Forbes Ranks Micheal Jackson Highest Earning Late Celebrities

The March sale of Michael Jackson’s half of the Sony/ATV music publishing catalog, famous for its library of Beatles tunes, for $750 million puts him at the top of our annual ranking of the top-earning dead celebrities, an ironic finish given that many critics and even advisors once derided the catalog as a badly overpriced investment. Jackson’s total pretax payday of $825 million ranks as the biggest annual haul by any celeb dead or alive.

According to Forbes — by leaps and bounds — Jackson is the highest earning dead celebrity, with a 2016 take of $825 million dollars. 

The whooping amount of cash raked in by Michael Jackson dwarfs that of any living celeb in year 2016. Far more than what Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, Beyonce etc., cashed in for the year.

Among the highest paid dead celebrities as compiled by Forbes, the closest rival earning is peanuts when compared to Michael Jackson’s payday figure.

Much of the funds comes from his investment from the Beatle’s music catalog and the sales of his 50% share of the Fab Four catalog back to Sony.

Highest Paid Dead Celebrities of 2016, According to Forbes:

1.  Michael Jackson (d. 2009) — $825 million
2.  Charles Schulz (d. 2000) — $48 million
3.  Arnold Palmer (d. 2016) — $40 million
4.  Elvis Presley (d. 1977) — $27 million
5.  Prince (d. 2016) — $25 million
6.  Bob Marley (d. 1981) — $21 million
7.  Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel (d. 1991) — $20 million
8.  John Lennon (d. 1980) — $12 million
9.  Albert Einstein (d. 1955) — $11.5 million
10. Bettie Page (d. 2008) — $11 million
11. David Bowie (d. 2016) — $10.5 million
12. Steve McQueen (d. 1980) — $9 million
13. Elizabeth Taylor (d. 2011) — $8 million


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