HIGHEST PAID CELEBRITY ESTATES
They say that the key of getting rich is to make money while you’re asleep. How about making money while you’re dead?
Easier said than done! The amount of money that celebrity estates are earning year after year is astonishing! Yet, perhaps not too surprising. The paychecks are different form celebrity to celebrity, but most common is the on-going sales of albums by singer-songwriters and other types of licensing deals, in which various companies can use celebrities names and image in their marketing. To date, the highest valued Estates in the world in terms of dead celebrities are John Lennon’s and Michael Jackson’s – both well over the billion-dollar-range.
To clarify – in this article the word “Estate” is used somewhat as a company for dead celebrities, not as an estate in terms of a house or a building. After a person dies, all their belongings and properties are a part of their Estate. In other words, the profits of John Lennon’s album sales goes to the Estate of John Lennon.
During 2018, the Estate that netted the most money was the Estate of Michael Jackson at $400 million USD. The majority of the amount was due his stake in EMI’s sale of music publishing rights to Sony. Besides that, his name has been used for licensing for various products, e.g. by Hugo Boss. And let’s not forget all the records that are still selling annually. With a legacy that are growing for each year, one could only wonder how much money MJ’s Estate will be worth in the future…
From The King of Pop to The King of Rock! Elvis Presley’s Estate earned $40 million USD in 2018. Although Elvis sold roughly a million records during the last twelve months, the greater amount came from the annually income of the Graceland museum and also the new entertainment complex called Elvis Presley’s Memphis.
The third place of Forbes’ list of highest earning celebrity Estates of 2018 is conquered by a rather surprising name – Arnold Palmer. The iconic golfer passed away in 2016 but the Arnold Palmer beverage lines are selling like crazy! Although Palmer only won $3.6 million USD during his career, his Estate earned a whopping amount of $35 million USD in 2018!
Just below Arnold Palmer – we find the American cartoonist Charles Shultz. Shultz primary income source is his most famous creation, namely Peanuts with characters such as Charlie Brown and Snoopy. $34 million USD in 2018 for Peanuts cartoons… Not bad. Not bad at all…
The fifth place is taken by the iconic singer-songwriter Bob Marley. During 2018 his Estate earned $23 million USD on sold records, the House of Marley headphones, and – of course – the cannabis brand Marley Natural!
The remaining five names on Forbes’ top ten list of highest earning celebrity Estates of 2018 are the following.
6.Dr. Seuss – $16 million USD.
7. Hugh Hefner – $15 million USD.
8.Marilyn Monroe – $14 million USD.
9. Prince – $13 million USD.
10. John Lennon – $12 million USD.