Here Are Your Top-Earning Dead Celebrities, According To Forbes


They may be gone (and may their souls rest in peace), but even these dead celebrities are earning more than you probably ever would, or even what our current celebrities are earning. Case in point? King of Pop, Michael Jackson topped the list by raking in $825 million this year! Can you believe it?

The list of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities was created by Forbes, and the good news is that David Bowie and Prince, both of whom died this year, have made it to the list, though only one managed to get in to the Top 10. Other celebrities are from different walks of life, including cartoonists and actresses and even a golfing legend. Take a look at your Top-Earning Dead Celebrities, according to Forbes:

Rank #1

Michael Jackson

Photo Credit

Name: Michael Jackson

Profession: Musician

Earnings: $825 million

Jackson has a 50% stake in Sony ATV Music Publishing, known for it’s collection of Beatles tunes, and according to Forbes, this is “the most any celebrity has ever earned in a single year”. Half his music publishing catalog was sold for $750 million. No one knows where this money is, how it is being held and by who it is being held, nor who is benefitting from its sale. Hopefully, it will go to Jackson’s children, or his former wife, Debbie Rowe (who is suffering from cancer) or his parents.

Rank #2

Charles Schulz

Photo Credit

Name: Charles Schulz

Profession: Cartoonist

Earnings: $48 million

The Peanuts cartoon strip creator left behind beloved characters that have been turned into movies, merchandise and memorabilia.

Rank #3

Arnold Palmer

Name: Arnold Palmer

Profession: Golfer

Earnings: $40 million

The US golfing legend passed away this year at the age of 87, but seems to have held a lucrative estate.

Rank #4

Elvis Presley

Photo Credit

Name: Elvis Presley

Profession: Musician

Earnings: $27 million

As long as his music lives, you can be sure his estate is raking in the moolah. Not to mention, Graceland is still a popular tourist haunt. Wish his impersonators in Vegas and around the world could make as much!

Rank #5


Photo Credit

Name: Prince

Profession: Musician, Actor

Earnings: $25 million

The Purple Rain legend was found dead in his home due to a suspected overdose on April 21 at the age of 57, and though his earnings are not remarkable, for an ageing legend, this is pretty good.

Rank #6

Bob Marley

Photo Credit

Name: Bob Marley

Profession: Musician

Earnings: $21 million

Another musician, another legend. Though he passed away too soon, let’s just say that what he left behind really is priceless. His estate though, is worth millions.

Rank #7

Dr. Seuss

Photo Credit

Name: Theodor Geisel

Profession: Author

Earnings: $20 million

You may not recognize this name, but the child in you will jump for joy when you hear of Dr. Seuss. The brilliant creator of some of our favorite characters, rhymes and stories left an indelible mark on young minds for generations.

Rank #8

John Lennon

Photo Credit

Name: John Lennon

Profession: Musician

Earnings: $12 million

Being part of the Beatles and being John Lennon, there is no doubt that he would live on and still create an empire worth talking about. We are sure to see his name in many lists to come.

Rank #9

Albert Einstein

Photo Credit

Name: Albert Einstein

Profession: Scientist

Earnings: $11.5 million

Calling him just a “scientist” is not enough to cover the contribution that Einstein has made on this world. His inventions, equations, theories and even his quotes are something that will not be going away too soon and what his contemporaries depend on even to this day.

Rank #10

Bettie Page

Photo Credit

Name: Bettie Page

Profession: Model

Earnings: $11 million

She was the pin-up girl and has inspired generations of women to be themselves, with voluptuous bodies and provocative imagery. Also, her lingerie is something else entirely! Way to go, Bettie!

And now, honorable mentions:

Rank #11

Name: David Bowie

Profession: Musician

Earnings: $10.5 million

Rank #12

Name: Steven McQueen

Profession: Actor

Earnings: $9 million

Rank #13

Name: Elizabeth Taylor

Profession: Actress

Earnings: $8 million