Circus shows, metal albums and Derek Acorah
Gaby Whitehill

14:55 9th April 2014

May 13 will see the release of the second posthumous album from Michael Jackson, Xscape.

It's been 5 years since the legendary King of All Music Genres died, but he's hardly been left to rest in peace. Ongoing legal battles and very public family feuds have ensured the singer's legacy lives on in the tabloids - but there's also been a series of utterly tasteless and sadly inevitable cash-ins since he passed away.

From tribute metal albums to a supernatural conversation with Derek Acorah on live TV, here are six eyebrow-raising ways Michael Jackson's legacy has been pillaged for cold, hard cash. 

  • Michael Jackson - The Live Seance: Joined by four Michael Jackson super fans who all clearly needed psychological help, television entertainer and 'psychic' Derek Acorah "spoke" to Jackson in a startlingly tasteless TV show broadcast just four months after his death. Tasteless even for Acorah, which is really saying something.

  • The Michael album: Poor reviews, accusations of an impersonator actually recording the tracks and the fact Jackson's family claimed to not want it to even released in the first place meant Jackson's first posthumous album was hardly an overwhelming success. There was also appearances from Lenny Kravitz, Akon and, er, 50 Cent. Poor Michael.

  • Michael Jackson - This Is It: Chronicling the relentless rehearsals for his upcoming O2 residency (that many accuse of causing his death), this "concert film" is a depressing depiction of the singer's last few months. Dancing woodenly and weakly croaking out lyrics, this is surely not how Jackson would like to be remembered.

  • Thriller: A Metal Tribute To Michael Jackson: Nobody asked for this.

  • Cirque De Soleil Michael Jackson World Tour: Yeah, we don't quite understand this one either. A bunch of gymnasts contorting their body into weird shapes and jumping all over the place in trippy outfits in time to Jackson's music? We're sure it's incredibly impressive, but there's something about it that leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

  • Ridiculous merchandise: On the official MJ website you can buy vinyls, box sets - and a jacket for £260.

  • Xscape: And if a previous, underwhelming collection of MJ tracks wasn't enough - here comes another. Xscape has been worked on some big names (including Timbaland), but it's part of a Sony promotion for their range of Xperia phones, and Jackson's nephews 3T have expressed concerns over the album, saying their perfectionist uncle would have wanted a say on the material being release. Every heard of 'rest in peace'?

  • The hologram: The Billboard Awards clearly wished to replicate the stir caused by the Coachella Tupac hologram when they brought on a Michael Jackson hologram to perform new track 'Slave To The Rhythm'. Creepily realistic, it all just seems a little much when in the week following the release of MJ's posthumous album Xscape. There's also been accusations the hologram was actually a real life Michael Jackson impersonator.

Photo: WENN