Celebrities are notorious money-making machines. In addition to their fame, most have bank balances bursting at the seams. But what happens when a celebrity passes away?
In many cases a celebrity will become even more famous after their death. The increase in fame will lead to an increase in royalties earned by their Estate. Dead celebrities will very often keep earning millions of Dollars long after they have passed away. The wealth earned being divided up amongst their Estate and family members, managing agents, marketing companies and charities.
Top 10 Dearly Departed Money Makers
1. Michael Jackson: $170 million
2. Elvis Presley: $55 million
3. Marilyn Monroe: $27 million
4. Charles M. Schultz $25 million
5. John Lennon: $12 million
6. Liz Taylor: $12 million
7. Albert Einstein $10 million
8. Theodor Geisel $9 million
9. Jimi Hendrix $7 million
10. Stieg Larsson author $7 million
King Of Pop Tops Dead Celeb Earners
As one can see from the above list, Michael Jackson is by far the biggest earning dead celebrity, having earned more than 3 times the amount of the 2nd placed celebrity, Elvis Presley.
This immense wealth was largely generated by a huge spike in sales of his back catalogue of albums following his June 2009 death. Other revenue streams included the re-release of his autobiography, "Moon Walk," and the $250 million worldwide box-office receipts of his tour rehearsal film "This Is It!”
Surprising Inclusions On The List
Some celebrities on this list may not be particularly surprising, such as Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley. But there are others on the list that we consider really are quite unbelievable, such as:
Charles M. Schultz – Creator of the Peanuts comic strip featuring the famous characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Peanuts ran for almost 50 years without interruption appearing in over 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries
Theodor Geisel – Better known as ‘Dr. Seuss’ he published 46 children's books, characterized by crazy characters and imaginative rhyme. He is most famous for his books ‘Cat in the Hat’, ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ and ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’.
Albert Einstein – The father of modern physics, his estate earns money by licensing his likeness across movies, toys, 'Baby Einstein' products and brain games.
Stieg Larsson - A Swedish journalist and writer, best known for his ‘Millenium series’ of crime novels. All 3 of the Millenium series novels were published after his death and have sold over 27 million copies in more than 40 countries.
Big Earners From Beyond The Grave
For some this may appear a grisly or morbid topic but the reality is clear: dead celebrities rank as some of the biggest earners in the world today. Back catalogues of music, published writing and licensable images and other intellectual property have kept these celebrities’ beneficiaries in a style they must have grown very accustomed to.
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