Rich Dead Celebrities

I had no idea how much money dead celebrities earn. But according to an article in Forbes Magazine, being dead doesn’t necessarily turn off the cash flow spigot.

So here, in case you’re interested, are the top ten dead celebrities who earned the most money in 2022:

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, author of “Lord of the Rings,” who died at 81 on September 2, 1973, earned $500 million in 2022.
  2. Kobe Bryant, NBA basketball star, who died at 41 on January 26, 2020, earned $400 million.
  3. David Bowie, musician, who died at 69 on January 10, 2016, earned $250 million.
  4. Elvis Presley, singer, who died at 42 on August 16, 1977, earned $110 million.
  5. James Brown, singer, who died at 73 on December 25, 2006, earned $100 million.
  6. Michael Jackson, singer, who died at 50 on June 25, 2009, earned $75 million.
  7. Leonard Cohen, singer/songwriter, who died at 82 on November 7, 2016, earned $55 million.
  8. Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel), children’s books author, who died at 87 on September 24, 1991, earned $32 million.
  9. Jeff Porcaro, drummer (Toto) and songwriter, who died at 38 on August 5, 1992, earned $25 million.
  10. Charles Schulz, cartoonist (Peanuts), who dies at 77 on February 12, 2000, earned $24 million.

The two dead Beatles, John Lennon and George Harrison, were the number 12 and number 13, respectively, celebrity earners in 2022. John Lennon, who died at 40 on December 8, 1980, earned $16 million. George Harrison, who died at 58 on November 29, 2001, earned $12 million.

Interestingly, during my entire working career I don’t think I earned anywhere near what these dead guys earned just this year. Sheesh!

Image credit: Forbes.

39 thoughts on “Rich Dead Celebrities

  1. Nope, Not Pam November 15, 2022 / 6:18 pm

    The dead do a lot of work from the grave 🙄

    Liked by 2 people

      • Nope, Not Pam November 16, 2022 / 2:35 am

        I am so sick of the music charts being full of dead artists music

        Liked by 1 person

        • Lolsy's Library November 17, 2022 / 3:58 am

          I know he’s not dead, and I totally love Elton John. But his new “remixes” with “younger” singers are boring me to death! lol

          Liked by 2 people

          • Nope, Not Pam November 17, 2022 / 11:12 am

            Elton John is a legend, but I agree, those younger artists need to work it out themselves, not ride on his coat tails

            Liked by 2 people

  2. ganga1996 November 15, 2022 / 7:04 pm

    This is good for the family right? Taking care of their family even after they are dead.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shweta Suresh November 15, 2022 / 7:42 pm

    I had no idea that they were still earning. I don’t think I am going to be able to earn anywhere near what these dead guys earned just this year my whole career! Hopefully this money goes to their loved ones and not to greedy corps.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gr8BigFun November 15, 2022 / 9:16 pm

    For some, the money doesn’t start flowing until they are dead. Think of every famous painter ever!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango November 15, 2022 / 9:24 pm

      True, but these are (mostly) contemporary celebrities, so it’s hard to imagine the sums some of these dead folks are still taking in.


  5. donmatthewspoetry November 16, 2022 / 12:04 am

    Little Billy wants to be a Poet Laureate in Nonsense (follow in my footsteps) and make lotsa money. I told him poets don’t make any money.. He’s given the PL idea the flick. I suggested electrician. Like Stan. Electrician to the Queen. His eyes are lighting up……..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Taswegian1957 November 16, 2022 / 2:09 am

    I’m just surprised that it’s nearly 7 years that David Bowie has been gone.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. CARAMEL November 17, 2022 / 3:55 am

    Their relatives are not going to have to do a day’s work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 17, 2022 / 4:10 pm

      If they get the money after the money managers and big corporations take their cuts.


  8. leigha66 November 24, 2022 / 12:29 am

    Wow! I had no idea most of them still were raking in those kinds of amounts. Very surprising!

    Liked by 1 person

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