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Who Are the Highest-Earning Dead Celebrities? The New Forbes List Is Out

Oct 12, 2016  •  Post A Comment

Forbes has released a list of the dead celebrities who brought in the most money during the past year, and not surprisingly, Michael Jackson tops the list with what the magazine calls a pretax payday of $825 million — more than any other celebrity living or dead.

Jackson’s income was built largely on the sale of his half of the Sony/ATV music publishing catalog back in March, which brought in $750 million. The catalog includes a library of Beatles songs.

The No. 2 spot on the list is held by Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, with $48 million in income from Peanuts licensing during the period. The list measures income from Oct. 1, 2015, to Oct. 1, 2016.

Golf legend Arnold Palmer, who died Sept. 25 at age 87, is third with $40 million — most of which he made while he was still alive.

One of the perennials on the list, Elvis Presley, came in at No. 4 with $27 million, even though that figure represents a 50% decline from a year ago — attributable largely to an accounting change in how Graceland ticket sales are calculated.

Another recently departed superstar, Prince, is at No. 5 on the list with $25 million in income from album sales along with live music. Prince died April 21, 2016, at age 57.

David Bowie, who died Jan. 10 at age 69, just missed the top 10, coming in at No. 11 with $10.5 million from music sales.

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