These stars may have earned millions over the previous 12 months without breaking a sweat, but that’s not exactly cause for envy in this case. A new list of the top-earning dead celebrities from Forbes magazine puts Michael Jackson at the top, proving that even death doesn’t stop the royalty checks from rolling in for many boldfaced names in music, movies and sports.
The King of Pop died in 2009 but still earned a staggering $825 million between October 1, 2015 and that same date this year, thanks in a large part to the sale of his half of the $750 million Sony music library in March, which included a giant trove of Beatles songs.
There aren’t many lists where Michael Jackson’s name shows up alongside that of Charles Schulz, but the “Peanuts” creator is No. 2 on Forbes‘ list. Although Schulz died in 2000, his posthumous estate got a boost from the “Peanuts” movie that opened last November. Third on the list was a celebrity who joined their ranks far more recently: Arnold Palmer, who died last month at the age of 87 and earned $40 million over the past 12 months. Over Palmer’s long career, he earned nearly $1 billion, making him the third highest-earning athlete in history.
Elvis ($27 million) and Prince ($25 million) round out the top five on Forbes list. In total, the top 10 includes five musicians, two cartoonists (Schulz and Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel), Arnold Palmer, Bettie Page and Albert Einstein.