Forbes 15 Top Earning Dead Celebrities


The King of Pop remains the king of top deceased earners on the celebrity front. According to a new list compiled by, Michael Jackson earned an estimated 170-million-dollars over the past year to keep the title “Top-Earning Dead Celebrity” for a second year in a row. Much of Jackson’s postmortem earnings are attributed to an increase in the sales of his albums, tribute shows and associated memorabilia since his sudden death two years ago. The latest earnings figure is down significantly from the 275-million Jackson earned during the first year after his death. But, dead or alive, “Forbes” says the late pop star is still the second-highest earning pop act over the past year after rockers U2.

Trailing the King of Pop on the “Top-Earning Dead Celebrity” list is the King of Rock ‘n Roll, Elvis Presley, in a distant second place. “Forbes” says Elvis rang up 55-million-dollars in after-death earnings between October 2010 and October 2011. Screen legend Marilyn Monroe comes in at number three with 27-million-dollars in earnings during the same time frame, almost 50 years after her death in 1962. She’s followed by “Peanuts” cartoon creator Charles Schulz at number four with estimated earnings of 25-million-dollars. Beatles legend John Lennon and actress Elizabeth Taylor, who died earlier this year, tie for fifth place with 12-million-dollars in earnings.


“Forbes” 15 Top Earning Dead Celebrities:

1. Musician Michael Jackson – 170-million-dollars
2. Musician Elvis Presley – 55-million-dollars
3. Actress Marilyn Monroe – 27-million-dollars
4. Cartoonist Charles Schulz – 25-million-dollars
5. Musician John Lennon – 12-million-dollars
5. Actress Elizabeth Taylor – 12-million dollars
7. Albert Einstein – ten-million-dollars
8. “Dr. Seuss” author Theodor Geisel – nine-million-dollars
9. Musician Jimi Hendrix – seven-million-dollars
9. Author Stieg Larsson – seven-million-dollars
9. Actor Steve McQueen – seven-million-dollars
9. Songwriter Richard Rodgers (Rodgers & Hammerstein) – seven-million-dollars
13. Musician George Harrison – six-million-dollars
13. Actress Bettie Page – six-million-dollars
13. Artist Andy Warhol – six-million-dollars


  1. When I think of forbes I think of the people on top as of now not the dead….I really did not know how micheal was on top of earning even though he’s dead long live the king.

  2. Man I really, really, really, really, really, really, really miss Michael Jackson the greatest to ever do it there will NEVER be another talent close to The King. Love U Mike.


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