale about the unanticipated effects of corporate mergers & acquisitions - in this case, Jackson, ended up owning half of the Sony/ATV music catalog (worth billions) but also having a separate relationship with Sony as a recording artist (when his label, CBS/Epic, was eventually acquired by Sony). This dual relationship of being co-owner and contractor seems to me to be at the root of the disputes and frustrations that soured a previously good business arrangement between Jackson & Sony. He had several albums still to deliver under his recording contract, but when he became unhappy with them, couldn't afford to legally dispute and/or walk away, because the rest of his fortune was too attached to the same company.

The book is well written and well-documented with numerous interviews and little reliance on third party reports. What it doesn't do is explain the 'why" of some of Jackson's later decisions. There are several clues, however. For example, at one point after Jackson's acquittal & return to the Unites States, he strongly considered selling his stake in the Sony/ATV catalog in order to liquidate and pay off debts. But he was advised not to do so.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Karen Moriarty on August 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
As Zack Greenburg walks his reader through the maze of Michael Jackson's financial life, he demonstrates how the thread that ran through all of the phenomenal, record-breaking successes of the King of Pop was the man himself.

As in most things Michael Jackson, the media have typically provided over-the-top and misleading coverage of MJ's business dealings, overlooking his entrepreneurial prowess, visionary acumen, and genius. Zack reveals the surprising inside stories of MJ's acquisition of the largest music catalog in history, of his fantastical 2700-acre Neverland that reflected his core personality, and of the stratospheric earning power of the King of Pop. He also interprets the downfall of MJ and of his financial status in a thorough, credible, and interesting way, in parts difficult to read because of the pathos and victimhood in the story.

Although the public was fed negatively skewed material about MJ's finances across the years, Zack shows how the lens and yardstick with which MJ was perceived and measured were generally inaccurate and distorted. He presents the reader with a fascinating case study of the King of Entrepreneurship, who set the bar in so many areas for other artists to follow his lead. He was a game changer, whose soft voice and steel will combined to effect new ways of marketing music and monetizing celebrity. MJ studied the greats - in music, dance, and finance - and then became greater, a goal that he set for himself as a very young man.

Michael Jackson was indeed a trail-blazer in everything he did - dance, music, film, life-style, philanthropy - with risk-taking decision-making, out-of-the-box thinking, driving ambition, and a level of perfectionism that fueled his bigger-and-better obsession.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Wise on June 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The best thing about this book, besides it's well-written prose and the wide variety of interviewees author Zack O'Malley Greenburg gathered, is the new understanding you get about the man you thought you knew. Countless books have been written about Michael Jackson, but when you read about his visionary insights into the business of music as well as keen perceptions of where the music business was going, you appreciate how savvy he was as an entrepreneur and what a game changer he became. If you have any interest in Michael Jackson, hearing inside stories about the art of deal making or learning the history of how stars monetize their fame, then this is the book you should read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MAXIMILLIAN MUHAMMAD HALL OF FAME on June 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover
this man was a standard musically and as a business man he was the real deal and he knew he was a target as a sharp and smart Black Man. the powers that be were afraid of a successful Black Man who also could protect himself for a rainy day. like MJ always said as long as he was singing, dancing and grinning things were cool, however when he invested in publishing and buying catelogs and owning his masters then the media started calling him out of his name. he had his finger on the pulse of the modern day setting for what artists do today, extending the brand MJ Was doing that back in the day. through beverages, clothing, and other entertainment endeavours. the man constantly was bringing in new sources of income and expanding the standard. this book does a great job at highlighting the great musical mind and the strong business sense of MJ. very enlighten book.
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