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COVID-19: Michael Jackson’s estate makes sizable donations to MusiCares and others

The funds will be given as three $100,000 donations to two arts-related charities and a food bank in Las Vegas.

MBN Staff

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Michael Jackson
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Story Highlights

  • The funds will be distributed in the amount of $100,000 each to MusiCares, Three Square Food Bank and Broadway Cares.
  • State Executors said the donations are inspired by Michael’s ‘legendary generosity’.

In the spirit of the Michael Jackson’s philanthropic efforts, the singer’s estate have declared intentions to contribute a total of $300,000, split equally between three different funds and charities, to help the different communities affected by COVID-19. Amongst them are MusiCares (a charitable division of the The Recording Academy / GRAMMYs), Broadway Cares, and the Three Square Food Bank of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Jackson’s estate is managed by his longtime attorney John Branca and John McClain. In a joint statement, they shared: “This virus strikes at the heart of the communities we are close to”.

We learned today that the legendary Manu Dibango passed away from the virus. Other performers and support staff in music and on Broadway are sick or have been left without work and are facing an uncertain future”. Jackson sampled Dibango’s 1972 hit “Soul Makossa” is in one of his most popular songs, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”.

Speaking on their heart behind the food bank donations, the state executors continued: “…in Las Vegas, which has been so welcoming to Michael Jackson, the entire city has been shut down leaving thousands of workers and their families devastated and without an income”.

Vegas is a city closely connected to Michael. He was previously a resident and frequent visitor of the entertainment attraction. The estate’s $100,000 donation will help the city’s Three Square Food Bank, the largest in the state, provide 300,000 meals to the community.

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Broadway Cares, another one of the companies the estate is donating to, is a leading non-profit organization based in New York that finances the The Actors Fund – in support of their initiatives to fight against AIDS across the US. In response to COVID-19, Broadway Cares have launched an Emergency Assistance Fund to help affected workers in the broadway industry (on and offstage) – by helping with access to healthcare and other financial assistance. Jackson’s estate joins an array of producers on Broadway who have committed to match donations to Broadway Cares of up to $1million to help expand the fund.

Tom Viola, Executive Director of Broadway Cares expressed much gratitude for the donation from Jackson’s team, responding: “With every passing day that theaters remain dark, entertainment and performing arts professionals face unprecedented and immediate challenges”.

This incredibly generous donation from the Michael Jackson Estate will help ensure those onstage

This incredibly generous donation from the Michael Jackson Estate will help ensure those onstage, backstage and behind the scenes get lifesaving health care, emergency financial assistance and counseling during and after this crisis.”

Last of the three donations will be to the GRAMMYs’ MusiCares relief fund – for working musicians that may have lost work and income as a result of the restrictions in place to bring COVID-19 to an end, heavily plummeting the touring industry (with countless concert and event cancelations globally). This is, of course, a cause that was undeniably close to home for Michael Jackson who was a frequent touring artist – along with his team of singers, musicians, management staff and production crew.

Michael’s spirit of generosity and helping others during his lifetime is legendary. These donations are inspired by him.” said Branca and McClain.

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UK Albums Chart Data: Kylie Minogue Hits No. 1 From Vinyl Alone

Australia pop icon Kylie Minogue recently scores her ninth UK No. 1 album with ‘Tension’, according to chart data.

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Credit: Getty Images
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  • Minogue shifted over 19k on vinyl, outselling the Number 2 album’s total combined sales.

Australian singer Kylie Minogue’s latest record moved 53,200 units to clinch the top spot on last week’s UK Albums Chart. ‘Tension’ marks Minogue’s first chart-topping album since 2020’s ‘DISCO’. The album’s title track and lead single ‘Padam Padam’ also cracked the UK Top 10 in recent months.

With nine UK No. 1 albums now to her credit, Minogue now joins elite company, with only Taylor Swift and Madonna now having more chart-topping albums as female solo artists (10 and 12 respectively). Additionally, Kylie is now tied with Coldplay and Bob Dylan, who also each boast nine UK No. 1 albums.

Breaking down to individual formats, ‘Tension’ moved 19,200 vinyl units, which allowed it to concurrently top the Official Vinyl Album Chart – demonstrating a generational love for physical amongst boomers. Impressively, Minogue’s vinyl sales alone not only outsold her streaming equivalent units, but it also would’ve still landed her the No. 1 spot even if the album did not sell on any other format.

Olivia Rodrigo performs onstage the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on September 12, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for MTV)

Elsewhere on last week’s chart, pop phenom Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album  ‘GUTS’, held firm at Number 2 in its third week, selling 16,600 copies. Rodrigo notably co-penned every one of the 11 tracks.

