Forbes reveals the highest-paid dead celebrities

highest paid dead celebrities

Forbes has revealed its annual ranking of the highest-paid dead celebrities which includes deceased musicians, authors, actors, sportsmen, and so on. While they saw $470 million during the past 12 months, it was a 70% decrease from the record-breaking $1.6 billion grossed in 2022.

According to the organization, “Without catalog sales inflating the earnings of deceased stars like Manzarek, the top earners on this year’s list are familiar afterlife performers. Michael Jackson returns to the No. 1 spot for the first time in four years with an estimated $115 million in earnings, followed by his late father-in-law Elvis Presley, and then two beloved artists with Dr. Seuss at No. 4 and Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz at No. 5.”



#1 | $115 Million

Source of wealth: Royalties from his music, the Broadway hit MJ: The Musical ($85 million), and the Cirque du Soleil show, Michael Jackson ONE, in Las Vegas.

#2 | $100 Million


#4 | $40 Million


Dr. Suess (September 24, 1991)

Cause of Death: Cancer

Source of Wealth: His novel How the Grinch Lost Christmas, the Grinch, the Cat in the Hat, and the Lorax License.

#5 | $30 Million


Charles M. Schulz (February 12, 2000)

Cause of Death: Cancer

Source of Wealth: Schulz Estate and Collaborations

#6 (TIE) | $30 Million


Prince (April 21, 2016) 

Cause of Death: Overdose

Source of wealth: Prince Estate and Primary Wave, the Purple One, posthumous albums, and a remastered version of his classic 1991 album Diamonds and Pearls

#7 (TIE) | $30 Million

#8 | $22 Million

john lennonJohn Lennon (December 8, 1980)

Cause of Death: Homicide

Source of Wealth: John Lennon’s Estate, royalties from his individual music catalog, and Beatles music.

#9 | $16 Million

Bob Marley (May 11, 1981)

Cause of Death: Cancer

Source of Wealth: Rights on his name and music, a Marley-branded dispensary, and the movie Bob Marley: One Love, starring Kingsley Ben Adir.

#10 | $14 Million

Bing Crosby (October 14, 1977)

Cause of Death: Heart Attack

Source of Wealth: Crosby Estate, royalties from his music catalog, and use of his music.

#11 | $14 Million

#12 (TIE) | $10 Million

Arnold Palmer (September 25, 2016)

Cause of Death: Heart Disease

Source of Wealth: Royalties from half-iced tea beverage enterprise.

#12 (TIE) | $10 Million

Source of Wealth: Marilyn Monroe’s iconic image, licensing, and merchandising—including an NFT collection with Zeblocks, false lashes, press-on nails from Kiss, and a lingerie line with Fleur du Mal.
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