March 1, 2024

In a world the place fame is aware of no boundaries, even dying cannot dim the monetary glow of a number of the world’s most iconic personalities.

Forbes, the famend enterprise and finance journal, has launched its a lot anticipated annual checklist of the highest-earning deceased celebrities. This custom not solely pays tribute to the enduring legacies of plenty of musicians, authors, creators, and different A-listers, but in addition serves as a reminder that their affect continues to generate staggering fortunes from past the grave.

This yr’s rankings embody earnings from gross sales, stream, licensing offers and different sources of revenue from Oct. 2022 by way of Sept. 2023. As we delve into the checklist, let’s additionally discover how these iconic figures proceed to depart an eternal mark on each our hearts and the worldwide financial system.

1. Michael Jackson

$115 million


Greater than ten years after Michael Jackson’s dying, the King of Pop has returned to the highest of the 2023 highest-earning checklist for the primary time since 2019. The staggering $115 million his legacy introduced in over the previous yr is thanks partly to the hit Broadway present “MJ: The Musical” which grossed roughly $85 million in ticket gross sales alone. To not point out the thousands and thousands of {dollars} from the “Michael Jackson ONE” Cirque du Soleil present in Las Vegas and — in tune with the Halloween vacation — gross sales from his basic hit album “Thriller.”

Jackson died on June 25, 2009, of an overdose. He was 50 years previous.

2. Elvis Presley

$100 million


The King of Pop might need retaken the No. 1 spot on this yr’s checklist, however the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley got here in at an in depth second, incomes $100 million over the previous yr.

Whereas his Graceland property in Memphis, Tennessee, opened to the general public greater than 40 years in the past, it has remained one of many high vacationer locations within the state. The property welcomed some 600,000 guests over the previous yr, producing revenue from ticket and merchandise gross sales. To not point out Presley’s music catalog, which incorporates his well-liked Christmas album that is still the largest promoting vacation album of all time.

Presley died on August 16, 1977, of a coronary heart assault. He was 42 years previous.

3. Ray Manzarek

$45 million

Marsaili McGrath / AP Photos for Gibson Guitar

In one of many yr’s most profitable music offers, deceased Doorways keyboardist Ray Manzarek and dwelling guitarist Robby Krieger collectively offered their band’s catalog to Major Wave Music. Whereas particulars of the acquisition weren’t disclosed, a supply instructed American journal Selection that the numbers had been “massive.” The deal consists of the rights to all the band’s recorded music, publishing, emblems, merchandising, and any associated revenue.

Manzarek died on Might 20, 2013, of most cancers. He was 74 years previous.

4. Dr. Seuss

$40 million


Greater than 60 years after publishing “The Cat In The Hat,” Dr. Seuss — or Theodor Seuss Geisel — has a sturdy catalog of kids’s books he wrote and illustrated that proceed to make an affect in younger readers’ lives. His enjoyable, goofy, and rhyme-riddled books have additionally been made into movies like “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” “The Lorax,” and “Horton Hears a Who.” He additionally coined arguably one of the crucial quoted traces of all time, saying “Do not cry as a result of it is over. Smile as a result of it occurred.”

Geisel died on Sept. 24, 1991, of most cancers. He was 87 years previous.

5. Charles M. Schulz

$30 million


Rounding out the highest 5 is somebody who is probably not a lot of a family identify, however you absolutely know him for the gang he created. The Peanuts — with characters together with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and Lucy — has helped preserve the Schulz property raking in money for greater than twenty years since his passing. Greater than 70 years after its creation, the Schulz’s household might now solely personal a portion of the model, however it’s a fairly large slice contemplating the quantity of branded content material it continues to place out — together with profitable offers with Igloo Coolers, Cariuma sneakers, and extra.

Schulz died on Feb. 12, 2000, of most cancers. he was 77 years previous.

Rounding out the highest 12

6. Prince – American singer/songwriter/musician – $30 million

6. Whitney Houston – American singer/actress – $30 million

8. John Lennon – American singer/songwriter/musician – $22 million

9. Bob Marley – Jamaican singer/songwriter/musician – $16 million

10. Bing Crosby – American singer/actor – $14 million

10. George Harrison – English singer/songwriter/musician – $14 million

12. Arnold Palmer – American skilled golfer – $10 million

12. Marilyn Monroe – American actress/mannequin – $10 million

For the complete checklist with celeb biographies, go to

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