John Branca: The 2014 Billboard Power 100
NO. 47

John Branca

Partner, Ziffren Brittenham

Staged Michael Jackson’s second posthumous comeback with the debut of “Michael Jackson One,” a permanent Cirque du Soleil residency in Las Vegas

It’s been a busy year for John Branca. The music super-lawyer, best-known as the co-executor of the Michael Jackson estate, negotiated the sale of Elvis Presley’s intellectual property to Authentic Brands in November and helped Carlos Santana extend his residency at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas through the end of 2014.

As head of the music practice at Ziffren Brittenham, Branca also oversees a cadre of lawyers who represent such acts as Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys, Shakira, Linkin Park, Selena Gomez, Rick Rubin, Trent Reznor, David Guetta and numerous other A-listers.

Branca also wears a second hat: executive producer. Last year, he produced “Michael Jackson One,” a Cirque du Soleil residency at Mandalay Bay that opened in May. The show, staged in a custom-built theater, complements Branca’s other Cirque du Soleil production, “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour,” which just ended its third year of touring to become the ninth-top-grossing tour in history, earning $325.1 million from 407 performances worldwide since its debut in October 2011, according to Billboard Boxscore.

“With music’s ongoing shift to digital, economic power continues to reside in live touring, artist brands and delivery systems.” For Branca, that means a transition from straight contract deals to becoming a producer who consistently orchestrates new entertainment experiences.