Michael Jackson named Forbes’s top earning dead celebrity with $160 million

Michael Jackson has been named by Forbes magazine as the top earning dead celebrity of the past year. 

The King of Pop, who was age 50 when he passed away, reclaimed the top spot from his old friend Elizabeth Taylor who passed away back in 2011.

Much of the singer’s cash has come from his two Cirque Du Soleil shows. Immortal grossed an impressive $300 million since opening last year and Las Vegas show One ‘regularly sells out,’ according to the magazine.


1. Michael Jackson ($160 million)
Died: June 25 2009, Los Angeles, California
Age: 50
Cause of death: Overdose/homicide
Bulk of earnings: Two Cirque du Soleil shows, his Mijac Music catalogue, music sales and his half of the Sony ATV publishing empire.



2. Elvis Presley ($55 million)
Died: August 16 1977, Memphis, Tennessee
Age: 42
Cause of Death: Heart attack
Bulk of earnings: His iconic image and home Graceland which is now a museum

3. Charles M Schulz ($37 million)
Died: February 12 2000, Santa Rosa, California
Age: 77
Cause of death: Colon cancer
Bulk of earnings: His Peanuts cartoon strip featuring beloved characters Snoopy and Charlie Brown has reached millions of readers in 75 different countries through 21 languages.

4. Elizabeth Taylor ($25 million)
Died: March 23 2011, Los Angeles California
Age: 79
Cause of death: Heart failure
Bulk of earnings: The actress’s White Diamonds perfume along with investments in stock and real estate.
Marilyn Monroe icon
5. Bob Marley ($18 million)
Died: May 11 1981, Miami, Florida
Age: 36
Cause of death: Cancer
Bulk of earnings: Along with album sales, Marley’s estate has leant his name to the Marley Beverage company and House of Marley which produces eco-friendly audio and lifestyle products.

6. Marilyn Monroe ($15 million)
Died: August 5 1962, Brentwood, California
Age: 36
Cause of death: Overdose
Bulk of earnings: Her image has been used in advertising campaigns including a Dior television commercial, and Marilyn Monroe cafes, nail salons and spas were recently launched.

John Lennon earned $12 million 7. John Lennon ($12 million)
Died: December 8 1980, New York City
Age: 40
Cause of death: Murder
Bulk of earnings: Strong sales of Beatles albums and the Beatles themed Cirque du Soleil show Love! in Las Vegas.

8. Albert Einstein ($10 million)
Died: April 18 1955, New Jersey
Age: 76
Cause of death: Natural causes
Earnings last year: $10 million
Bulk of earnings: Einstein’s image is associated with smart products along with bobbleheads and Halloween masks.

9. Bettie Page ($10 million)
Died: December 11 2008, Los Angeles California
Age: 85
Cause of death: Natural Causes
Bulk of earnings: Bettie Page boutiques in U.S. cities including New York City, Las Vegas and Portland earned the late actress $10 million.

10. Theodor Geisel ($9 million)
Died: September 24 1991, La Jolla, California
Age: 87
Cause of death: Natural causes
Bulk of earnings: The Dr Seuss author’s children’s books have been made into a number of hit Hollywood films with The Lorax making $349 million last year.






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