If the King was alive he could have all the cheeseburgers he wanted...

Elvis Presley has topped a list of high-earning dead celebrities – 27 years after his death.

The King is still getting an annual income of around $40 million (£22m) through merchandise, record sales and visits to his Graceland home.

Elvis Presley’s earnings look set to increase further with the introduction of a clothing range and a new Broadway show.


Other high rankers on the list compiled by business website Forbes include ‘Peanuts’ cartoon creator Charles Schulz, who came in second place.

John Lennon, George Harrison, Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix also appear on the list of the Top 20 deceased earners, reports BBC online.

A Forbes spokesman said: “The earning power of most deceased people, even famous ones, slows considerably or stops altogether when they die.

“But for a select few, the pay cheques keep coming and some draw even bigger pay-days than when they were alive.”

a href=””>Queen frontman Freddie Mercury enters the list for the first time with an annual income of around £5 million after the success of musical ‘We Will Rock You’.

The Top 20 deceased earners are:


1. Elvis Presley $40m (£22m)

2. Charles Schulz $35m (£19m)

3. JRR Tolkien $23m (£12.5m)

4. John Lennon $21m (£11m)

5. Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel $18m (£10m)

6. Marilyn Monroe $8m (£4.3m)

7. George Harrison $7m (£3.8m)

=7. Irving Berlin $7m

=7. Bob Marley $7m

10. Richard Rodgers $6.5m

11. George and Ira Gershwin $6m

=11. Jimi Hendrix $6m

=11. Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe $6m

=11. Cole Porter $6m

15. James Dean $5m (£2.7m)

=15. Dale Earnhardt Sr $5m

=15. Jerry Garcia $5m

=15. Freddie Mercury $5m

=15. Tupac Shakur $5m

=15. Frank Sinatra $5m

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