In early 2009, Michael Jackson was rehearsing for what was shaping up to be one of the largest comebacks in music history. This Is It, his planned London residency, would have been the King of Pop’s first extensive series of performances since his HIStory world tour 12 years earlier.
But on June 25, less than three weeks before the first show, Jackson was found unconscious in a bedroom of his Los Angeles mansion. Paramedics arrived within minutes, news coverage interrupted regularly scheduled TV programming around the world and fans flocked to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where their idol was transported. Within the hour, Jackson was pronounced dead at the age of 50.
The 13-time Grammy winner’s death was ruled a homicide after it came to light that his personal physician, Conrad Murray, had administered a lethal dose of propofol, an anesthetic intended only for major surgeries. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 and spent two years in jail.
Since Jackson’s death, his family members have kept his legacy alive through his favorite art form: music. His estate has grossed more than $1.3 billion since the end of 2016, one of the most recent tallies, and he has “out-earned pretty much every living entertainer since his death,” as Forbes senior editor of media and entertainment Zack O’Malley Greenburg recently noted.
The estate has reissued some of the entertainer’s most popular releases, including 1987’s Bad, in addition to compiling two posthumous albums, 2010’s Michael and 2014’s Xscape. Jackson’s music has also been featured in two Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas, countless commercials and TV specials, and the upcoming Broadway jukebox musical, Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.
There has been a scandal or two along the way as well, most recently surrounding the film Leaving Neverland, which premiered on HBO in March and alleged that Jackson had sexually abused two underage boys. (He was acquitted of molestation charges in a 2005 trial and maintained his innocence until his death.) The Jackson estate has also fiercely denied the accusations against the late performer and has tried to keep his reputation from being tarnished.
“His legacy will live on and never be torn down,” nephew Siggy Jackson recently told the Associated Press.
On the 10th anniversary of Michael’s death, take a look back at how his family has honored him over the past decade.
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