Michael Jackson has had some good news amid his legal woes - he's due to reap a $3.5 million (GBP1.9 million) advance from record giant Sony for his upcoming compilation album.

On top of that, the 45-year-old BAD singer will collect royalties that could total $5 million (GBP2.7 million) annually if his recordings keep selling, sources tell the LOS ANGELES TIMES.

The royalties are in prospect because Jackson's record sales - strong abroad, despite a sharp drop-off in America - are helping him pay of the tens of millions of dollars Sony has spent on him over the years.

Jackson still has about $270 million (GBP150 million) in loans from the BANK OF AMERICA - backed by his two major song catalogues - to pay off.

But, despite a number of poor investments and lavish spending over the years, the anticipated Sony advance, and a recent refinancing of his debts, are expected to give his finances a much-need upturn.

The Sony payment will come in exchange for delivery of recordings and other materials for the box-set, which Sony is aiming to release for the autumn (04) - probably before any verdict in his Santa Barbara molestation case.

Jackson's longtime music attorney JOHN BRANCA refuses to comment on his client's finances, but says, "He was counted out once before, when the JACKSON FIVE lost popularity and came back bigger than ever. Michael speaks to a worldwide audience like no other artist in history."

03/05/2004 09:08