Rounding out the Top 3 is The Weeknd’s greatest hits compilation ‘The Highlights’. Now at 138 weeks on the chart, the album continues selling – which we can assume is partly in thanks to the success of singles like ‘Blinding Lights’, ‘Save Your Tears’, as well as his current world stadium tour.

Making waves with a No. 4 debut is the collaborative drill project ‘STRENGTH TO STRENGTH’ by Headie One & K-Trap. The album moved 6,300 units last week, becoming Headie One’s third Top 5 entry. For K-Trap, it marks a new personal best on the UK Albums chart.

US rapper Doja Cat claimed No. 5 with her fourth studio set ‘Scarlet’. Propelled by lead single ‘Attention’, the album kicked off with 6,100 total sales. Now with her third Top 5 LP, Doja Cat affirms her pop dominance on both sides of the pond.

Pop juggernaut Taylor Swift also claims two titles inside the Top 10 – ‘Midnights’ at Number Eight and ‘1989’ at No. 10, continuing to rack up notable sales week after week.

See below for a full sales breakdown of the UK’s Top 10, for the week ending Thursday, September 28th, 2023.


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JKBX Allows You To Invest in Beyoncé’s Catalog

Music tech startup JKBX seeks to revolution music investment by allowing everyday fans to invest in their favorite songs.

MBN Staff

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Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood
2 min read

Story Highlights

  • JKBX, Founded by Scott Cohen, Seeks to Revolutionize Music Investment.

The emergence of song royalty trading platform JKBX has been creating quite the buzz in the music biz over the past year. After announcing plans to give fans and investors the chance to own royalty shares in hit songs, the company officially launched its platform this week.

Founded by former Warner Music Group Chief Innovator Officer Scott Cohen, JKBX is aiming to shake up the industry by bringing high-value songs to retail investors and music lovers. The platform went live on Tuesday, September 12, allowing users to reserve shares in smash hits ahead of their public listing.

While you can’t buy just yet, reserving secures you a spot to purchase royalty shares ahead of JKBX’s full approval from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company will need the green light from the SEC before it can start officially selling stakes in these songs.

Credit: Ed Sheeran, "Bad Habits" (YouTube)

JKBX has already listed dozens of chart-toppers written by superstars such as Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, the Jonas Brothers and more. Each listing shows you stats like price per share, estimated royalty yield, streaming numbers, and revenue.

For example, one share in the composition for “Sucker” by the Jonas Brothers is currently priced at $28.41, whereas a share in the sound recording of the song (the master), is priced at $28.54 per share.

For anyone wondering how Ryan Tedder is able to offer shares in the master recording of the song through JKBX, let us explain. While Tedder does not actually own the ‘master’ (the song is owned by vanity label Jonas Brothers Recording, exclusively licensed by Republic Records), Tedder does have royalty points on the song as a producer, which is what he is offering on JKBX.

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Credit: Spotify (captured by Music Biz Nation)

Cohen, who co-founded Sony Music’s The Orchard before joining Warner, says JKBX was created to give everyone access to owning successful songs.  In a press release, the company says they are “bringing high-value songs to millions of retail investors and music fans alike”. “It’s an opportunity for people to invest in music they know and love.”

While JKBX awaits SEC approval, Cohen remains optimistic they will give them the go ahead. He stated, “We’re in the process of seeking regulated approval so customers can start purchasing royalty shares as a regulated offering.”

But how likely is it that the SEC grants approval to this disruptive and unprecedented business model? Forbes Contributor Bill Hochberg questioned whether or not exchange-traded song royalties will be a good investment.

Scott Cohen | JKBX Founder

We are bringing high-value songs to millions of retail investors and music fans alike.

In additon to its main platform, JKBX has also launched a Creator Program to pay artists whose songs get listed. The company will share revenue with them, even if they don’t own rights. Cohen defended the move, saying “When a songwriter or producer sells the rights to their work, they do not need to get the consent from the original recording artists. We wanted to defy this industry norm and actively go out of our way to make the recording artists aware of the listings on our marketplace.” 

The platform’s affiliate Jukebox Hits Vol. 1 will work with rightsholders to determine which songs to list. They’ll then purchase a cut of the royalty streams and then sell pieces to investors on JKBX. So while you won’t actually own the rights, you’ll get paid as the songs earn royalties.

JKBX believes this new way of investing in music will transform the industry. Everyday people now have a chance to profit off the success of their favorite songs. As Cohen put it, “We’re a small company with big ambitions”. Time will tell if the SEC agrees to let their vision become a reality.

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