Original Post Date: August 27, 2018

Top Decease Celebrity Money Makers of 2017

Hello Kings and Queens of social media, today’s blog is inspired by how much money deceased celebrities make. As I sit and drink my dirty martini and watch a rollercoaster ride “the world series” #GoDodgers I see tons of commercials featuring music or images of deceased celebrities. One deceased celebrity pops in mind Elizabeth Taylor, February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011 (ranking number 12 earning $8 million). At the time of Taylor’s death her estate was worth estimated $600 million which will be close to a billion today, but that doesn’t stop her estate for raking in the money with her classic Elizabeth Arden perfumes producing “White Diamonds” and “Passion”, I got the idea to research and here’s the top deceased celebrity money makers of 2017.


1. Michael Jackson

August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009


$75 million

Death: Drug Overdose

Michael Jackson, the 3rd bestselling artist of all time selling over 184 million records and known as the “King of Pop” is one number on this list. Jackson died in 2009 from a drug overdose but his estate earned $75 million 2017 due in part to his music catalog that includes hits like “Thriller” (used in those comical Party City Halloween commercials) and “Billie Jean” along with his stake in EMI music catalog that includes some Beatles top hits “Hey Jude” and “Yesterday” and let’s not forget Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil themed show, Jackson money train keeps roaring down the tracks with no sign of letting up. As in life, in death Michael Jackson is still the King of Pop.


2. Arnold Palmer

September 10, 1929 – September 25, 2016

Pro Golfer / Sports

$40 million

Death: Natural Causes

The Pro Golfer nicked name “The King” of the golfing world and may be known as the best golfer of all time but his estate has generated some serious cash. With his signature drink “The Arnold Palmer” a blend of lemonade and tea goodness, the pro golfer managed to turn this drink into peer gold I mean really who hasn’t tasted or asked for an “Arnold Palmer”. Along with his signature drink there’s his apparel line that is sold in over 400 stores. Mr. Palmer estate continues to make money landing him on the list second behind another king the King of Pop Michael Jackson.


3. Charles Schulz

November 26, 1922 – February 12, 2000

Cartoonist / Entertainer

$38 million

Death: Colon Cancer

Cartoonist Charles Schulz has introduced us to an influential cast of characters. Brother and sister duo Lucy and Linus Van Pelt, Sally and Charlie Brown and their dog a black and white beagle with a snappy attitude Snoopy with his sidekick Woodstock. On October 2, 1950 the world was introduced officially to “the Peanuts Gang”. This comic strip ran from the 50’s until Charles death in 2000. Sadly Schulz died in his sleep from colon cancer, 17 years later his estate continues to pull in the cash from this beloved comic that includes the yearly Halloween special “The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” and Christmas special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” that featured the memorable school play dance scene movies and a brief stint with Met Life Insurance Company that featured the Peanuts Gang in a series of commercials that since retired. It’s assured that not only these colorful cast of characters will forever remain dear to our hearts but Schulz estate will continue to profit from them.


4. Elvis Presley

January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977

Singer / Actor

$35 million

Death: Un-determined Causes

It’s hard to do a list of this magnitude without having the late Elvis Presley on it. The successful singer turned actor made it cool to be cool. Ole blue eyed himself Frank Sinatra envy Elvis, I mean really the Rat Packers had nothing on Elvis and his Memphis Mafia. However, the king of cool not only rake in thousands of dollars off his image with t-shirts, coffee cups, posters etc. Elvis still in high demand with his movies in which he starred over 30 in his career like “Clambake” and my personal favorite “Viva Las Vegas” in which he sang the title track. Speaking of his music, his music career spans 2 decade before his untimely death in late summer 1977 still commanding airtime. His musical catalog includes classics like “Hound Dog”, “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “Blue Christmas”. 40 years after his death, his benefactor and only child Lisa Marie continues to receives checks with Graceland Tours, movies, books and music Elvis can rest assure that his little darling Lisa Marie is well taken care off.


5. Bob Marley

February 6, 1945 – May 11, 1981

Singer / Musician

$23 million

Death: Acral Lentiginous Melanoma (cancer)

Bob Marley is best known as the Godfather of reggae music, after all Bob Marley has brought this style of music mainstream with hits like “Could You be Loved” and “I Shot the Sheriff”. On May 11, 1981 world of reggae suffered a blow when musical genius passed away from cancer. 36 years after his death Marley’s legacy continues through his children who now oversee his body of work and marketing his image that includes t-shirts, cups, posters and un-release master recordings. Old and new fans alike will continue to enjoy all that is Bob Marley.


Those are the top 5 deceased earning makers of 2017 and rounding out the list are;

6. Tom Petty

October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017

Singer / Musician

Death: Cardiac Arrest

$20 million

7. Prince

June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016

Singer / Musician

Death: Fentanyl Overdose

$18 million

8. Dr. Seuss

March 4, 1904 – September 24, 1991

Author / Cartoonist

Death: Oral Cancer

$16 million

9. John Lennon

October 9, 1940 – November 8, 1980

Musician / Activist

Death: Gun Shot

$12 million

10. Albert Einstein

March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955

Theoretical Physicist

Death: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

$10 million

11. David Bowie

January 8, 1947 – January 10, 2016

Musician / Actor

Death: Liver Cancer

$9.5 million

12. Elizabeth Taylor (see intro)

13. Bettie Page

April 22, 1923 – November 11, 2008

Model / Pin-Up

Death: Pneumonia

$7.5 million

These talent celebrities star still burns bright and their legacy will live on through us the fans and as long as we keep the love alive these celebrities will live on.

Blog reference: Forbes