Ten Celebrities Earning More After Death


Michael Jackson

As far as high-earning dead celebrities are concerned, Michael Jackson remains the one to beat with an estimated haul of over £100m in the past year. With a comprehensive and ever-popular music back-catalogue, two Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas and a variety of branded merchandise, it’s not surprising that similar figures have been earned each year since the King of Pop’s death back in 2009 and there are no signs of it slowing down yet. Jackson’s eleventh and latest postmortem album, Xscape¸ was released in May 2014 and went to number one in several European countries and number two in the US billboard charts – this despite a lukewarm critical reception. Significant commercial deals have also been arranged on the back of Jackson’s continuing popularity, including an endorsement deal with Pepsi, a videogame titled Michael Jackson: The Experience and a behind-the-scenes concert film This Is It produced by Sony.

Elvis Presley

Despite it being almost 40 years since Elvis died, The King still managed to earn around £30m in the last year. Like Michael Jackson, Elvis continues to have his own Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas but the bulk of his earnings come from his former home, Graceland, which receives a staggering 600,000 visitors every year and offers tours, a shop, overnight stays at Heartbreak Hotel and even the option of hosting your wedding. Elvis’ intellectual property rights were sold by CORE Media to Authentic Brands Group in 2013 with a view to further expanding the merchandising and licensing possibilities, with the most interesting rumours concerning the possibility of a new Elvis-hologram show to arrive in Las Vegas in the near future. There is also a touring exhibition, a variety of official collectibles including a range of Elvis-themed home décor and ‘Lifesize Stand-Ups’, plus continuing sales of a comprehensive music catalogue.
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