Michael Jackson earned about $160 million in the last year, making him the top-earning dead celebrity of 2013, as well as the top-earning celebrity period, since his estate’s accumulation of wealth even bested Madonna’s $125 million income.
The “Thriller” hitmaker’s wealth nearly tripled runner-up Elvis Presley’s $55 million on Forbes‘ annual list (yes, another one) of posthumous celebrity wealth compiled from just in time for Halloween.
Most of Jackson’s money from beyond the grave comes courtesy of two Cirque du Soleil shows, “Immortal” and “One” — the former of which has grossed over $300 million since opening last year. The rest of the Jackson estate’s fortune comes from his music and his half of the Sony-ATV catalog that owns hits from The Beatles and Lady Gaga.
Charles Schultz, the cartoonist who created Charlie Brown and the “Peanuts” gang, raked in $37 million between Oct. 2012 and Oct. 2013, making him the third highest-earning dead celebrity.
Actress Elizabeth Taylor topped last year’s list with $210 million in posthumous earnings — largely due to the auction of her belongings after her 2011 death — but dropped to fourth place in the last 12 months with $25 million netted from her perfume line, movie rights and investments.
See the top ten list of highest-earning dead celebrities below:
1. Michael Jackson $160
2. Elvis Presley: $55 million
3. Charles Schultz: $37 million
4. Elizabeth Taylor: $25 million
5. Bob Marley: $18 million
6. Marilyn Monroe: $15 million
7. John Lennon: $12 million
8. Albert Einstein: $10 million
9. Bettie Page: $10 million
10. Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss): $9 million