Elvis Still Top-Earning Dead Celebrity

Elvis Presley has again topped the list of highest earning dead celebrities again. The pop legend, who passed away in 1977 aged 42, made $52 million last year – more than some of the world’s biggest living popstars, including Madonna, who earned $40 million - thanks to increased visitors to his Graceland estate marking the 30th anniversary of his death, record sales, and new ventures such as the Sirius Satellite Radio show. Elvis is the regular #1 in this top-earning list, with his record only tarnished in 2006 by a Kurt Cobain catalogue sell-off.

Second on the annual list compiled by Forbes was Peanuts creator Charles Schultz, who died in 2000 and earned $33 million between October 2007 and October 2008.

Third in the list was 'The Dark Knight’ actor Heath Ledger, who passed away aged 28 from an accidental prescription overdose in January this year. Forbes commented: "With 'The Dark Knight' grossing $991 million in box office revenue worldwide, we estimate his earnings at $20 million."

Also new to the list was Paul Newman, who died last month aged 83, who brought in around $5 million with his salad dressings and other enterprises. Physicist Albert Einstein came in at number four on the list, with TV producer Aaron Spelling – whose shows include 'Beverly Hills, 90210’ and 'Charlie’s Angels’ was the fifth highest earning deceased star.

Enduring icons James Dean and Marilyn Monroe again made the list, having appeared every time since it was first published in 2001. Forbes.com compile the chart after speaking to experts and sources dealing with the dead celebrities’ estates and researching earnings before and after taxes, management fees and other costs.

Forbes top 13 highest-earning dead celebrities:

1. Elvis Presley - $52 million
2. Charles M. Shulz - $33m
3. Heath Ledger - $20m
4. Albert Einstein - $18m
5. Aaron Spelling - $15m
6. Dr Seuss (Theodor Geisel) - $12m
7. John Lennon - $9m
8. Andy Warhol - $9m
9. Marilyn Monroe - $6.5m
10. Steve McQueen - $6m
11. Paul Newman - $5m
12. James Dean - $5m
13. Marvin Gaye - $3.5m
Source: Music News / Updated: Oct 28, 2008 
Elvis Presley on: eBay, Amazon


mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 30, 2008report abuse
Personally i find polls like this silly and a bit disrespectful, why not just say overall who has pulled in the most loot or dont tell me at all,either way!
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 30, 2008report abuse
I wonder how is ranking would be if one consider all performers, alive and passed away.
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 30, 2008report abuse
Of course, all true Elvis fans would rather he be be alive today but this is tremendous news in its own right. GK is right! And the new fans of the world will be participating for years to come.
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 29, 2008report abuse
Aaron Spelling met Elvis on the set of 'King Creole'. He was married to Carolyn Jones at that time. There's some trivia for you. However, I am surprised that Charlie Drake hasn't made this list of top earning deceased artists. And where's Phil Collins?
Chop983 (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 29, 2008report abuse
I didn't know Aaron Spelling was dead.
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 28, 2008report abuse
Samcra, Yes, i would prefer Elvis was still alive. Thats what i meant.
samcra (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 28, 2008report abuse
Unless, you mean you wish he was still alive, if thst's the case ... I agree.
samcra (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 28, 2008report abuse
Sean Ryan, why do you wish Elvis wasn't on that list? The King will reign forever !
GEORGE (GK) (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 28, 2008report abuse
Is there any doubt, Elvis is still number 1 ?? (LOL) Thankfully, in time, he has become more appreciated.. in the music world..
elvislives72 (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 28, 2008report abuse
You think that's something wait until the new expansion at Graceland is complete and the attendance numbers double if not triple in the next few years, plus the big Cirque show in Vegas is expected to bring in as much as $50M a year! Elvis will soon be topping not only the dead but the living as well. It's been estimated that by 2013 Elvis will be making an average of close to $200M a year!! Move over Oprah.
Sean Ryan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 28, 2008report abuse
I wish Elvis wasnt on that list.
Jim says hello (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 28, 2008report abuse
According to my wife, it's mainly due to me. She has just confiscated my credit card.

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