The late King of Pop – who sadly died in June 2009 aged 50 – reportedly pulled in around £313 million over the last year, which was boosted by the sale of his EMI Music Publishing stake to Sony.
Earnings will also have been helped by ‘Michael Jackson’s Halloween’ – an animated TV special which first aired in 2017 – according to Forbes magazine.
John Branca, the Jackson estate’s co-executor, said: “You see ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ and ‘Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ every year, so now we’re looking to have ‘Michael Jackson’s Halloween’ every year. We hope that it’ll become evergreen.”
Meanwhile, rock ‘n’ roll legend Elvis Presley – who died aged 42 in 1977 – follows in second place having made £31 million over 2017.
As well as record sales, the star’s earnings also come from the new ‘Elvis Presley’s Memphis’ entertainment complex created at his famous Graceland home. The new development is described on the official website as: “A state-of-the-art entertainment and exhibit complex over 200,000-square-feet in size, [which] enables you to follow the life path that Elvis took, surround yourself with the things that he loved, and experience the sights and sounds of the city that inspired him.”
Fellow musicians Bob Marley, Prince and John Lennon all found themselves in the top 10, which also features golfer Arnold Palmer, ‘Charlie Brown’ creator Charles Schulz, children’s author Dr. Seuss, ‘Playboy’ founder Hugh Hefner and big screen icon Marilyn Monroe.
Forbes’ full list:
1. Michael Jackson: $400 million
2. Elvis Presley: $40 million
3. Arnold Palmer: $35 million
4. Charles Schulz: $34 million
5. Bob Marley: $23 million
6. Dr. Seuss: $16 million
7. Hugh Hefner: $15 million
8. Marilyn Monroe: $14 million
9. Prince: $13 million
10. John Lennon: $12 million