The late King of Pop made more money over the past year than any other musician or actor, dead or alive. Michael Jackson never graced Forbes’ annual Celebrity 100 list during his life. In death, the King of Pop earned more in the past year than any star on that list, apart from Oprah Winfrey.
With gross earnings of $275 million, he earned more than the other 12 deceased stars on the list combined. Still more impressive: His estate’s 12-month haul was greater than the pooled earnings of this year’s two biggest living acts, U2 and AC/DC. Jackson’s posthumous earnings come from his stake in the lucrative Sony/ATV catalog, the hit Sony film “This Is It” and renewed fan interest in music, videos, and all things Michael Jackson.
No. 2 was given to the “King of Rock N Roll”, Elvis Presley. His estate pulled in $60 million in the 12-month period, thanks to Graceland admissions and a heavily hyped Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas. It got a boost from the late star’s 75th birthday celebration as well.
Also new to the list is New York Yankees icon George Steinbrenner, who ranks ninth with earnings of $8 million. The legendary owner passed away this summer at the age of 80, but his estate continues to cash in on the team’s success. The Yankees have a lucrative stake in the YES regional sports network, and Steinbrenner’s estate receives a cut of sales from the team’s merchandise.