Thirty years ago today, Michael Jackson purchased the Beatles catalog from an Australian billionaire for $47.5 million plus a personal appearance. Before that, he had been close friends with Paul McCartney and learned about the concept of purchasing song copyrights when McCartney showed him his song portfolio that was generating income for him each month.
The Beatles catalog is one of the remaining crown jewels of the remaining Michael Jackson estate, with some estimating its value to be over $1 billion against the $500 million in debt and tax liabilities being held against the estate. The only song Michael Jackson didn’t own? Penny Lane, because the Australian billionaire Robert Holmes Court retained that song for himself because he named his daughter after it.