It was announced yesterday that Michael Jackson‘s estate signed a $250 million recording contract (with a guarantee of $200 million), making this the biggest deal in the history of music. The deal, made with Sony Music Entertainment, includes a contract for 10 projects to be released over a span of 7 years. The first album will debut in November. Sources say Jackson recorded enough material prior to his death for at least three albums of fresh never-before-heard songs.

A source tells TMZ the royalty rate on foreign sales is the key to the deal — and 2/3 of the sales of MJ records traditionally have been outside the U.S. And we’re told Sony gets a two-year extension for the right to distribute the Michael Jackson catalog — to 2017.

The deal has nothing to do with The Beatles’ catalog — it’s all about MJ original recordings. The agreement was brokered by John Branca and John McClain, executors of the MJ estate.

Wow! $250 million?! We tell you what: those kids (Prince, Paris and Blanket) are gonna be set for the rest of their lives…