Music Industry

Published on November 2nd, 2018 | by Alan Cross

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Time for a new list of the top-earning dead celebrities

Every year around Halloween, someone (usually Forbes) comes up with a list of the highest-earning dead celebrities. Once again, we can see how good death is for business.

Here are the biggest zombie earners for 2018 (all numbers in US dollars)

1. Michael Jackson: $400 million

That’s a lot, but consider that $287 million of that came with selling his estate’s piece of EMI Music Publishing to Sony for $287 million

2. Elvis Presley: $40 million

He still sells at least a million albums a year, but most of the cash comes through tourism to Graceland and other Presley attractions in Memphis.

3. Arnold Palmer: $35 million

Lots of golf gear, obviously, but there’s also a new line of Arnold Palmer alcoholic beverages.

4. Charles Schulz: $34 million

Charlie Brown continues to be very, very good to him.

5. Bob Marley: $23 million

Music, headphones, speakers, ganja gear.

6. Dr. Seuss: $16 million

He sold nearly five million books last year as a dead guy.

7. Hugh Hefner: $15 million

Don’t get excited. A lot of that came from a sale of his estate for $35 million last year.

8. Marilyn Monroe: $14 million

The licensing deals just keep coming.

9. Prince: $13 million

Now that his estate is in control of his music, watch that number climb in 2019.

10. John Lennon: $12 million

Because Beatles. And some Lennon reissues, too.

See the rest of the list here.

 




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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