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Michael Jackson Estate Signs Record Deal with Sony

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By Kamika Dunlap on March 17, 2010 12:45 PM

The Michael Jackson estate signed a record deal with Sony Music Entertainment for $250 million.

According to the Associated Press, the record-breaking Jackson Sony deal guarantees the Jackson estate up to $250 million and gives Sony the rights to sell his back catalog and draw on a large vault of unheard recordings.

The biggest record deal in history, the contract between the Michael Jackson estate and Sony goes through 2017. The Jackson Sony deal includes never-released recordings plus future projects including a video game, a DVD compilation of videos and a rerelease of Jackson's 1979 "Off the Wall" album.

Since Jackson's death on June 25, Sony has sold an about 31 million of his albums around the world. The Michael Jackson estate also estimates that by the first anniversary of the singer's death it will have earned $250 million from the concert film "This Is It" and music and merchandise sales.

Since his death, the Michael Jackson estate has also been in the news as claimants (including his father) have sought a piece of the pie, as discussed previously in this blog.

Jackson's two biggest assets are Sony/ATV Music Publishing, his venture with Sony that owns copyrights to 251 Beatles songs; and his 2,600-acre Neverland Valley Ranch.

Sony Chairman Rob Stringer says the deal should not only be enough to pay of Jackson's $125 million debt but leave plenty of money for his heirs.