Michael Jackson could have earned up to $1,5 billion (R15 billion) if he’d performed a world tour before his death.
That is according to public accountant Arthur L Erk, who’s told jurors the late singer ? who died from a fatal dose of propofol in June 2009 aged 50 ? would have earned $1,1 billion (R11 billion) if his This Is It residency, which would have seen him perform 50 concerts at London's The O2, had turned into a world tour.
Erk ? who has decades of experience working with pop acts such as KISS and Britney Spears ? believes the additional $400 000 (R4 million) would have come from charging more for tickets for his later gigs during such a tour.
Speaking as a witness for the Jackson family ? who are suing concert promoter AEG Live for hiring and not properly investigating Dr Conrad Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for his role in Michael's death ? he said, "Michael Jackson was in a class by himself.
"He was known as the King of Pop. There's no one who comes close to him.
"Demand was so wild that he probably could have charged more for tickets and still sold out."
Erk's projections didn’t include any CD or songwriting royalties, but the accountant predicted Michael would have spent more than $134 billion (R1,34 trillion) until his retirement aged 65.
Lawyers acting for AEG Live maintain it was Michael who hired Dr Murray and they had no idea he was treating Michael with propofol.