After losing out to Elizabeth Taylor last year, Michael Jackson reclaims the top slot on Forbes Top-Earning Dead Celebrities list. Without the $184 million from her record-breaking Christie’s auction this year, Liz drops all the way to No. 4. Meanwhile, MJ is once again the king by earning $160 million from the past year.
That figure is already impressive enough but when you compare it to the publication’s top earner on their recent Celebrity 100 list, it’s astonishing. Madonna raked in $125 million. It’s the third time in the past five years that a dead celebrity has outranked a living one. Apparently, it pays more to be dead than alive these days. Check out the rest of the Top 10 deceased celebrities below.
Poor Audrey Hepburn. While fellow dead icons like Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Marlene Dietrich appeared with Charlize Theron in Dior’s J’Adore commercial, the Breakfast at Tiffanys actress rises from the dead to hawk milk chocolate. Not nearly as glamorous, but I’m sure pretty lucrative for her estate. Her children Sean Ferrer and Luca Dotti stated that their mother was a chocolate fan and would’ve been “proud” to be in the ad. Yeah, right!!! Lol.
The Hollywood legend is the new face of Galaxy chocolate. Hepburn is digitally resurrected using footage from her iconic flick Roman Holiday. She’s shown riding in a bus, but ditches it when she sees a hottie in a sleek convertible. The two then ride off enjoying the Almafi coast and Galaxy chocolate of course.
This isn’t the first time Audrey rose from the dead to shill product. Since her death in 1993, she’s appeared in ads for Gap and Ikea. I wonder what will be next. It’ll be interesting to see if this endorsement deal puts her in Forbes Top 10 Earning Dead Celebrities For 2013. She didn’t make last year’s cut. Check out the commercial below.
Elizabeth Taylor isn’t letting a little thing called death slow her down. The movie legend is numero uno on Forbes annual list of Top Earning Dead Celebrities. Taylor passed away due to heart failure in March 2011 and landed at No. 5 on last year’s list. This year, the Cleopatra actress stepped it up and is now the queen amongst the deceased.
Forbes is reporting Liz raked in an astonishing $210 million in the past 12 months. Much of that figure (roughly $184 million) came from her record-breaking Christie’s auction where much of her belongings and memorabilia sold for insanely high prices. With no other auctions planned, Elizabeth will undoubtedly drop on next year’s list, which should make Michael Jackson’s estate very happy. The ‘King of Pop’ was the runner-up this year by earning $145 million.
The difference between second and third place is huge. Elvis Presley was about $90 million shy of MJ’s figure with $55 million in earnings. Other dead celebrities who made the list include John Lennon, Bob Marley, Marilyn Monroe, Albert Einstein (yup the scientist) and some dude named Theodor Geisel. For those who don’t know, Geisel wrote under the pen name Dr. Seuss. I’m sure you’ve heard of him ;) See below to find out how they and others ranked in Forbes’ Top 10 list this year.
This weekend at Coachella, surprise guest appearances had the festival buzzing. You’d think Rihanna’s impromptu performance during Calvin Harris’ set would’ve been the highlight of the first weekend of Coachella, but you’d be “dead” wrong. Instead, it was a dead musician’s resurrection that had media talking the next day. Audiences watching Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre were wowed by Tupac Shakur’s rise from the ashes.
Tupac’s hologram was such a hit, there is now talk that plans for a virtual Shakur tour is underway. YOWZA. Talk about milking a dead cow. Posthumous releases from dead artists are the norm these days, but a concert tour is unheard of. Could Tupac be the first deceased musician to sell out Madison Square Garden? If so, that would really pump up his earnings and could push him on top of Forbes Top-Earning Dead Celebrities list for 2012.
With the overwhelming reception of Shakur’s hologram, one has to naturally think which celebrity is next to receive the 3D treatment? Is it too soon for a Whitney Houston or Amy Winehouse hologram? Or should Tupac’s former rap rival The Notorious B.I.G. be next? How about going back even further and resurrect Elvis Presley or Jimi Hendrix. Perhaps, Chili and T-Boz might want to think about hologram’ing Left Eye for a TLC tour? I’m curious to know what you think and created a poll below. Be sure to cast your vote.
Forbes has just released their annual list of the Top-Earning Dead Celebrities for 2011. It’s been two years since his death, but not surprisingly, Michael Jackson has topped the list once once again. How much did he earn from his grave? A whopping $170 million.
I’ve included their list of the 15 celebrities that prove they know how to make the big bucks even when they’re dead. There are several ties in terms of placement on the list, but there are fifteen stars in total. Some of the celebrities have been on this list for years, while one is joining a close friend on this list this year.
All of these big earners died from different causes, ranging from cancer, murder, overdose, surgery complications, to heart attacks. One thing remains consistent though, and that was their ability to leave behind a legacy before they passed. Check out who the top earning dead celebrities were this past year (and how much they made) below.