Six Richest Dead Musicians: From Elvis to Jacko
You're dead. But that doesn't mean you can't earn big bucks. Shit, croaking could be the best career move ever.
Forbes recently broke down this year's most paid, most dead celebrities. And six of those ultra-wealthy, superdeceased folks are in the music business. Nothing's gonna stop them from selling hit records, hocking beverages, or running theme parks.
But whose dead body is the biggest gold mine?
6. George Harrison, $5.5 million
He may not have been the most recognizable or charismatic Beatle. But even in death, George Harrison is rakin' in the dough. He's just laying there, steady banking royalty checks. That's the kind of financial security that writing "Here Comes the Sun" will get you.
5. Richard Rogers, $6 million
The prolific Richard Rogers, of famed American musical writing team Rogers and Hammerstein, isn't even seeing any money from his most beloved body of work. The rights to classics like The Sound of Music, The King and I, and Oklahoma! were sold off for $200 million in 2009. This is all just from solo projects and various collaboration royalties.
4. John Lennon, $12 million
He's been dead for more than three decades, but John Lennon remains as iconic as ever. And rich. Besides his millions in Beatles revenue, he's got Cirque De Soleil money and funds from various licensing agreements to fall back on. Basically, Yoko is doing alright.
3. Bob Marley, $17 million
Anyone who's ever stepped into a smoke shop or a Hot Topic knows Bob Marley is making serious money off his famous mug. His chill island jams and progressive political message are universally beloved. But beyond massive t-shirt and record sales, Bob's got his own brand of "relaxation drink" and eco-friendly audio and lifestyle products.
2. Elvis Presley, $55 million
Long live the King and his hugely affluent estate. Even though he lost a ton of cash with the closing of the Viva Elvis Vegas show, it didn't even make a dent in Muerto Elvis's fortune. His Graceland property saw extra attendance this year, which helped boost this regal figure.
1. Michael Jackson, $145 million
But even the King of Rock'n'Roll can't stand up to the King of Pop. The recently deceased and heavily publicized corpse has been cashin out, earning "more than any single living artist since his death." He's got royalties on royalties, holding a 50-percent stake of the entire Sony/ATV publishing catalog, plus his own laundry list of classics, a Cirque du Soleil show and goddamn everything else.
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