Bootleggers Capitalize On Michael Jackson’s Death

Unauthorized music, T-shirts, videos and more being sold on the streets.

Just like music retailers have seen a spike in Michael Jackson album and single sales , bootleggers are raking in some major coin in the wake of the King of Pop’s sudden death last month. Albums such as Thriller and Off the Wall and various greatest-hits compilations by [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist] and the Jackson 5 have been flying off the bootleggers’ blankets.

Then there are the countless MJ-inspired mixtapes that have just been released. Besides coming up with regular compilations of Jackson’s classics, DJs and producers have been making special mixtape versions of his music, such as all a cappella tracks or chopped and screwed takes on Jackson’s timeless tunes.

Other MJ merchandise includes every type of unauthorized poster and T-shirt you can imagine. Jackson’s fans who didn’t get to see him live onstage also have an opportunity in the black market: One DVD that features a faded picture of Jackson on the cover is simply titled “Michael Jackson concert from 1987 in Japan.” The DVD’s quality is far from high-def and looks like it was dubbed from VHS.

In the concert footage, Jackson starts with “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” and doesn’t stop. The train keeps rolling with costume changes (Jackson dons a werewolf head for “Thriller”), flawless dance moves, and MJ’s cheer-extorting theatrics (he drops to one knee and pretends to cry during “She’s Out of My Life”).

MTV’s live coverage of the Michael Jackson public memorial service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles will begin on Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT.

For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit “Michael Jackson Remembered.”

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