Forbes' annual list of the highest earning deceased celebrities for 2022 has been released and without even leaving his secret hideaway ELVIS has made a big comeback!
The Top Ten departed artists, athletes and entertainers on this year’s list earned a record US$1.1 billion making it a 72% increase over last year’s total. It’s by far the biggest 12-month haul since Forbes started tracking graveyard earnings in 2001 and, for the first time ever, the top five made more than $100 million each - including ELVIS!
op earner is long-deceased author of 'The Lord of the Rings' J.R. Tolkien. While he died of pneumonia in 1973 he still earned $500 million from the sale of rights-owner "Middle-Earth Enterprises" to Swedish gaming company Embracer.
Kobe Bryant similarly earned $400 million from his estate sale of sports drink to Coca-Cola.
The sale of David Bowie's publishing catalog and Masters to Warners Chappell helped generate $250M for The Thin White Duke.
And while ELVIS may have "left the building" he is still an economic powerhouse this year generating $110 million in income 45 years after his death. Forbes notes that major share was made from box office and merchandise sales at Graceland while only $5 million of that came from rights for the Baz Luhrmann-directed ELVIS biopic.
Top Ten 2022
1 J.R. Tolkien $500 million
2 Kobe Bryant $400 million
3 David Bowie $250 million
4 Elvis Presley $110 million
5 James Brown $100 million
6 Michael Jackson $75 million
7 Leonard Cohen $55 million
8. Dr. Seuss $32 million
9. Jeff Porcaro (Toto drummer) $25 million
10. Charles Schulz $24 million