NPR logo Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough Michael Jackson

Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough Michael Jackson

A makeshift memorial grows near the gates of Neverland ranch near Los Olivos, Calif. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

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David McNew/Getty Images

A makeshift memorial grows near the gates of Neverland ranch near Los Olivos, Calif.

David McNew/Getty Images

Michael Jackson: Full NPR Music Archive

It's been a week since Michael Jackson's death at 50 stunned the world. But seven days after the King of Pop stepped off stage and left us behind, it's clear we just can't seem to get enough of him.

Between retrospective specials and live news coverage, television has devoted hours and hours daily to Jackson's death. Mainstream newspapers hawk special editions and posters as the Twitterverse bursts with reflections, speculation and rumors.

There are plenty of reasons for his story's staying power. Each day brings new revelations — and questions — about Jackson's death and life:

  • How many heartbeats did his cardiologist wait before calling 911 last Thursday afternoon?
  • Why is it that a cardiologist was at Jackson's home in the first place when the singer's heart stopped beating?
  • What exactly was in those plastic bags that the Los Angeles Police Department took out of Jackson's residence?
  • It's not labeled as a criminal investigation, but why haven't police closed this case?
  • If nothing was amiss, why were two autopsies (one by the coroner, another on behalf of Jackson's family) required?
  • What does it mean that the Drug Enforcement Administration is now involved in investigating Jackson's demise?
  • Who will get permanent custody of Jackson's three young children?
  • Jackson was feverishly rehearsing for a series of 50 comeback/farewell concerts that were to start within weeks of his death. Well into middle age, was he up to the task? Was he worried he couldn't pull it off?
  • Will Jackson's Neverland ranch be turned into another Graceland? Would families be willing to visit the place where Jackson was twice accused of molesting children?

His shocked and grieving fans feel genuine affection for Jackson. They are eager to continue celebrating his life, music, talent and legacy.

They don't want to let him go. The same can be said for some of the lawyers, accountants and hangers-on who seem eager to bolster his reputation and gain from Jackson's growing wealth.

Jackson's music is once again topping what goes for the charts these days: iTunes downloads and sales for Thriller, Off The Wall and the Jackson 5 are through the roof. Hints of unreleased music and concert-rehearsal videos have come early and often, even before the superstar is buried. And let's not forget the lucrative Beatles catalog Jackson owned.

Even with the speculated multimillions in debt, there is a sense that there is more gold in them there hills.

And, in the end, the most important question seems to be:

  • Who gets the money?