To say that people love Michael Jackson’s music might be an understatement. He has been gone for five years and is approaching a billion dollars in earnings since that time. The money keeps coming in, making attorneys rich, along with his children. As a result of Michael’s many decades of hard work, his children’s great great grandchildren are going to be set financially for life.
Jackson was once again this year’s top earning dead celebrity, according to Forbes Magazine. The singer brought in a whopping $140 million dollars, earning more than every professional athlete in the world, while lying in a casket. Jackson blew away his entertainment competition as well. His economic haul was twice as high as Elvis Presley, who brought in $55 million, about the same as Justin Bieber and many of the leading singers of today.
The third person on the list was Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, who earned $40 million from a little bald kid named Charlie Brown. It appears that the families of these celebs have benefitted greatly from the foresight of these individuals to ensure ownership of the rights to their content long before their last days on this planet.
“Few celebrities prove the point that there is (financial) life after death better than Michael Jackson,” according to Forbes.
The only time that Jackson has not been at the top of the list since his death was 2012, when Elizabeth Taylor pushed him to second. But that was short-lived, as Jackson rose right back to the top and has stayed there ever since. It doesn’t appear that he will be slowing down anytime soon, since his vault is filled with unreleased music that will make money well into the 22nd century.
Just last year, Jackson’s most recently released album, “Xscape,” debuted at number 2 on the pop charts. The singer has also made appearances as a hologram, doing a performance at the Billboard Music Awards that brought audience members to tears.
Two Cirque du Soleil shows, “Immortal” and “One,” account for much of Jackson’s earnings along with his music catalog and publishing empire.
Taylor, who died in 2011, came in at No. 4 with $25 million and reggae singer Bob Marley completed the top five with $20 million in earnings in the year to October 2014. Marley died of cancer at the age of 36 in 1981.
Singer John Lennon, the former Beatle who was gunned down in New York in 1980, was No. 7 with $12 million.