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13 Highest Earning Dead Celebrities Of 2019

13 Highest Earning Dead Celebrities Of 2019 | PHOTO: Lessons Learned In Life

The concept that an artiste’s works is better appreciated when he or she is deceased remains a mystery. 

In the spirit of Halloween, Forbes has ranked 13 dead celebrities who raked in the most cash in 2019. And King of Pop Michael Jackson once again topped this year’s Forbes list of the highest-paid dead celebrities list, after hauling in $60 million over the past year. In all the 13 dead celebrities pulled in $284.5 million.

The list measured pretax income from October 1, 2018, through October 1, 2019.

See below for the 13 highest-earning dead celebrities of 2019

13. GEORGE HARRISON: $9 million

Deceased: November 29, 2001

Cause of death: Cancer

Harrison was a member of the now-defunct English rock band – one of the most influential bands of all time. Harrison has benefited from Beatles’ reissues—as well as the Fab Four’s Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas—thereby bringing him back into the list for the first time since 2011.

12. WHITNEY HOUSTON: $9.5 million

Deceased: February 11, 2012

Cause of death: Drowning

The $7 million sale this May of half her estate, along with the success of the Kygo remix of her “Higher Love” cover—which has already clocked over 175 million Spotify spins—paved the way for Houston’s debut on our list.

11. XXXTENTACION: $10 million

Deceased: June 18, 2018

Cause of death: Homicide

Even after a 27% drop in year-over-year consumption, the polarizing South Florida rapper remains the most-streamed dead celebrity in the U.S. with 5.6 billion spins.

10. NIPSEY HUSSLE: $11 million

Deceased: March 31, 2019

Cause of death: Homicide

Business savvy is eternal: Nipsey’s prescient focus on retaining the rights to his music monetized his 1.85 billion streams, third-most of any act on our list, at a greater rate than most artists dead or alive.

9. PRINCE: $12 million

Deceased: April 21, 2016

Cause of death: Overdose

The Purple One continues to move music, including a robust 320,000 physical units and half a billion on-demand streams, an overall increase of 12% year-over-year.

8. MARILYN MONROE: $13 million

Deceased: August 5, 1962

Cause of death: Overdose

One of the most popular dearly departed stars when it comes to licensing, Monroe has added a Zales collection to deals with the likes of Chanel and Montblanc.

7. JOHN LENNON: $14 million

Deceased: December 8, 1980

Cause of death: Homicide

The 50th anniversary of Abbey Road has boosted the Beatles across streaming and digital—moving 2.2 million U.S. album-equivalents over the past year, more than any defunct act—with Lennon’s own catalogue leaping 52%.

6. DR. SEUSS: $19 million

Deceased: September 24, 1991

Cause of death: Cancer

Oh, the places he still goes! Licensing deals with Hallmark, Universal Studios and others add to publishing empire that moved more than 5 million books stateside over the past 12 months.

5. BOB MARLEY: $20 million

Deceased: May 11, 1981

Cause of death: Cancer

With nearly 1 billion streaming spins in the U.S., the ubiquity of Marley’s music keeps his House of Marley products—including headphones, speakers and turntables—from going up in smoke.

4. ARNOLD PALMER: $30 million

Deceased: September 25, 2016

Cause of death: Heart Disease

The golf legend’s empire remains well above par, thanks to partnerships with MasterCard and Rolex. Then there’s his eponymous Arizona beverage, plus a boozy version launched by MolsonCoors this year.

3. CHARLES SCHULZ: $38 million

Deceased: February 12, 2000

Cause of death: Cancer

Snoopy’s creator continues to cash in around his Peanuts franchise’s 70th anniversary. A licensing deal with Met Life, expiring this year, also adds double-digit millions to his eternal coffers.

2. ELVIS PRESLEY: $39 million

Deceased: August 16, 1977

Cause of death: Heart Attack

For decades, 500,000-plus visitors have made the pilgrimage to Graceland annually, prompting a recent $45 million addition called Elvis Presley’s Memphis. Up next: a biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann, starring Tom Hanks.

1. MICHAEL JACKSON: $60 million

Deceased: June 25, 2009

Cause of death: Overdose/Homicide

The King of Pop’s streaming surged despite recent controversy: 2.1 billion U.S. spins, up from 1.8 billion a year ago. With proceeds flowing from his Mijac Music catalogue, a Las Vegas show and a long-term deal with Sony, he retains his postmortem cash crown for the seventh consecutive year.

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