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Now that Whitney is gone, all that’s left is the messy process of dealing with the finances. And since her death, her music sales of shot through the roof, but who will inherit the money?
“Whitney: The Greatest Hits” album sold over 64,000 copies in just 24 hours after the news of her death hit the public, and according to yahoo.com, more than 101,000 Houston albums have been purchased over the week, which is more than the singer’s total sales for her latest album.
Posthumous record sales will likely rake in millions of dollars in royalties. But according to Forbes writer, O’Malley Greenburg, Houston doesn’t have writing credits for her songs so this means her estate will receive less money than expected.
He also explained that unlike Whitney, Michael Jackson did some smart business and continues to rake in millions of dollars each year due his 50 percent state in the Sony/ATV publishing catalog.
Forbes publishes an annual list of the “Top-Earning Dead Musicians” and while Houston’s estate may not bring in the same money as Jackson’s, she could rival Jimi Hendrix, whose estate earned $7 million last year. The King of Pop raked in $170 million in 2011, beating out top-selling groups like U2. Sales of MiJac’s songs and albums soared in the six months after his death. It’s been reported that 30 million Jackson albums were bought worldwide during that short time period.
Sony came under fire this week for raising the prices of Houston’s albums on Apple’s UK iTunes. Sony later issued an apology, saying her albums were “mistakenly mispriced” and it “immediately” corrected the price hike. “We apologize for any offense caused,” Sony said.