The legacy left behind by the self-styled King of Pop Michael Jackson is a complex one, iconic and infamous in equal measure. And so much about the superstar’s day-to-day life remains mysterious even now. But years after his demise, the musician’s Neverland Ranch has come back under the spotlight. Eerie new images of the property have recently emerged, leaving people to question once again what the future holds for the late legend’s former home.
A superstar beset by controversy
One of the biggest names in music history, Jackson’s professional reputation was well-earned. His record sales are in the hundreds of millions, and he won a whopping 13 Grammys across his career.
Despite all that success, though, the singer was beset by controversy for years. The rumor mill started up back in the 1990s and continued to rumble long after the artist’s unexpected death in 2009.
And Neverland Ranch’s role in all this can’t be overstated. Located in California, Jackson was initially introduced to the huge property back in 1983. He was there to see Paul McCartney when the pair were working on the music video for their track “Say Say Say.”
The place clearly left a huge impression on the Thriller star. Some four years later, the King of Pop splashed just under $20 million to buy the place, transforming it into a real-life fantasyland.
Opening the gates
From fairground rides to a fully-functioning zoo, Neverland Ranch became more than just a fancy California estate. And Jackson went on to open the place up for youngsters to enjoy all those features.
The King of Pop later explained why he had been so keen to share his home in a 2005 chat with Geraldo Rivera. His reasoning was unusual to say the least.
“I do it for my heart”
Jackson said, “I do it for my heart. There are many children in the cities who have never seen mountains, who haven’t been on a carousel, who haven’t petted a horse or a llama.”
“So if I can open my gates and there’s that bliss — an explosion of screaming, laughter, and they run past me to the rides, I say, ‘Thank you God.’ I feel I’ve won God’s smile of approval. Because I’m doing something that’s bringing joy and happiness to other people.”