Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley rule the list of highest earning dead celebrities

The King of Pop is still pulling in the money...

Michael Jackson has topped the list of the highest paid dead celebrities for the sixth year in the row.

The late King of Pop’s estate reportedly raked in £313 million in 2017, which was largely boosted by the sale of his lucrative stake in EMI Music Publishing.

Other profitable projects include a new record deal with Sony and Michael Jackson’s Halloween – an animated TV special that first aired in 2017.


The music icon, who died in 2009, has now made a staggering £1.8 billion since his passing.

Elvis Presley is second on the list, after securing earnings of £31 million, which largely comes from record sales and the development of a new entertainment complex called Elvis Presley’s Memphis which is located at his Graceland home.

Third place was secured by legendary golfer Arnold Palmer with £27 million, while Charlie Brown creator Charles Schulz and Reggae icon secured fourth and fifth with respective earnings of £26 and £18 million.

Check out the list as reported by Forbes in full below.

  • Michael Jackson: $400 million
  • Elvis Presley: $40 million
  • Arnold Palmer: $35 million
  • Charles Schulz: $34 million
  • Bob Marley: $23 million
  • Dr. Seuss: $16 million
  • Hugh Hefner: $15 million
  • Marilyn Monroe: $14 million

Other music stars in the top ten included Prince and John Lennon at ninth and ten place with earnings of £10 million and £9 million respectively.


Although narrowly missing out on the top 10, rapper XXXTentaction also proved a new entry at 11th place, making £8.5 million in the past year.

Meanwhile, it was revealed last month that Jackson once attempted to convince Bond bosses that he should portray the iconic spy.