Back then there was no Internet, no 24-hour news networks, and no rampant speculation among celebrity “doctors” as to what may have caused the death.
Flash forward more than 30 years later and two of the music industry’s biggest superstars have left us – Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.
Houston, who passed away Feb. 11 in a Beverly Hills hotel room, died at the young age of 48, with officials holding off on releasing an exact cause of death. Jackson, who passed away in 2009 inside his Los Angeles area residence, was found to have died of Propofol intoxication.
What both deaths have in common besides the obvious shock and impact on the music world and life in general, is that before the two were even buried, some were accidentally or purposefully attempting to cash in on their deaths.
In this most recent celebrity death, reports are that T-shirts of the late Houston were being sold for $10 a pop in the last week outside the New Jersey funeral home where her remains were sent to from California.
On an even bigger scale, it was reported in recent days that Sony Music increased prices on Houston’s digital albums hours following her death. As a result, the company has since apologized, labeling it a “mistake” on its end. Since the public backlash at the price hike, Sony has returned the prices back to where they were prior to her death.
In a statement from the company, officials noted, “[The] Whitney Houston product was mistakenly miss-priced on the U.K. iTunes store on Sunday. When discovered, the mistake was immediately corrected. We apologize for any offense caused.”
The price for “The Ultimate Collection” in Britain went from approximately £5 (about $7.89) to £8 (approximately $12.63) less than 12 hours after Houston’s passing. In the U.S., the pricing wasn’t altered, as Houston’s “Greatest Hits” album has stayed at $15 at Amazon’s MP3 store and iTunes, a price many presume was the same before her death.
Despite its response to the “accident” involving the price increase in Britain of Houston’s album, Sony has reportedly paid a price in the public relations arena, with some consumers vowing to boycott the company’s products.
While it is not uncommon for an artist’s work to go up in price following their death, some will try to capitalize on the passing in every which way possible, which takes us back to the T-shirt sales to memorialize Houston.
Yes, the U.S. is a capitalistic society and most of us agree that that is a good thing.
That being said let someone at least be embalmed or cremated before trying to make a dollar off of them.
Photo credit: Businessinsider.com
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