Why Dead Pop Culture Icons Are Enjoying a Resurgence — And Just How Much Will Michael Jackson Earn This Year?

Nov 17, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Deceased icons are experiencing “unprecedented success” years after their deaths, thanks to “live” shows involving holograms and and almost any other promotional activity one could imagine, reports Bloomberg.

“Today, deceased icons from pop culture’s heyday are enjoying unprecedented success, out-earning even their former flesh-and-blood selves,” the story reports, citing Jamie Salter, the branding expert who owns a majority of Elvis Presley’s estate.

The story adds: “These late luminaries are profitable in part because they first captivated fans in a pre-Internet age of truly mass media, dominating the popular imagination in ways few contemporaries can match, Salter says.”

The celebrities are also unable to get into the type of sticky situations that made it difficult for them and their handlers while they were alive.

“They can’t get pulled over for drunk driving,” Donna Rockwell, a clinical psychologist with a celebrity clientele, told the publication. “Their reputations are intact.”

In the case of Michael Jackson, who died in 2009, this year “could be the singer’s biggest year yet,” Bloomberg notes. “After all, like Elvis, he’s still minting new music, releasing seven albums and DVDs since his death, including this year’s chart-topping Xscape.”

The story notes that Jackson’s earnings for 2014 are estimated to be $150 million.

michael jackson hologram-billboard awards

Still a top earner — the Michael Jackson hologram


  1. Jackson’s estate has actually released 8 albums and DVDs since his death.
    They released:
    ‘This Is It’ in 2009 + DVD/BluRay.
    ‘Michael’ in 2010.
    ‘Michael Jackson’s Vision’ (DVD) in 2010
    ‘Immortal’ in 2011.
    ‘BAD25’ in 2012. + DVD
    ‘Xscape’ in 2014.

  2. Elvis is still more popular than Michael Jackson will ever be. Just look at the crowds of fans that still gather every year outside Graceland for Elvis week on the anniversary of The Kings death in August, and the week of his birthday in January.

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