Page last updated at 04:16 GMT, Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Michael Jackson estate agrees record Sony music deal

Michael Jackson announces London concerts, March 2009
Sony has sold 31 million Jackson albums since his death last June

The estate of Michael Jackson has agreed the biggest recording deal in history, worth more than $200m (£133m), with Sony Music, US reports say.

The deal reportedly involves 10 album projects over seven years - including one of previously unreleased material.

The singer died at his Los Angeles home in June, aged 50. He was due to stage a series of comeback concerts in Britain.

Michael Jackson's death was ruled as homicide, mainly caused by the use of the anaesthetic Propofol.

Massive debts

The contract with Sony could be worth up to $250m if certain conditions are met, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing sources close to the deal.

It reflects sales of Jackson's music and memorabilia - which have sky-rocketed in the months since his death, making the late star one of the biggest-earning acts of last year, says the BBC's Rajesh Mirchandani in Los Angeles.

Sony has sold about 31 million copies of Jackson's albums worldwide since his death on 25 June, the report said.

His estate may soon be able to pay off some of the huge debts he left behind, our correspondent adds.

According to US media, Jackson also left behind dozens of new songs, which may be released, along with revamped packages of old hits.

More details are expected in an official announcement later on Tuesday, but the contract is reported to include the soundtrack to the recent film, This Is It.

The footage showed Jackson rehearsing for his comeback tour just days before his death from an overdose of an anaesthetic.

His doctor, Conrad Murray, who told police he had prescribed Propofol for insomnia, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of manslaughter.

He has always maintained that he neither prescribed nor administered anything that should have killed the singer.

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