Michael Jackson, Inc. (Simon & Schuster / Atria, 2014) reveals the incredible rise, fall, and rise again of Michael Jackson’s fortune — driven by the unmatched perfectionism of the King of Pop. Forbes senior editor Zack O’Malley Greenburg uncovers never-before-told stories from interviews with more than 100 people, including music industry veterans Berry Gordy, John Branca, Teddy Riley, Marty Bandier and Walter Yetnikoff; artists 50 Cent, Sheryl Crow, Pharrell Williams, Slash, Diddy and Jon Bon Jovi; and members of the Jackson family.
Other insights come from court documents and Jackson’s private notes, some of them previously unpublished. Through Greenburg’s novelistic telling, a clear picture emerges of Jackson’s early years, his rise to international superstardom, his decline—fueled by demons internal and external, as well as the dissolution of the team that helped him execute his best business moves—and, finally, his financial life after death.
Underlying Jackson’s unique history is the complex but universal tale of the effects of wealth and fame on the human psyche. A valuable case study for generations of entertainers to come and for anyone interested in show business, Michael Jackson, Inc. tells the story of a man whose financial feats, once obscured by his late-life travails, have become an enduring legacy.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
“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, editor-in-chief of Forbes
“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 artist to ultimately become business moguls.” –David Banner, Grammy-winning musician-actor-entrepreneur
“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
“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
“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.” –Joe 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, Senior Music Editor, Variety
“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
“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, Editor-in-Chief of Vibe
“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 and author of Growing A Better America