Elvis Presley is no longer the King of Dead Celebrities. The pelvis-swiveling crooner was dethroned from his perch atop Forbes.com's annual roundup of top-earning deceased celebrities by the late Kurt Cobain, who made his first appearance on the list in its six years of publication.
The former Nirvana frontman, who committed suicide in 1994, earned $50 million between October 2005 and October 2006, according to the site. Presley landed in the number two slot, with earnings of $42 million for the same time period, down from $45 million in the year before.
The earnings are based on licensing deals for the deceased celebrities' work or images. Presley has consistently been the top-earning dead star since the list's inception until this year.
Cobain's surge in wealth was due to his widow Courtney Love's sale of one-quarter of the Nirvana song catalogue to New York music publisher PrimeWave. Coming in at third place, with $35 million was Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, followed in fourth by John Lennon with $24 million. (Lennon's fellow dead Beatle George Harrison ranked 12th with $7 million.) Albert Einstein rounded out the top five with earnings of $20 million, thanks in large part to the licensing of Disney's hit Baby Einstein video series.
The only woman to rank in the top 13 was Marilyn Monroe. The actress, who died of an overdose in 1962, pulled in $8 million, good for ninth place.
Here is the rundown of the top 10 (the complete list is online at Forbes.com):
1. Kurt Cobain, US$50 million
2. Elvis Presley, $42 million
3. Charles Schulz, $35 million
4. John Lennon, $24 million
5. Albert Einstein, $20 million
6. Andy Warhol, $19 million
7. Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel), $10 million
8. Ray Charles, $10 million
9. Marilyn Monroe, $8 million
10. Johnny Cash, $8 million