Michael Jackson Is Top-Earning Dead Celebrity, Says ‘Forbes’

By: Robbie Daw / October 26, 2011

As the trial of Michael Jackson’s former doctor Conrad Murray wears on, Forbes reports that the onetime King Of Pop is #1 on the publication’s annual list of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities. It’s the second year in a row the music legend has topped the list, though Forbes points out that the $170 million his estate raked in over the past 12 months, via sales of his music and his stake in the Sony/ATV catalog, is a steep drop from the $275 million that landed Jackson at #1 on last year’s tally.

Still, that figure puts Jackson just behind U2 when it comes to top-earning pop acts, dead or alive, over the past year.

Below is the full list of Forbes‘ Top-Earning Dead Celebrities, which includes rock legends Elvis Presley, John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix, Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, pop artist Andy Warhol, Dr. Seuss children’s book artist Theodor Geisel and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo author Stieg Larsson, among others.

1. Michael Jackson, $170 million
2. Elvis Presley, $55 million
3. Marilyn Monroe, $27 million
4. Charles Schulz, $25 million
5-6. John Lennon/Elizabeth Taylor, $12 million (tie)
7. Albert Einstein, $10 million
8. Theodor Geisel, $9 million
9-12. Jimi Hendrix/Stieg Larsson/Steve McQueen/Richard Rodgers, $7 million (tie)
13-15.. George Harrison/Bettie Page/Andy Warhol, $6 million (tie)