Michael Jackson Leads This Year’s Highest-Paid Dead Celebrity List With $825 Million


Seven years after his death, Michael Jackson is still making money. He even made a lot this year to top Forbes‘ list of highest-paid dead celebrities, beating out other iconic superstars like Elvis Presley and Prince.

According to the magazine, Jacko earned an impressive $825 million in 2016 thanks in large part to his investment in the Sony/ATV music publishing catalog, which is known for its The Beatles songs. He originally paid $47.5 million in 1985 to buy the catalog. Sony, which paid him $115 million for a 50/50 partnership, then purchased the late singer’s half for $750 million earlier this year.

“Jackson’s total pretax payday of $825 million ranks as the biggest annual haul by any celeb dead or alive,” said Forbes.

Miles behind the deceased King of Pop on the Forbes list is “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz. The cartoonist, who passed away in 2000 of colon cancer, lands at No. 2 with $48 million from the licensing revenue of “Peanuts” characters. Arnold Palmer, who died last September, rounds out the top 3 with $40 million.

Other dead celebrities still making big bucks include Elvis Presley (No. 4 with $27 million), Prince (No. 5 with $25 million) and Bob Marley (No. 6 with $21 million).


  • Michael Jackson – $825 million
  • Charles Schulz – $48 million
  • Arnold Palmer – $40 million
  • Elvis Presley – $27 million
  • Prince – $25 million
  • Bob Marley – $21 million
  • Theador Geiel “Dr. Seuss” – $20 million
  • John Lennon – $12 million
  • Albert Einstein – $11.5 million
  • Bettie Page – $11 million

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