Legends by no means actually die, they are saying. A few of our favorite late celebrities are nonetheless making extra money than most of us may see in a lifetime. Whether or not it’s going to their estates, labels, or foundations of their names, the money circulation hasn’t stopped. They continue to be a number of the highest-paid celebrities among the many lifeless and the dwelling.
Whereas 13 celebrities made the latest Forbes record of the world’s highest-paid lifeless celebrities, with Michael Jackson main the pack, our focus is on the black music legends, who nonetheless closely affect world popular culture a long time after their dying.
The collective earnings of those 13 deceased celebrities reached an estimated $470 million during the last 12 months, marking a major 70% dip from the staggering $1.6 billion achieved in 2022.
This decline in income is essentially as a consequence of a major drop within the gross sales of main music catalogues, which had previously boosted the revenue of those legendary figures. In distinction to the earlier yr, the place over fifty % of the main earners gained from the acquisition of mental property rights, this cycle has witnessed only one movie star keep that place.
Let’s take a better take a look at the late black entertainers who made the record of the highest-paid lifeless celebrities.
Incomes: $115 Million
Died on: June 25, 2009
Reason behind dying: Overdose/Murder
Michael Jackson’s legacy because the King of Pop stays unshaken. This cultural icon of the late twentieth century, who started his journey with The Jackson 5, catapulted into the highlight along with his solo profession at simply 13. However it was his 1979 fifth studio album ‘Thriller’ that launched him into world prominence, having offered over 47 million copies.
Right this moment, his property advantages from the Broadway sensation, ‘MJ: The Musical’, which grossed about $85 million in ticket gross sales during the last 12 months. Jackson additionally rakes in thousands and thousands from the Cirque du Soleil present, ‘Michael Jackson ONE,’ in Las Vegas.
It’s projected that his earnings will proceed to rise as his property not too long ago signed a deal for a Michael Jackson biopic, which might be directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Jackson’s nephew Jaafar, making certain his standing amongst highest-paid celebrities even in dying.
Incomes: $30 Million
Died on: February 11, 2012
Reason behind dying: Unintentional Drowning
Whitney Houston’s unparalleled vocal prowess earned her the nickname “The Voice”. Whereas her life was a tapestry of highs and lows, her musical legacy stays untainted.
This yr marked what would have been her sixtieth birthday, and in celebration, her property witnessed a surge in collaborations and a biographical movie, ‘Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Someone’. The biopic garnered practically $60 million globally. With MAC Cosmetics releasing a set in her honour, the resonance of Whitney’s affect is plain.
Her property is run by her sister-in-law, Pat Houston, and Major Wave, cementing her place among the many highest-paid celebrities.
Incomes: $30 Million
Died on: April 21, 2016
Reason behind Demise: Overdose
Prince Rogers Nelson was an American singer, songwriter, musician, file producer, and actor. The recipient of quite a few awards and nominations, he’s extensively thought to be one of many best musicians of his era.
Prince famously referred to as the afterlife “a world of endless happiness.” For his property—and Major Wave, which owns a stake in his masters royalties, author’s share, title, and likeness—which means publishing extra music.
Since Prince’s dying in 2016, the Purple One has launched three posthumous albums. And later this month, a remastered model of his basic 1991 album Diamonds and Pearls is dropping. The field set options 47 unreleased songs and hours of never-before-seen live performance footage, including to his posthumous highest-paid celebrities earnings.
Incomes: $16 Million
Died on: Could 11, 1981
Reason behind dying: Most cancers
Robert “Bob” Nesta Marley is taken into account one of many pioneers of Jamaica’s reggae music and arguably gave it worldwide publicity. Fusing reggae with components of ska and rocksteady, Marley’s heartfelt lyrics and infectious melodies made him and his work one thing of a benchmark, not simply in reggae but additionally as a singer-songwriter.
Greater than 40 years after Bob Marley’s dying, his music continues to be in excessive demand. As are the rights to his title and likeness, which may be discovered on headphones, audio system, sneakers, and, sure, hashish.
Earlier this yr, the primary Marley-branded dispensary opened in his native Jamaica. And subsequent yr, the film Bob Marley: One Love, starring Kingsley Ben Adir, will hit the large display, contributing to his rating among the many highest-paid celebrities.
How their earnings have been calculated
This yr’s Useless Superstar rating consists of pretax earnings from gross sales, streams, licensing offers, and different sources between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023, in addition to property acquisitions made or introduced throughout the identical interval.
Forbes compiles the numbers with the assistance of credible information and interviews with business insiders. Charges for brokers, managers, and attorneys will not be deducted, however the figures are nonetheless sufficient to position these iconic figures among the many highest-paid celebrities in historical past.