Michael Jackson tops high earning dead star list

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Michael Jackson has topped a list of highest-earning dead celebrities for the second year in a row.

The late ‘Thriller’ hitmaker – who died of acute Propofol intoxication in June 2009 – brought in an estimated $140 million in the past year for his estate, Forbes magazine reports.

The money came from Cirque du Soleil shows ‘Immortal’ and ‘One’, as well as his half of the Sony/ATV publishing catalogue, his own Mijac catalogue and his posthumous album, ‘Xscape’, which was released earlier this year.

Forbes commented: “Few celebrities prove the point that there is (financial) life after death better than Michael Jackson.”

The staggering sum was more than twice what second-placed Elvis Presley, who died in 1977, earned in the last 12 months, and the ‘Jailhouse Rock’ singer’s $55 million was considerably higher than the earnings of third-placed Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, who made $40 million.

Michael’s late friend Dame Elizabeth Taylor – who died in 2011 and took top spot on the Forbes list a year later – came in at fourth place with $25 million, one spot ahead of late reggae legend Bob Marley, who generated $20 million.

Completing the list were Marilyn Monroe in sixth spot thanks to earnings of $17 million, Beatles legend John Lennon and scientist Albert Einstein, with their $12 million and $11 million earning them seventh and eighth place respectively.

Five stars – ‘Dr Seuss’ writer Theodor Geisel, actors Bruce Lee, Steve McQueen and James Dean, and model Bettie Page – tied with $9 million earnings to take the final place on the list.

According to Forbes – who compiled the list using estimated earnings and spoke to estate managers, lawyers and licensors – the 13 deceased stars earned a total of $363.5 million between October 2013 and 14.

Forbes’ Highest-Earning Dead Celebrities 2014:

1. Michael Jackson, $140 million

2. Elvis Presley, $55 million

3. Charles Schulz, $40 million

4. Dame Elizabeth Taylor, $25 million

5. Bob Marley, $20 million

6. Marilyn Monroe, $17 million

7. John Lennon, $12 million

8. Albert Einstein, $11 million

9= Theodor Geisel, $9 million

9= Bruce Lee, $9 million

9= Steve McQueen, $9 million

9= Bettie Page, $9 million

9= James Dean, $9 million.

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