Celebrities are perhaps one of the wealthiest sects of people. Most of them earn quite a lot with investments, numerous deals from endorsements and their day jobs. Well, that is really no news, but what is more amazing is the fact that some of these celebrities leave on legacies and quite a lot of fortune and investments that they continue raking in money even after their deaths. While it may be hard to fathom how people still earn posthumously, ‘Forbes’ releases a list each year which compiles annual earnings of dead celebrities and sometimes how they manage to make such a huge amount. According to statistics released this year, these are the top dead earning celebrities of 2018
10. John Lennon - $12 million
The co-founder of popular 1960s band group, ‘The Beatles’ still takes in money 38 years after his death. While his music may have been controversially political, he helped revolutionize pop and rock sounds. So good was the legendary singer that he still won awards after he died and his albums still sold in millions. Between October 2017 and October 2018, the ‘Beatles’ songwriter and guitarist sold nearly two million albums earning him $12 million in just a year.
9. Prince - $13 million
The American singer died in 2016 when he was 57. Popularly known for his wide variety of music, extravagant fashion sense and use of makeup, the musician had quite a successful career selling over 100 million records worldwide and winning multiple awards which includes 8 Grammy Awards. The singer’s legacy continues to rake in millions even after his death, selling over 250,000 copies of his records the past year has earned the singer $13 million making him the 9th highest earning deceased celebrity.
8. Marilyn Monroe - $14 million
The 1950s “Dumb Blonde Bombshell” Marilyn Monroe, was an American actress and model. The actress rose to stardom starring in different movies that grossed over $200 million (equivalent to $2billion today). Despite her short-lived career, the singer left a massive mark on the film and modeling industry. She died in 1962 at 36. 56 years later, she remains a valuable brand with her name and image licensed for a number of products including ‘Montblanc’ pens earning her $14 million.
7. Hugh Hefner - $15 million
Legendary American businessman and founder of the ‘Playboy’ magazine. Hugh Hefner was a strong advocate for sexual liberation during his lifetime. An idea for which he gained controversially but brought colossal popularity. Upon his death in 2017 at an old age of 91, the ‘Playboy’ founder was buried alongside another on this list - Marilyn Monroe. With numerous properties to his name, Hugh Hefner remains one of the richest dead celebrities with an annual earning of $15 million in 2018 alone
6. Dr. Seuss - $16 million
Theodor Seuss Geisel is popularly known for his numerous works under the name of Dr. Seuss. The children's author, animator, and an artist was very popular during the 20th-century publishing over 60 books for which he won numerous awards before his death in 1991. Even death couldn't withhold the writer’s influence as his books have since spawned various adaptations for which he has received credits. Selling over 4.8 million books over the past year coupled with earnings from his book adaptations has seen the deceased writer rake in $16 million in last year.
5. Bob Marley - $23 million.
Famous Jamaican reggae singer and songwriter was a renowned musician in the 1970s. Cementing his place as one of the best selling artists of all times with over 75 million of his records sold globally, Bob became a phenomenal reggae star. Although the Jamaican dominated the reggae world and died in 1981, his best selling album was released in 1984 - three years after his death. The Rastafarian influence is still widely felt today, and he still earns quite a lot even after his death with sales of his albums and brands which include headphones and smoking accessories earning, him $23 million in 2018 alone.
4. Charles Schulz - $34 million
American cartoonist, Charles Schulz, popularly known as Sparky is widely regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time. The creator of popular cartoons like ‘Peanuts’ has a wide line of cartoons strips and figures which have been printed and sold since his death in 2000. The cartoonist still earns a lot from his cartoon figures with the copies sold in the past year earning him $34 million.
3. Arnold Palmer - $35 million
Arnold Palmer was an American professional golfer and widely regarded as one of the greatest to grace the sport. The golfer had quite an illustrious six-decade career, winning multiple awards before his retirement in 2006. Even after his prime, the golfer still had multiple endorsements and had created a line of beverage for himself. With a new alcoholic drink added to his line of beverages and earnings from golf courses, the legendary golfer remains a top earner more than a decade after his death.
2. Elvis Presley - $40 million
20th-century cultural icon, Elvis Presley, remains an American legend. The singer and actor popularly dubbed as “The King of Rock and Roll” had a notable career which involved three Grammy Awards. Upon his death in 1977, the singer had been inducted into multiple Halls Of Fame. More than four decades after his death, the singer's influence isn't waning, with over a million records sold, Elvis is one of the top-earning celebrity in 2018 with ‘Forbes’ estimating his income to be about $40 million
1. Michael Jackson - $400 million
For the sixth consecutive year, the King of Pop tops the chart of highest-earning deceased celebrities. The celebrity dominated the world of music and entertainment throughout his 40-year career. Starting as a member of the family band, ‘Jackson 5,’ the singer gained popularity but went on to dominate globally after going solo. Till date, the singer has the best selling album of all time and is the third best selling artist of all time. Since his death in 2009, the entertainer’s influence remains legendary. Earning a massive $400 million in one year almost a decade after his death shows how valuable the Popstar still is, although the figure is mostly due to the sale of his $287 million stake in ‘EMI’ Music Publishing, his position at the top of this list would remain unparalleled without the sale.