Prior to Michael being a driving force in the সঙ্গীত industry, it was Sam Cooke, who paved the way for black recording artists such as Michael, to establish his own publishing company, MIJAC Music, and start his record company, MJJ, which was a subsidiary of Epic Records back in 1994. Not was Sam Cooke, a shrewd businessman, he was one of Michael's early vocal influences as well, and it was unusual for a successful black recording record artist at that time to take control of their career and the secure the rights to their music, nor establish a successful সঙ্গীত publishing company and a successful record label. He was a true pioneer when it came to taking control; of his সঙ্গীত and publishing rights, and that was why Michael left Motown Records back in 1976 because Motown founder and CEO, Berry Gordy, wouldn't let Michael and his siblings write and produce their own songs. Just 16 years earlier, back in 1960, Sam was offered $100,000 advance to sign with RCA Records, and being the first black recording artist on the roster, after leaving Keen records. Sam and Michael were recording successful recording artists with good business acumen especially when it came to signing new musical acts on their roster.