Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson continue to collect money long after their death.
Even though he died nearly ten years ago, Micheal Jackson is still making huge amounts of money. According to the Forbes’ list of the highest posthumous earners between Oct 1, 2017 and Oct 1, 2018, the late Jackson raked in a whopping $400 million.
The second highest-earning dead celebrity over the same period was Elvis who “only” made $40 million. “The King” still moves more than 1 million albums every year, but the bulk of the King’s coin comes from tickets to Graceland and a new $45 million entertainment complex called Elvis Presley’s Memphis.
Today, the Elvis Presley Estate owns a vast collection of photos, album covers, movie posters, archive video footage, as well as the Presley catalog. It protects and markets Presley’s name and image.
Arnold Palmer, who won 62 PGA Tour events, including four victories at the Masters, and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, came in third with $35 million. He pioneered modern sports marketing with IMG’s Mark McCormack, helped found the Golf Channel, and designed more than 300 golf courses around the world and lent his name to apparel, beverages and more.
The top 10 of the highest posthumous earners worldwide of 2018 were:
- Micheal Jackson (400 million U.S. dollars)
- Elvis Presley (40 million U.S. dollars)
- Arnold Palmer (35 million U.S. dollars)
- Charles Schulz (34 million U.S. dollars)
- Bob Marley (23 million U.S. dollars)
- Dr. Seuss (16 million U.S. dollars)
- Hugh Hefner (15 million U.S. dollars)
- Marilyn Monroe (14 million U.S. dollars)
- Prince (13 million U.S. dollars)
- John Lennon (12 million U.S. dollars)
Micheal Jackson in the spotlight
Today, despite fresh allegations of child sexual abuse were brought to light in the first part of “Leaving Neverland”, an HBO documentary, Jackson estate still continues to grow in revenue.
It is yet to see if the latest allegations will dent his posthumous earnings over the coming year.
In life, Jackson sold around 350 million records worldwide. His 1982 album Thriller remains the best selling album ever released, but during the past year, Jackson’s income comes from the sale of his estate’s stake in EMI Music Publishing to Sony, where he brought in $287 million, and another some from his Mijac Music catalogue, a new Sony record deal, and projects like the Michael Jackson’s Halloween TV special.
The documentary by Dan Reed (Three Days of Terror: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks) aired March 3-4 on HBO. It offers damning evidence to support the longstanding child molestation accusations against Michael Jackson.