Dead Celebs Still Earning A Fortune

Michael Jackson still brings in the moneySource: Wikimedia

For most, dying is a pretty big inconvenience. Not if you’re a celebrity though. If you’re mega-famous when you die, you might as well just shift to the next stage of your career. These famous faces, all of which you’re guaranteed to know, make more than the average person times a million, even after buying the farm. The rest of us just have to stick to an online casino and hope for a jackpot!

How are they still earning so much? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out. Take a look at famous celebrities that still earn obscene amounts of money, despite having shuffled off this mortal coil.

Michael Jackson

You knew Michael Jackson would be on this list, and here he is. The King of Pop passed away at age 50 from, officially, homicide. Though it is still under massively controversial debate just how much his passing was caused by gross medical negligence, and how much was simply attributed to a drug overdose. Either way the King of Pop has earned around $400 million posthumously. The income comes from the sale of his stake in EMI Music Publishing, a new record deal with Sony, and the relicensing of Michael Jackson’s Halloween.

Elvis Presley

Another name you knew would be here, and the man with the hypnotising pelvis and soothing voice indeed makes his appearance near the top of the list. Although Elvis passed away of a heart attack at age 42, in the last year alone he has earned around $40 million, and that number isn’t showing much sign of slowing down. You would think that the income is generated from album sales, but you’d be wrong. It is from tickets sold to Graceland, the Elvis themed attraction. Take note that a new Elvis themed attraction is opening soon, which means Mr Presley will be on this list for some time still.

Arnold Palmer

Now here’s a name you probably didn’t expect to see. Arnold Palmer, the professional golfer that passed away at 83 from heart disease, raked in $35 million. How? From a new beverage released under his official label, an alcoholic beverage created in conjunction with MolsonCoors.

Charles Shultz

The legendary creator of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the weirdly gloomy yet lovable Peanuts gang passed away at 77 from colon cancer. His gross income for the last year stands at $34 million. But this was a bad year for Mister Shultz. Previously DHX Media forked over a whopping $345 million to gain 80% of the Shultz empire.

Marilyn Monroe

Few celebrity stories are as tragic as that of Marilyn Monroe, who passed away at 36 from a drug overdose. But don’t get us started on how controversial that is, and how many conspiracy theories swear that it was murder. She earned $14 million from a wide variety of licensed deals, many of which are new. Montblanc pens apparently now have the right to use her name. Why would anyone want a pen linked to Monroe? We don’t know, but then that’s fandom for you.

Marilyn Monroe remains a hot sellerSource: Pixabay

Bob Marley

Bob Marley raked in $23 million, despite having passed away at age 36 from cancer. How was the money generated? Guess and you’ll be right. Correct, Marley Natural cannabis products, including various smoking accessories. He probably would have been very proud.

Dr Seuss

You might have thought that the good doctor would be higher up on the list, still selling around 5 million books a year. But alas, he does not sell much merchandise, and we’re honestly pretty grateful for that. However, the lack of merchandise tie-ins didn’t stop them from making that Michael Meyers abomination of a film, which we’re much less grateful for. Dr Seuss passed away from cancer at age 87, and earned roughly $16 million in the last year.

Hugh Hefner

The incredibly interesting founder of Playboy lived to the ripe old age of 91 before finally succumbing to a heart attack. You likely won’t be seeing his name here again, since his remaining stake in the estate has just been sold off. The total was $35 million, but the upfront amount paid was $15 million, leaving good old Hugh even richer than when he was alive.


Great musician and slightly less great actor, Prince is still selling albums by the truckload, despite passing away from an overdose at age 57. His posthumous album sales earned him around $13 million.

John Lennon

Who would have thought that the legendary Lennon would be so far down the list? Not us, that’s for sure. The iconic musician was shot and killed at age 40, but still earned around $12 million exclusively from his share of Beatles records, which sell astonishingly well on a regular basis. Of course if Lennon had signed any licensing deals he would probably be at the top of the list, but alas, he didn’t!

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