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Michael Jackson Tops Forbes’ List of Highest-Earning Deceased Celebs

Michael Jackson
Dave Hogan, Getty Images

For the second year in a row, Michael Jackson, who died on June 25, 2009, has been named the ‘Top-Earning Dead Celebrity’ by Forbes. According to the list, Jackson’s estate raked in more than $170 million thanks to music sales, the King of Pop’s “stake in the Sony/ATV catalog,” and other contributing factors like Cirque Du Soleil’s show ‘Immortal,’ which is based off of Jackson’s life and career.

Although $170 million seems like an unimaginable amount of money to most, this sum is not even close to the amount Jackson’s estate brought in last year. In 2010, Jackson topped the Forbes list for bringing in more than $275 million in revenues, however, his modest sum of $170 million this year still allowed him to become to the “second highest-earning pop act over the past year, dead or alive, after U2.”

Following MJ on the ‘Top-Earning Dead Celebrities’ list are Elvis Presley ($55 million), Marilyn Monroe ($27 million), ‘Peanuts’ creator Charles Schulz ($25 million), and Jackson’s good friend Elizabeth Taylor ($12 million), who tied at No. 5 with Beatles member John Lennon.

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