Tuesday 25 October 2016

Michael Jackson is top-earning celebrity for 2016 with $825m

Lucy Mapstone

Published 13/10/2016 | 02:30

Pop singer Michael Jackson, who died in 2009, earned $825m this year, according to ‘Forbes’ magazine. Photo: PA
Pop singer Michael Jackson, who died in 2009, earned $825m this year, according to ‘Forbes’ magazine. Photo: PA

Michael Jackson has earned more in the past year than any celebrity - dead or alive - has ever earned in a 12-month period, according to the 'Forbes' top-earning dead celebrities list for 2016.

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The late pop icon topped the annual list with a record-breaking income of US$825m (€748m) this year.

This was largely due to the $750m sale of Jackson's half in the Sony/ATV Music Publishing catalogue, complete with a library of Beatles tracks.

Jackson owned a 50pc stake in Sony ATV Music Publishing as part of a business partnership that started in 1995.

The purchase gave Sony the rights to some three million songs, including tracks by the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Taylor Swift.

However, the deal did not include Jackson's master recordings.

Jackson's estate maintained its holdings in Mijac Music, which owns all the songs written by Jackson, as well as EMI Music Publishing.

Jackson, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 50, has topped the annual list for deceased celebrities every year since his death - apart from in 2012, when he came second to Hollywood star Elizabeth Taylor.

The next closest contender on the list is 'Peanuts' creator and cartoonist Charles M Schulz, who has earned $48m in the last year.

New additions to this year's list include music stars David Bowie and Prince, both of whom passed away in the first half of 2016.

Bowie is ranked at 11th place with an estimated income of $10.5m following his death at age 69 in January.

Singer-songwriter With an estimated income of $25m, Prince, who died aged 57 in April, has made his debut on the list in fifth place.

American golfer Arnold Palmer is third on the list, Elvis Presley is in fourth place and singer-songwriter Bob Marley is sixth.

'Forbes' estimated the pre-tax income of personalities from October 1, 2015 through to October 1, 2016 from a variety of sources before taking away expenses for agents, managers and lawyers.

The full list of top-earning dead celebrities for 2016:

1. Michael Jackson - $825m 2. Charles M Schulz - $48m

3. Arnold Palmer - $40m

4. Elvis Presley - $27m 5. Prince - $25m

6. Bob Marley - $21m 7. Theodor 'Dr Seuss' Geisel - $20m

8. John Lennon - $12m

9. Albert Einstein - $11.5m

10. Bettie Page - $11m

11. David Bowie - $10.5m 12. Steve McQueen - $9m

13. Elizabeth Taylor - $8m

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