Top 10 Money-Making Dead Celebrities

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Even after they’re gone, their financial legacies live on and the stars continue to live in our hearts for eternity. From historic icons like Marilyn Monroe to recent losses like Michael Jackson, Top 10 List has compiled a list of dead celebrities that are still earning the big bucks and profiting big time.


1. Elizabeth Taylor:

elizabeth taylor

Glamour will never be the same again, not after Elizabeth Taylor  died in 2011. But for her heirs,  she’s still spiritually and monetarily with us. Her perfume line has brought in a hefty $12 million to herinvestors. Her belongings will be auctioned off, with proceeds estimated to be around $30 million. And we’re not even talking about her image license. In 2012, she was rumoured to have been worth $210 million.


2. Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 of propofol intoxication . He suffered a cardiac arrest at his home in California. His physician, Conrad Murray, said he had found Jackson in his room, not breathing and that he administered CPR on his bed but with no success.

In August of 2009, the Los Angeles County Coroner ruled Jackson’s death a homicide. Shortly before his death, Jackson had been administered propofol and two anti-anxiety benzodiazepines – lorazepam and midazolam in his home, which needed to have been done in a hospital by a licensed doctor/ Murray was convicted in November 2011 of involuntary manslaughter and is now serving a 4 year sentence for his role in Michael Jackson’s death.

Jackson’s estate has a number of steady revenue streams. Not only does it earn from sales of Jackson’s own music, Jackson owned 50% of Sony’s ATV catalog stocks,; this includes artists like The Beatles and Lady Gaga. His estate also derives its success from the successful Cirque Du Soleil show The Immortal Tour. He is now worth a total of $145 million  as of 2012.

He’s held the top spot since his death in 2009, only to be beaten in 2012 by his best friend, Elizabeth Taylor. I am sure they are drinking it up in heaven and having a blast knowing they are still earning the big bucks down here.


3. Elvis Presley

The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll died in 1977 of a heart attack.

Although he can no sing and dance the way he used and hasn not done it for more than three decades, Elvis Presley is still earning money and according to Forbes Magazine, he remains one of the top earning dead celebrity.

According to news sources, the “King of Rock n’ Roll” pulled in $55 million dollars in 2012, which is not bad for a dead celebrity for 36 years  This figure did increase substantially as more visitors came to Graceland to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his death and publicity was also generated by new ventures such as the Elvis Sirius Satellite Radio show.


4. Charles M. Schulz

This cartoonist created Peanuts and died in the year 2000, aged 77 of colon cancer. He earns about 35 million dollars ever year because the cartoon is still published in over 2,100 newspapers all over the world. Most of the money comes from the merchandise that is created and sold to the ever-doting public year after year.


5. John Lennon

John Lennon

John Lennon was a part of the celebrated rock band, The Beatles. He died in 1980 when Mark David Chapman shot him four times outside his apartment.  The Beatles still sell more than a million records a year, despite splitting up in 1970. Lennon’s solo work also makes sales in the hundreds of thousands of copies each year. In addition, widow Yoko Ono filed a $10 million lawsuit against record company EMI so she can earn back royalties and master recordings, boosting Lennon’s bank account as a result.


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