Top 5 highest-earning dead celebrities of 2013

  • Sol Rivero

The temporary resurrection of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, stirred quite a lot of controversy amongst fans and music-lovers, after he fictionally reappeared in a new routine during the Billboard Music Awards, this past Sunday. But this beloved and controversial celebrity isn’t the only one with a successful post-mortem carrier.

To celebrate MJ’s revival, let’s take a look back at the top 5 highest-earning dead celebrities of 2013 according to Forbes’ ranking.


Highest-earning dead celebrity of 2013 #5: Bob Marley

Born on February 6 of 1945, Robert Marley was a Jamaican singer who later on became the icon of reggae music. A symbol of counterculture, and a devoted Rastafarian and peace-promoter, Marley passed away from cancer on 1981. However, his legend has only grown since then, and his numerous children have carried on his musical legacy after his passing.

Through companies dedicated to music, beverages and even merchandise, the icon of Jamaican music managed to collect a grand total of $18 million from October of 2012 to October of 2013.


Highest-earning dead celebrity of 2013 #4: Elizabeth Taylor

The gorgeous Queen of Hollywood, Elizabeth Taylor, was born in London on February 27 of 1932, yet she moved to the United States when she was only seven. From early on, she began participating in films, and soon became a child star. Her carrier skyrocketed during the 50s, as she gained the critics attention for her successful films. She became an icon of beauty and elegance, and her violet eyes are still revered even after she passed away on 2013.  

Through her investments, her fragrance, and several auctions of her collections of jewelry and art, Mrs. Taylor managed to collect a sum of $25 million last year.


Highest-earning dead celebrity of 2013 #3: Charles Schulz

Born on November 26 of 1922, Charles Schulz is the beloved writer and cartoonist of the Peanuts comic strip which won over the world since 1950, when the first strip of this comic was released. Soon, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of his characters gained the love of millions, with their adventures being translated into different languages, and turned into successful short films, TV shows and movies.

Charles Schulz passed away on February of 2000, yet his creations have still managed to gain approximately $37 million, especially after a deal for a digital Peanuts film which will premiere soon.


Highest-earning dead celebrity of 2013 #2: Elvis Presley

The King of Rock was born in a very humble family on January 8 of 1925. As a child, he always showed interest for music, and enjoy the tunes of Blues artists such as B.B. King. Inspired by them, he proceeded to record a few songs, gaining the attention of producers who noticed his impressive and unique talent. His voice and moves won over the audience during his TV debut on 1956, and soon became a controversial yet beloved music star.

Unfortunately, the King had an untimely dead, and passed away at 42, on 1977. Yet, through his post-mortem shows and his mansion at Graceland, he still managed to gain $55 million last year.


Highest-earning dead celebrity of 2013 #1: Michael Jackson

Born on August of 1958, Michael Jackson would grow up to become the most successful and controversial artist of the world, gaining the title of “King of Pop” after conquering charts with his wonderful music. After outgrowing his family act with the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson began a fruitful solo carrier, gaining the love of audiences and critics alike. Known for his wide imagination, his catchy tunes and the best music videos of all times, MJ is still considered the greatest musician of the world.

Although he passed away on 2009, MJ still managed to snatch a stunning sum of $160 million through the Cirque du Soleil shows inspired by him, plus record sales and copyrights on several artists.



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Sources: Bob Marley. Biography on Michael Jackson.
Charles M. Schulz Museum. Charles M. Schulz Biography.
Forbes. The top-earning dead celebrities. Elizabeth Taylor. Biography.
Rolling Stone. Elvis Presley. Biography.