Gone But Not Forgotten: Dead Celebrity Earnings
The earning power of the estates of deceased celebrities is astounding. According to a list published by Forbes.com, the 13 top-earning dead celebrities earned over $259 million collectively.
Here are the ranked names, their earnings, and a glimpse into the reason for the massive earnings:
|Rank||Name||Date of Death||2020 Earnings*||Contributing Factors|
|13||Marilyn Monroe||August 4, 1962||$8 million||Netflix biopic, branding, including Dolce & Gabbana, Lego,|
|12||George Harrison||November 29, 2001||$8.5 million||Las Vegas’ Cirque du Soleil’s Love|
|11||Freddy Mercury||November 24, 1991||$9 million||Royalties from biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, related music and merchandise sales|
|10||Prince||April 21, 2016||$10 million||Album sales, streams, royalties|
|9||John Lennon||December 8, 1980||$13 million||Album sales, streams, royalties|
|8||Bob Marley||May 11, 1981||$14 million||Album sales, streams, royalties, merchandise|
|7||Juice WRLD||December 8, 2019||$15 million||Album sales, music streams|
|6||Kobe Bryant||January 26, 2020||$20 million||Merchandising, sale of autobiography|
|5||Elvis Presley||August 16, 1977||$23 million||Down from usual, due to reduced earnings from Elvis’ home/museum Graceland, which usually earns $10 m a year, Netflix animated series|
|4||Arnold Palmer||September 25, 2016||$25 million||(Most surprising to me). Arnold Palmer hit a hole in one with Arizona Beverages to market his eponymous iced tea/lemonade drink, merchandising|
|3||Charles Schultz||February 12, 2000||$32.5 million||Programming royalties, new deal with Apple TV+ for series Snoopy in Space|
|2||Dr. Suess||September 24, 1991||$33 million||Book sales (6 m books in 2019), series deal with Netflix, movie deal for 3 movies with Warner Brothers|
|1||Michael Jackson||June 25, 2009||$48 million||Just because he is The Prince of Pop.|
*based on pre-tax income from October 1, 2019, to October 1, 2020. Fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted.
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