We’re wrapping up Halloween with some talks about dead people. We’re not telling scary tales but this story will still shock most of us. Famous celebrities continue to bring in some bucks beyond the grave. That’s right! Isn’t it daunting to know that some of the dead celebrities we know still continue to earn more money than we do. Wanna know the wealthiest dead personality? Scroll down.
Topping the Forbes’ list of highest earning dead celebrities for five consecutive years is none other than the The King of Pop, Michael Jackson. He may have died eight years ago but publishers and producers have continued to release albums, catalogues, and even shows that pay tribute to Jackson. He raked in $75 million for a one year period. These earnings are boosted by the shows Michael Jackson One and Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil, EMI music publishing catalog, and a new greatest hits album “Scream,” released last September.
Just this recent Halloween, Jackson did gain more money after CBS special Michael Jackson’s Halloween. The hour-long magical adventure shows Jackson coming to life in different forms including a pumpkin. Program Director Mark Dippe said, “Michael’s songs are very important to people. We just wanted to sort of tell a story that was based around the world that Michael had created his music, and his dancing, and his performances.”
This unfading interest is exactly the reason Jackson continues to be “paid” despite being gone.
Claiming the number 2 spot is Golf legend Arnold Palmer. Died on September 25, 2016, the professional golfer still earned $40 million a year after his death. This is brought about by over 400 stores who still sell Palmer-branded apparel in Asia. Arizona Beverages also has its own line of Arnold Palmer drinks which sells 400 million cans a year. The Arnold Palmer drink is a beverage of iced tea and lemonade.
In 2012, ESPN produced a documentary on how the drink was produced. It also featured Palmer, some beverage experts, and a group of PGA golfers discussing the drink’s popularity and history.
In addition to all these earnings, Palmer also had a number of golf-related income streams. This includes owning the Bay Hill Club and Lodge which served as the venue for the PGA tour in 2007, helping create The Golf Channel, and the Arnold Palmer Design Company – a premier company in the golf course architectural industry.
The Peanuts creator Charles Schulz ranks at number three with $38 million. While MetLife has already taken down Charlie Brown and Snoopy from their ad campaigns, their contract with the cartoonist does not expire until 2019. Until then, Schulz who died in February 2000, will continue to earn for his characters.
The cartoonist legacy still lives on as many cartoonists honor him. Some even incorporated his characters into their own comic strips. In July 1983, Camp Snoopy was opened for younger children to enjoy. In 2000, the Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center was inaugurated. It now stands as one of the largest building in the State of California. To celebrate his life’s work and arts, the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa was opened in August 2002.
Over the years, Schulz produced revenues of more than $1 billion annually from his comic strips, merchandise, and product endorsements.
Another music icon who made it on the list is Elvis Presley. The King of Rock and Roll finishes fourth as the highest earning dead celebrity with $35 million. This is $8 million more than his earnings last year of $27 million. The sum of money is earned through Elvis Presley’s Memphis entertainment complex and recently opened hotel, The Guesthouse at Graceland.
Since his death 40 years ago, Presley remains to be one of the world’s most popular icons especially in rock n’ roll. Over the years, a number of documentaries and films have featured the life of Presley, including a television miniseries in 2005 starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as Elvis. His home at Graceland has also become a tourist spot as fans from all over the world visit his residence.
Rounding out the top five is Jamaican singer-songwriter, Bob Marley. The musician became an international icon by blending reggae, ska, and rock into his compositions. Marley earned $23 million this year. His earnings were boosted by sustainability-focused audio products under House of Marley and the Marley Beverage Co.
It is now Marley’s son Rohan who manages the same. He said, “When we decided to start that movement, it was to add relevancy to who we are as a family. We started that to really home in on our legacy and protect what our father has given us.”