In a competitive world today, it’s difficult for celebrities to stay relevant for a long time, but some legends have the power to remain in our hearts and minds even years after they departed the world. The deceased icons manage to hold on to their limelight thanks to their ever-loyal fanbase. Many times, this love is seen in the cash flow even years after they aren’t with us.
From Michael Jackson to Bob Marley and Elvis Presley, scroll down and see which late musician made how many millions owning to revenues from music streams, royalties for their work, marketing, licensing deals, merch sales and more.
Michael Jackson – $48 million
Since 2010 Michael Jackson has been the highest-paid late musician owing to the millions of fans he has worldwide. On June 25, 2009, MJ passed away due to a cardiac arrest induced by acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication. Jackson’s Mijac Music catalogue and a long-term deal with Sony account for more than 70% of his earnings. As per reports, his name was earned him $48 million last year.
Elvis Presley – $23 million
The King of Rock and Roll passed away on August 16, 1977, after suffering a heart attack. Post that, his home, Graceland, was turned into a museum, and it accounts for the most earning for the late singer. The singer received $39 million in 2019, but the coronavirus pandemic affected the tourism there – as it was shut down for a couple of months. As per reports, the late singer’s music stream, the home-turned-museum and others made $23 million.
Juice Wrld – $15 million
Rapper Jarad Higgins aka Juice WRLD, saw a spike in his music streams post his shocking death on December 8, 2019, after an overdose. The artiste, who was only 21 at the time of his death, has released his second album, Death Race for Love, less than a year before passing away. His third album, Legends Never Die, was released posthumously and topped the Billboard charts. In 2020, he received $15 million, making him the third highest-paid late musician post his demise.
Bob Marley – $14 million
There is no change you haven’t heard a Bob Marley song to date. Marley, who is known for his hits like Buffalo Soldier, Get Up Stand Up, Jamming, Is This Love and more, died on May 11, 1981, after suffering from cancer. Bob Marley music is much loved, and 2020 saw his music streams soar. Besides this, House of Marley, his line of speakers, turntables and headphones, and sales of T-shirts and lighters adorned with his likeness have earned around $14 million for the late musician.
John Lennon – $13 million
Singer, songwriter, and peace activist John Lennon was part of the Beatles. The musician, who continued his career even after the band disbanded in 1970, died on December 8, 1980, after a fan named Mark David Chapman shot him twice outside his Manhattan residence. As per reports, the singer was the recipient of $12 million in 2020 owing to his songs being used in films and on TV.
Prince – $10 million
The Billboard Icon Award winner passed away due to an accidental fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park home on April 21, 2016. The singer, who was 57 at the time of his death, has been credited with several hit songs such as When Doves Cry, The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, If I Was Your Girlfriend and many more. In 2020, the singer’s The Purple One sold nearly 700,000 album equivalents in the United States and was a significant reason behind making $10 million.
Freddie Mercury – $9 million
Freddie Mercury died on November 24, 1991, at 45, after suffering from AIDS. When the Rami Malek starrer Bohemian Rhapsody released in 2018, it brought Mercury back in the limelight. And with fans re-listening to his tracks, the late artiste has been minting money in the afterlife. The success of the film led to the Brit Award winner’s estate reaping a small portion of the film’s nearly $1 billion box office. It also led to a spike in his music and merchandise sales. As per reports, the musician received $9 million in 2020 alone.
*All numbers are as per Forbes Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities Of 2020.
Did you know musicians make these amounts post their death?