Michael Jackson has been named by Forbes magazine as the top earning dead celebrity of the past year.
The King of Pop, who was age 50 when he passed away, reclaimed the top spot from his old friend Elizabeth Taylor who passed away back in 2011.
Much of the singer’s cash has come from his two Cirque Du Soleil shows. Immortal grossed an impressive $300 million since opening last year and Las Vegas show One ‘regularly sells out,’ according to the magazine.
He also earns mega bucks from his half of the Sony song catalogue, which includes hits by The Beatles, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift.
Jackson died from acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication after suffering a cardiac arrest at his Holmby Hills home in Los Angeles on June 25 2009.
His personal physician Dr Conrad Murray was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
Jackson’s posthumous earnings beat Madonna, who raked in $125 million between June 2012 and June 2013 and topped the magazine’s recent Celebrity 100 list.
Elizabeth Taylor dropped down to fourth on the Forbes list after topping the 2012 list. That year, she made a posthumous $210 million from auction sales at Christie’s of her art, jewels and clothes.
Taylor, who died aged 79 of heart failure, still earns a large amount from her White Diamonds perfume along with her rights in old movies teamed with stock and real estate investments.
The magazine also reports that Taylor’s estate are working on ‘several licensing deals’ for the future.
The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Elvis Presley was second to the King Of Pop in the list, raking in $55 million in earnings.
Elvis, who died of a heart attack aged 42 in Memphis, Tennessee, has continued to make money through licensing his iconic image and through his home Graceland which is now a popular museum.
The magazine reports that billionaire Leon Black and his firm, Apollo Global Management purchased CKX – which manages the estates of both Elvis and Muhammad Ali – for $509 million back in 2011.
Charles Schulz comes in third place with his endearing Peanuts cartoons earning him $37 million in the past year.
The Snoopy gang is also set to be a new feature animated film from Twentieth Century Fox from a screenplay by Craig Schulz (Schulz’s son) and the writing team of Bryan Schulz (Charles Schulz’s grandson) and Cornelius Uliano.
According to an Entertainment Weekly report, the production is slated for release on November 25 2015 which marks the 65th anniversary of the first Peanuts comic strip.
Bob Marley is still earning steadily since his untimely death from cancer aged just 36 in 1981, coming in fifth place on the list.
Forbes reports that there are now Bob Marley speakers, messenger bags and even a a line of drinks named for the late star.
The No Woman No Cry singer has also shifted an impressive 75 million albums in the past two decades.
And with her image recently used in a Dior advertising campaign, it is no surprise that Marilyn Monroe makes sixth place on the list.
Her licensing affairs are dealt with by the Authentic Brand Group and Monroe’s image appears on everything from clothing, giftware, collectibles and paper products.
U.S. department store Macy’s is selling a line of Monroe clothes and there are also a chain of Marilyn Monroe cafes, nail salons and luxury spas with a view to franchising hundreds more.
John Lennon comes in next, coining in an impressive $12 million from sales of the Beatles back catalogue – the band have sold more than 63 million alums in the US alone since 1992.
The Beatles-themed Cirque du Soleil show which has become a Las Vegas staple, has also continued to make money for the Lennon estate.
Albert Einstein, who died in 1955, continues to generate millions of dollars after his death with his image associated with ‘smart’ products and more unlikely bobbleheads and Halloween masks.
Forbes reports that Montblanc put out a limited edition Einstein pen this year which sold for $3,000 and adds that the scientist’s name will also be put to a line of ‘smart’ food.
He is followed on the list by model Bettie Page whose much-vaunted style has earned her the title of ultimate pin-up girl.
A line of Bettie Page boutiques in U.S. cities including New York City, Las Vegas and Portland earned the late actress $10 million.
Rounding off the list is Theodor Geisel whose Dr Seuss children’s books have been made into a slew of hit Hollywood films.
The animated version of The Lorax, featuring the voice talents of Zac Efron, Taylor Swift and Danny DeVito, brought in $349 million in 2012.
A CGI remake of his classic The Cat In The Cat is in the works, with his widow Audrey, executively producing.
Forbes compiled the list from money coming into the late celebrity’s estates from October 2012-2013.