The king of pop lives on

In the year since he died, the money earned by Michael Jack­son’s mu­sic has rock­eted. Arts re­porter Nick Ahad con­sid­ers the mu­si­cian’s legacy.

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - MUSIC -

I’M not a fan of Doc­tor Who.

Never re­ally un­der­stood the ap­peal. Not even when Rus­sell T Davies in­jected new life into the old Doc was I in­ter­ested.

So it is a com­plete co­in­ci­dence that I hap­pened to re­cently watch the episode writ­ten by Richard Cur­tis, in which the Doc­tor trans­ports Vin­cent Van Gogh in his time ma­chine (apolo­gies to fans, it was lit­er­ally the first episode I have ever watched) to the present day.

Bill Nighy, not camp­ing it up for pos­si­bly the first time in his ca­reer, plays a guide at the Musee d’Or­say in Paris, home to many of Van Gogh’s works. The Doc­tor gets him to ex­plain, while Van Gogh stands within earshot, how im­por­tant the artist be­came fol­low­ing his death. Nighy’s beau­ti­fully-de­liv­ered speech tells the artist that he was “not only one of the great­est artists of all time, but one of the great­est hu­man be­ings”.

If only the Tardis were real and Michael Jack­son could sim­i­larly be shown the ef­fect of his legacy.

Jack­son, who died a year ago to­day, is fol­low­ing a now well-worn path of earn­ing more in death than he had re­cently earned in life.

How­ever, un­like Elvis, John Len­non and Johnny Cash, who earned buck­ets more cash af­ter death than be­fore it, were the Tardis avail­able, Jack­son would also find that in the year since his death, a pub­lic re-ap­praisal of his work has taken place.

Fig­ures re­leased yes­ter­day show that Jack­son’s songs have been played and his mu­sic bought at a rate not seen since the height of his solo ca­reer, his es­tate earn­ing $250m in the 12 months since his death.

Prior to his death last year, Bil­lie Jean was the most played of his songs.

This week the Per­form­ing Rights So­ci­ety re­leased a chart of the top 20 songs bought and played since Jack­son’s death – and Bil­lie Jean doesn’t fea­ture.

In the last decade of his life Jack­son was bet­ter known for

In death the con­tro­ver­sies have faded and peo­ple have re­mem­bered the mu­sic.

the con­tro­ver­sies sur­round­ing his life than the qual­ity of his mu­sic.

In death the con­tro­ver­sies have faded and peo­ple have re­mem­bered the mu­sic.

Bil­lie Jean hasn’t made it into the top 20 be­cause, fol­low­ing his death, peo­ple have gone through the back cat­a­logue of Jack­son’s songs and re­alised that his rep­u­ta­tion was not built on that one song but on the most ex­tra­or­di­nary back cat­a­logue in pop­u­lar mu­sic.

Play­ing songs like Rock With You, Hu­man Na­ture, Liberian Girl and Smooth Crim­i­nal has re­minded peo­ple of the ge­nius of Jack­son, who wrote or co-wrote much of the work he recorded.

The most per­formed of Jack­son’s songs in the last 12 months, ac­cord­ing the PRS chart, is Man in the Mir­ror, which has seen an in­crease in play of 1039 per­cent. Jam, taken from the Dan­ger­ous al­bum is up 1037 per­cent and They Don’t Care About Us, from the His­tory al­bum up

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