Beatles catalogue helps Michael Jackson top dead celebrity earnings list

Michael Jackson has earned more in the past year than any celebrity - dead or alive - has ever earned in a 12-month period, according to Forbes' top-earning dead celebrities list for 2016.

The late pop icon topped the annual list with a record-breaking income of 825 million US dollars (£677 million) this year.

This was largely due to the 750 million US dollars (£615 million) sale of Jackson's half in the Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalogue, complete with a library of Beatles tracks.

Jackson, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 50, has topped the annual list for deceased celebrities every year since his death - apart from in 2012 when he came second to Hollywood star Elizabeth Taylor.

The next closest contender on the list is Peanuts creator and cartoonist Charles M Schulz, who has earned 48 million US dollars (£39.4 million) in the last year.

New additions to this year's list include music stars David Bowie and Prince, both of whom passed away in the first half of 2016.

Bowie is ranked at 11th place with an estimated income of 10.5 million US dollars (£8.6 million) following his death at age 69 in January.

With an estimated income of 25 million US dollars (£20.5 million), Prince, who died at age 57 in April, has made his debut on the list in fifth place.

American golfer Arnold Palmer is third on the list, Elvis Presley is in fourth place and singer-songwriter Bob Marley is sixth.

Forbes estimated the pre-tax income of personalities from October 1 2015 through to October 1 2016 from a variety of sources before taking away expenses for agents, managers and lawyers.

:: The full list of top-earning dead celebrities for 2016.

1. Michael Jackson - 825 million dollars (£677 million)

2. Charles M Schulz - 48 million dollars (£39.4 million)

3. Arnold Palmer - 40 million dollars (£32.8 million)

4. Elvis Presley - 27 million dollars (£22.2 million)

5. Prince - 25 million dollars (£20.5 million)

6. Bob Marley - 21 million dollars (£17.2 million)

7. Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel - 20 million dollars (£16.4 million)

8. John Lennon - 12 million dollars (£9.8 million)

9. Albert Einstein - 11.5 million dollars (£9.4 million)

10. Bettie Page - 11 million dollars (£9 million)

11. David Bowie - 10.5 million dollars (£8.6 million)

12. Steve McQueen - 9 million dollars (£7.4 million)

13. Elizabeth Taylor - 8 million dollars (£6.6 million)

12 PHOTOS
Highest-earning dead celebrities
See Gallery
Highest-earning dead celebrities
MJ may have died over six years ago but his legacy still lives on. The King of Pop made $115m this year, but how? Cirque du Soleil in Vegas showcasing Michael Jackson One is one of the source's of Michael Jackson's cash flow but the Mijac Music catalogue and music sales also contribute.
Elvis pulls in most of his money from ticket sales at his Graceland home. Now it may seem surprising that this rock and roll legend could generate that much income from tours of his home, but it makes more sense when you realise a regular adult ticket will set you back $77!
The Marley Beverage Company and House of Marley are just two of the companies bringing in the big bucks for reggae legend Bob Marley. Music sales are also obviously a huge contributor with more than 75 million albums sold so far. 
Celebrity fragrances might not really be that sought after any more but White Diamonds, one of Elizabeth Taylor's perfumes, was first released 24 years ago and continues to be sold to this day proving that maybe there really are some things that never go out of fashion. 
Marilyn Monroe is undoubtedly still an international fashion and film icon. In 2011, Authentic Brand Group bought the rights to her brand and it's thanks to them that she's still pulling in top dollar as well as a clothing line at American store, Macy's, and a range of lingerie.
John Lennon was part of one of the biggest musical acts of all time, The Beatles, although unfortunately his stardom was cut short when he was shot dead in 1980. The songwriter still gets his share of the album sales though and is reported to take $12 million each year. 
Einstein is one of the most famous scientists in history having come up with the general theory of relativity. Branded mechandise and memorabilia is the main source of the theoretical physicists revenue now though.
Paul Walker was just 40-years-old when he died in 2013 in a car crash, but his legacy still lives on thanks to the film franchise, The Fast and the Furious. The most recent film took $1.5 billion and although Walker died during filming, he still appears in the flick.
Bettie Page was one of America's iconic pin-up girls, even gaining the nickname 'Queen of Pinups' thanks to her trademark look. The model was also one of the earliest Playmates of the Month to feature in Playboy magazine. Page now makes most of her money at the hands of fashion, clothing and lingerie lines. 
Theodor Geisel was responsible for some of the quirkiest and best-loved cartoon characters and children's book heroes. The artist and author published his works under the title of Dr.Seuss with some of his most famous creations including The Lorax, The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat still netting him money to this day. 

Not to be confused with the award-winning film director of the same name, Steve McQueen was, at one point, one of the highest paid film stars in the world. Some of McQueen's most famous films include The Thomas Crown Affair, The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape. His image is still used in adverts and commercials, bringing in $9 million worth of revenue. 

James Dean was a certified heartthrob and cultural icon of the 1950s who sadly died in a car accident at the age of just 24. His iconic image has been used throughout the last 60 years in a variety of ways all of which have been bringing in the cash. Most recently Dean's image was featured on a designer Dolce & Gabbana tshirt. 
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS