Top-earning dead celebrities revealed | Ents & Arts News

Top-earning dead celebrities revealed | Ents & Arts News


The top-earning dead celebrities have been revealed by Forbes, showing that for the most iconic stars death is not a barrier to making millions.

At the top of the earnings pile are two of the twentieth century’s most famous stars: Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson.

Jackson’s earnings dwarfed the others for a seventh year in a row – he earned $60m (£46m) as streams of his music rose to 2.1 billion and money continues to pour in from his back catalogue.

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Streams of Jackson’s songs increased in the last year to more than two billion

Elvis may have been dead for 42 years but Forbes estimates he made $39m (£30m) in the last year, as more than half a million people continue to visit Graceland annually.

The singer’s stock is unlikely to fall with a film in the works starring Tom Hanks as Elvis’s manager.

Two Beatles continue to rake it in: George Harrison made an estimated $9m (£7m) in the last 12 months, while John Lennon made $14m (£10.8m).

They died in 2001 and 1980 respectively, but Forbes says the 50th anniversary of classic album Abbey Road has boosted streams of the Fab Four’s songs.

More from Michael Jackson

Lennon was shot dead in front of his wife Yoko Ono
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Lennon was shot dead in 1980 but he continues to make millions
Whitney Houston
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Whitney Houston, who drowned in 2012, is 12th on the list

They have also benefited from Cirque Du Soleil’s Love show in Las Vegas, which uses Beatles music.

Whitney Houston and Prince also makes the list, with Houston pulling in an estimated $9.5m (£7.4m) after the sale of half her estate in May and the success of Kygo’s remix of Higher Love.

Prince – who died from an overdose in 2016 – is ninth on the list with $12m (£9.3m).

Forbes says there were half a billion streams of the enigmatic star’s songs and 320,000 physical sales.

The statue was part of an artwork on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles
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Marilyn Monroe’s image continues to make big money for her estate
Bob Marley pictured in April 1977 while he lived in Chelsea, west London
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Reggae legend Bob Marley died of cancer in 1981

Musicians dominate the list, with recently deceased rappers Nipsey Hussle and XXXTentacion also in the top 13, alongside legends such as Bob Marley.

However, there is also space for Marilyn Monroe, whose enduring appeal saw her make $13m (£10m) thanks to a string of deals licensing her image.

Children’s author Dr Seuss, golf legend Arnold Palmer, and Snoopy creator Charles Schulz are also all still making tens of millions of dollars.

Nipsey Hussle and Lauren London arrive at the Warner Music Group Pre-Grammy Celebration at Nomad Hotel Los Angeles on February 7, 2019 in Los Angeles, California
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Nipsey Hussle (left) was killed in March this year but is already on the list
Charles Schulz created the Peanuts comic strip featuring Snoopy and Charlie Brown
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Charles Schulz created the Peanuts comic strip featuring Snoopy and Charlie Brown

The earnings list was compiled using music industry data and interviews with insiders.

The top 13:

Michael Jackson – $60m (£46m)

Elvis Presley – $39m (£30m)

Charles Schulz – $38m (£29.5m)

Arnold Palmer – $30m (£23.3m)

Bob Marley – $20m (£15.5m)

Dr Seuss – $19m (£14.7m)

John Lennon – $14m (£10.8m)

Marilyn Monroe – $13m (£10m)

Prince – $12m (£9.3m)

Nipsey Hussle – $11m (£8.5m)

XXXTentacion – $10m (£7.7m)

Whitney Houston – $9.5m (£7.4m)

George Harrison – $9m (£7m)

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