14 Celebrities That Still Make Millions Of Dollars, Even After Their Death

14 Celebrities That Still Make Millions Of Dollars, Even After Their Death

Success of some significant people never dies. This is especially true for artists, inventors and scientists that left the world with their creations or findings.

Some people are bigger than life itself and show business can prove that. Celebrities are still making money even after decades they have passed away.

However these stars may be gone, but their ability to make big money is still very much alive, this happens due to a combination of a great legacy, companies that know to recognize when someone’s image sells well, and faithful fans.



Most of the names on this list are musicians and they are still earning more than some celebrities who are very much still alive. People on this list (singers, actors, writers, and athletes) were all very appealing to the public during their time alive. But now their image is commercialized in the most different of ways.

You can’t stop the music, even when its creator has shuffled off this mortal coil. People remain fascinated and even fanatical over these deceased celebrities who have been making the most money in 2018, according to research from Forbes.

13. George Harrison $9 million



Deceased: November 29, 2001

Cause of death: Cancer

George Harrison was an English musician, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.

Harrison died at age 58 of cancer, when Harrison died, talk immediately turned to his songwriting. Ten years later, his legacy is still being debated

Harrison has benefited from Beatles’ reissues as well as the Fab Four’s Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas

12. Whitney Houston, $9.5 million



Deceased: February 11, 2012

Cause of death: Drowning

Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American singer and actress. She was said to be the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records and is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time , with an estimated sales of over 200 million records worldwide.

Houston was found unconscious in Suite 434 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, submerged in the bathtub.

Houston’s death was caused by drowning and the effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use. It was stated that the amount of cocaine found in Houston’s body indicated that she used the substance shortly before her death. Toxicology results revealed additional drugs in her system

The $7 million sale this May of half her estate, along with the success of the Kygo remix of her “Higher Love” cover which has already clocked over 175 million Spotify spins paved the way for Houston’s debut on the Forbes list

11. XXXTentacion $10 million



Deceased: June 18, 2018

Cause of death: Homicide



Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy was an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. Despite being a controversial figure due to his widely publicized legal issues or maybe even because of them.



The 20-year-old rapper, was shot on 18 June in Florida and died in hospital.

Even after a 27% drop in year-over-year consumption, the polarizing South Florida rapper remains the most-streamed dead celebrity in the U.S. with 5.6 billion spins

10. Nipsey Hussle $11 million



Deceased: March 31, 2019

Cause of death: Homicide



Ermias Joseph Asghedom was an American rapper, activist, and entrepreneur. On March 31, 2019, Hussle was shot at least 10 times in the parking lot of his store.



Business savvy is eternal: Nipsey’s prescient focus on retaining the rights to his music monetized his 1.85 billion streams, third-most of any act on our list, at a greater rate than most artists dead or alive.

9. Prince $12 million



Deceased: April 21, 2016

Cause of death: Overdose



Prince Rogers Nelson, better known as ‘Prince’ was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. A press release made after his death said that he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, at the age of 57 on 21 April, 2016. With a career expanding 4 decades, Prince sold a quarter-million physical albums between November 2017 and October 2018 alone.



The Purple One continues to move music, including a robust 320,000 physical units and half a billion on-demand streams, an overall increase of 12% year-over-year.

8. Marilyn Monroe $13 million



Deceased: August 5, 1962

Cause of death: Overdose



One of the most popular dearly departed stars when it comes to licensing

The actor, died on 5 August 1962 at the age of 36 from acute barbiturate poisoning. Monroe, who continues to remain a pop culture icon, more than half a century after her death, regained a spot on the 2019 list of Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities due to new licensing deals a Zales collection to deals with the likes of Chanel and Montblanc.

7. John Lennon $14 million



Deceased: December 8, 1980

Cause of death: Homicide



English songwriter and singer, best known to have co-founded one of the most commercially successful bands, ‘the Beatles,’ died on 8 December 1980 after he was shot four times in the back by a fan in the US. He was 40 years old.

He continues to make money from his solo as well as Beatles work. According to Forbes Magazine, Lennon continues to sell nearly 2 million albums annually.

The 50th anniversary of Abbey Road has boosted the Beatles across streaming and digital—moving 2.2 million U.S. album-equivalents over the past year, more than any defunct act—with Lennon’s own catalogue leaping 52%.

6. Dr. Suess $19 million



Deceased: September 24, 1991

Cause of death: Cancer

Theodor Seuss Geisel, was an American children’s author, political cartoonist, and animator. He has written and illustrated over 60 books. He died on 24 September 1991 at the age of 87 from cancer. He sold 4.8 million books in 2017.

Oh, the places he still goes! Licensing deals with Hallmark, Universal Studios and others add to publishing empire that moved more than 5 million books stateside over the past 12 months.

5. Bob Marley $20 million



Deceased: May 11, 1981

Cause of death: Cancer



Considered one of the pioneers of reggae, the Jamaican singer and songwriter has remained a pop culture icon even after his death on 11 May, 1981. He died at the age of 36 from skin cancer.



U.S the ubiquity of Marley’s music keeps his House of Marley products including headphones, speakers and turntables from going up in smoke

4. Arnold Palmer $30 million



Deceased: September 25, 2016

Cause of death: Heart Disease



Arnold Daniel Palmer was an American professional golfer who died on 25 September 2016 from a heart disease. Palmer had a diverse golf-related business career.



The golf legend’s empire remains well above par, thanks to partnerships with MasterCard and Rolex. Then there’s his eponymous Arizona beverage, plus a boozy version launched by MolsonCoors this year.

3. Charles Schulz $38 million



Deceased: February 12, 2000

Cause of death: Cancer



Creator of one of the most popular comic strips, ‘Peanuts,’ the American cartoonist continues to make money from TV specials and merchandise sold with popular Peanuts characters- Snoopy and Charlie Brown. He died on 12 February 2000 from Colon Cancer at the age of 77.

Snoopy’s creator continues to cash in around his Peanuts franchise’s 70th anniversary. A licensing deal with Met Life, expiring this year, also adds double-digit millions to his eternal coffers.

2. Elvis Presley $39 million



Deceased: August 16, 1977

Cause of death: Heart Attack



Considered the ‘King of Rock and Roll,’ the American singer, musician, and actor is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, especially in the US. He died on 16 August 1977 of an heart attack at the age of 42. He continues to sell over 1 million albums every year, but the bulk of the King’s earnings come from tickets to Graceland and a new $45 million entertainment complex called Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

For decades, 500,000-plus visitors have made the pilgrimage to Graceland annually, prompting a recent $45 million addition called Elvis Presley’s Memphis. Up next: a biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann, starring Tom Hanks.

1. Michael Jackson $60 million



Deceased: June 25, 2009

Cause of death: Overdose/Homicide



The ‘King of Pop,’ who needs to introduction, made ten times more than the number 2 on this list in 2018. A major portion of the earnings for the year comes from the sale of his EMI Music Publishing stake to Sony for USD 287 million. Rest of the income comes from his Mijac Music catalogue, a new Sony record deal and projects like his TV special ‘Michael Jackson’s Halloween’, which returned to the American TV channel CBS for the second consecutive year.



The King of Pop’s streaming surged despite recent controversy: 2.1 billion U.S. spins, up from 1.8 billion a year ago. With proceeds flowing from his Mijac Music catalog, a Las Vegas show and a long-term deal with Sony, he retains his postmortem cash crown for the seventh consecutive year.

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