Dead Michael Jackson Out-Earned Every Living Celebrity This Year
Long known as the King of Pop, Michael Jackson can now lay claim to another honorific: the Ka-Ching of Pop.
Forbes has released its annual list of top-earning dead celebrities, and Jackson sits at the top by a country mile — in fact, Jacko’s haul sets a record for any annual take for any celebrity, dead or alive, according to Forbes.
Jackson, who died in 2009, earned an astonishing $825 million. Most of that is attributable to the sale of his Sony/ATV music-publishing catalog, which fetched $750 million in March.
Mind you, that’s a pre-tax number — but still, that’ll buy a lot of Jesus juice.
Taking a far-distant second was “Peanuts” mastermind Charles Schulz, who earned $48 million, despite having died in 2000 at age 77. Coming in third was recently deceased golf great Arnold Palmer, who pulled in $40 million.
Fourth-place Elvis Presley nabbed $27 million, while Prince, who died at age 57 in April, had a $25 million haul. (Expect the Purple One’s earnings to grow next year; according to the BBC, his vault of unreleased songs is being shopped around for $35 million.)
Michael Jackson, $825 million Charles Schulz, $48 million Arnold Palmer, $40 million Elvis Presley, $27 million Prince, $25 million Bob Marley, $21 million Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, $20 million John Lennon, $12 million Albert Einstein, $11.5 million Bettie Page, $11 million David Bowie, $10.5 million Steve McQueen, $9 million Elizabeth Taylor, $8 million