Here are the 10 top-earning dead celebrities as of 2016, according to Forbes‘ annual list.
10) Bettie Page ($10 million)
Died: December 11, 2008, Age: 85, Cause: Natural causes
Model and iconic playboy pinup Bettie Page died of heart attack on December 11 2008 when she was 85 years old. She has licensed her sex appeal into growing fashion lines that include lingerie and bridal wear. This accounts for most of her income.
9) Paul Walker ($10.5 million)
Died: November 30, 2013, Age: 40, Cause: Car crash
Fast & Furious actor Paul Walker died in a car crash on November 30 2013 when he was just 40 years old. His untimely death helped the box office performance of his movie Furious 7, which made $1.51 billion.
8) Albert Einstein ($11 million)
Died: April 18, 1955, Age: 76 Cause: Natural causes
Einstein died on April 18 1955 in Princeton Hospital at the age of 76. This world renowned theoretical physicist developed the general theory of relativity. He has a cult-like nerd following. Einstein-branded merchandise including tablets designed by Fourier Systems, is popular worldwide. His brand continues to earn worldwide.
7) John Lennon ($12 million)
Died: December 8, 1980, Age: 40, Cause: Murder
English singer and songwriter John Lennon was murdered on December 8 1980. This legend continues to share in the Beatles spoils both in terms of recorded music and publishing. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
6) Marilyn Monroe ($17 million)
Died: August 5, 1962, Age: 36, Cause: Overdose
Marilyn Monroe was one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s. She died of barbiturates overdose on August 5 1962. She continues to be an international icon more than five decades after her death. Authentic Brand Group bought the rights to her brand in 2011. Marilyn Monroe’s name continues to make money decades after her death.
5) Elizabeth Taylor ($20 million)
Died: March 23, 2011, Age: 79 Cause: Heart failure
British-American actress Elizabeth Taylor died of heart failure on March 23 2011. She was also savvy businesswoman. Liz launched her House of Taylor fragrance line when celebrity perfumes did not exist. One of her scents, the White Diamonds, is still one of the top selling celebrity fragrances. It has generated more than $1 billion in its more than two decades of history.
4) Bob Marley ($21 million)
Died: May 11, 1981, Age: 36, Cause: Cancer
Marley died of cancer on May 11 1981. His distinctive songwriting and vocal style earned him fans all over the world. Even though this singer, songwriter, musician and guitarist was not a capitalist icon in life, he is becoming quite rich after death. The House of Marley, the Marley Beverage Company and his music is earning him millions each year.
3) Charles Schulz ($40 million)
Died: February 12, 2000, Cause: Colon cancer, Age: 77
Schulz, the creator of famous comic strip Peanuts, died of colon cancer on February 12 2000. Sparky (Schulz’s nickname) is widely regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time. He continues to earn licensing revenue from the popular comic. The Peanuts Movie will be in theaters in November 2015.
2) Elvis Presley ($55 million)
Died: August 16, 1977, Age: 42, Cause: Heart attack
Music icon Elvis Presley died on August 16 1977 of heart attack. The King of Rock n’ Roll makes more money than many living celebrities. This is largely due to Graceland ticket sales. In August he earned his fifty-third top 40 album on the Billboard 200 chart with Elvis Presley Forever, a compilation released by the USPS.
1) Michael Jackson ($115 million)
Died: June 25, 2009, Age: 50, Cause: Overdose/homicide
He may be dead, but that doesn’t mean he’s not making money. The pop legend Michael Jackson died on June 25 2009 due to acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication. Since his death, his estate has earned more than $1 billion pretax; more than enough to pay off his debt. His earnings came from Vegas Cirque du Soleil show “Michael Jackson One,” the Mijac Music catalogue, record sales and the Sony/ATV publishing empire.