Accessibility links

Breaking News

Can Michael Jackson Resurrect His Career?

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson's acquittal by a California jury this week on child molestation charges means the pop music superstar's legal ordeal is over. But his personal and professional problems are not. Though his fan base and career album sales are unequalled, they have shrunk since the early 1990s. Jackson is also nearly $300 million in debt. Can the man who's been called the biggest music star of all time resurrect his career?

The trajectory of Michael Jackson's solo career is not all that unusual. Though no one person has had such enormous success, rock and pop stars who've hit a career high often, over time, lose some popularity. The same could be said of Jackson.

The charges of child molestation that first surfaced back in 1993 certainly affected his producers, but it's not clear whether they affected the public. Charles Duhigg covers the music industry for the Los Angeles Times newspaper. Michael Jackson's team has told Mr. Duhigg that now that Jackson has stood trial and been exonerated, he can create a new career. But industry insiders say Jackson has been damaged by this trial, not because of any new information, but because it reminded people of Jackson's eccentricities.

Reviving his career is important, because Michael Jackson must now pay his attorneys. Charles Duhigg says the best way for the pop star to raise money quickly is to tour overseas, where he remains immensely popular. Mr. Duhigg says industry insders still can't predict what impact the Jackson trial and acquittal will have on the superstar's future, but