Highest-earning dead celebrities revealed

Forbes' annual list ranks the posthumous income of those stars no longer with us

The highest-earning dead celebrities in 2017 have been revealed.

Forbes‘ annual list ranks the posthumous income of those stars that have passed away.

This year’s list sees Michael Jackson in the top spot for the fifth year in a row. The late singer earned $75 million (£56.5m), including income from a new greatest hits album, a Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil show and his stake in EMI’s publishing catalogue, as Billboard reports.


The second-highest placed musician in the list is Elvis Presley, who sits in fourth place with $35m (£26.4m), followed by Bob Marley in fifth with $23m (£17.3m). Tom Petty, who died earlier this month, is at number six in the list, having earned $20m (£15.1m) this year.

The full list is as follows:

1. Michael Jackson, musician, died 2009 : $75million
2. Arnold Palmer, golfer, died 2016: $40million

3. Charles Schulz, cartoonist, died 2000: $38million
4. Elvis Presley, musician, died 1977: $35million
5. Bob Marley, musician, died 1981: $23million
6. Tom Petty, musician, died 2017: $20million
7. Prince, musician, died 2016: $18million
8. Dr. Seuss, author, died 1991: $16million
9. John Lennon, musician, died 1980: $12million
10. Albert Einstein, physicist, died 1955: $10million
11. David Bowie, musician, died 2016: $9.5million
12. Elizabeth Taylor, actress, died 2011: $8million
13. Bettie Paige, model, died 2008: $7.5million


Meanwhile, a new compilation album titled ‘SCREAM’ collated some of Jackson’s hits last month. The collection includes ‘Dirty Diana’, ‘Thriller’ and the titular ‘Scream’.


The album also includes bonus track ‘Blood On The Dance Floor X Dangerous’ which is a mash-up from The White Panda of MJ’s ‘Blood on the Dance Floor’, ‘Dangerous’, ‘This Place Hotel’, ‘Leave Me Alone’ and ‘Is It Scary’.