Forbes.com released its annual list of the 13 Top-Earning Dead Celebrities. Why 13? Because it’s Halloween, and that’s the SCARY number. Right?
Anyway, MICHAEL JACKSON is #1 again this year. Since his death in 2009, he’s topped the list in six of the eight years.
Here’s this year’s oh-so-spooky top 13 . . . along with their estimated earnings over the past 12 months.
1. Michael Jackson, $825 million. Dead since 2009.
2. “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz, $48 million. Dead since 2000.
3. Arnold Palmer, $40 million. Dead since . . . three weeks ago. Obviously, he made almost all of this money while he was still alive. And apparently, that’s cool.
4. Elvis Presley, $27 million. Dead since 1977.
5. Prince, $25 million. Dead since April of this year.
6. Bob Marley, $21 million. Dead since 1981.
7. Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, $20 million. Dead since 1991.
8. John Lennon, $12 million. Dead since 1980.
9. Albert Einstein, $11.5 million. Dead since 1955.
10. Bettie Page, $11 million. Dead since 2008.
11. David Bowie, $10.5 million. Dead since this past January.
12. Steve McQueen, $9 million. Dead since 1980.
13. Elizabeth Taylor, $8 million. Dead since 2011.
The celebrities that just missed the Top 13 are: Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra, Maya Angelou, Bruce Lee, Marilyn Monroe, Jose Fernandez, and Juan Gabriel.
The $825 million that Michael got was largely from the sale of his remaining half of the ATV publishing catalog, which included a library of BEATLES songs. “Forbes” says that’s the biggest one-year haul for ANY celebrity . . . dead or alive.
Michael paid $47.5 million for the whole catalog back in 1985. That’s about $140 million in today’s dollars. A lot of critics thought he overpaid for it, and that it was a TERRIBLE investment. But in the mid-’90s, Sony paid him $115 MILLION for HALF of it, and earlier this year, the other half sold for $750 MILLION.