13 Dead Celebrities Who Made Millions In 2018

They may be gone, but they're not forgotten. Check out this list of musicians, athletes, actors, animators, writers, and a pinup girl who top the list of dearly departed still making millions. While some like Michael Jackson and Hugh Hefner were expected, there are definitely some surprises.

13. Bettie Paige = $7 million 

She died in 2008 at the age of 85, but this iconic model and pinup girl's image is still being used on clothing, accessories and alcohol brands,

12. Muhammad Ali = $8 million

The Greatest, passed in 2016 at the age of 74.  What put Ali on this list this year was a lucrative deal with Tag Heuer and payment of settlement from Fox Broadcasting who used his image in a Super Bowl ad.

11. XXXTentacion = $11 million

This 20-year old rapper was murdered earlier this year.  His passing had a major impact on the 4 billion streams his music racked up this year.  Listen to XXXTentacion's music on iHeartRadio.

10. John Lennon = $12 million

The former Beatle was 40 when he was murdered in 1980. And despite almost 4 decades having passed since his death, he still sells nearly 2 million albums each year. Enjoy John Lennon's music on iHeartRadio.

9. Prince = $13 million

The Purple One passed over two years ago at the age of 57.  In the last year, Prince  sold over 250,000 physical albums.  Enjoy Prince music on iHeartRadio.

8. Marilyn Monroe = $14 million

Marilyn has been gone longer than any other celebrity on this list, having died at 36 in 1962. The past year was lucrative for her estate thanks to new licensing deals with companies like Montblanc.

7. Hugh Hefner = $15 million

Hugh died in 2017 at the age of 91 and this year his heirs saw a big influx of cash from a partial payment on the sale of his $35 million estate.

6. Dr Seuss = $16 million

He was 87 when he passed away in 1991 but his books are as popular as ever, with sales over the past year totaling $4.8 million.

5. Bob Marley = $23 million

Reggae musician Bob Marley was just 36 when he passed away in 1981. His legacy includes a line of headphones and a company called Marley Natural that produces cannabis and smoking accessories.  Enjoy Bob Marley's music on iHeartRadio.

4. Charles Schulz = $34 million

In 2000 the Peanuts creator passed away at the age of 77.  His well-loved and icon cartoon characters generate a lot more than peanuts for his estate and in 2017 Iconix sold 80% of the Peanuts business to DHX Media for $345 million.

3. Arnold Palmer = $35 million

The golf great passed away in 2016 at the age of 87. His lucrative beverage line launched a new alcoholic version in partnership with the MolsonCoors company.

2. Elvis Presley = $40 million

In 1972 the King's, lifestyle caught up with him when he suffered cardiac arrest at the age of 42. Over 4 decades later, Elvis still sells over a million albums annually.  In addition to music sales, his home Graceland continues to be a tourist attraction. plus his estate will also see revenue from the new $45 million entertainment complex, Elvis Presley's Memphis. Enjoy Elvis Presley's music on iHeartRadio.

1. Michael Jackson = $400 million

It's been almost a decade since the King of Pop passed away at the age of 50 in 2009.  It's no surprise that his estate is still extremely lucrative but what sent it skyrocketing this past year was the sale of his stake in EMI Music Publishing to Sony for $287 million.  Enjoy Michael Jackson's music on iHeartRadio. 

Photos: Getty Images

The list was created by Forbes Magazine who evaluated pretax earning from October 1, 2017 to October 1, 2018.

A company called Lazarus, Inc. has created a $400 million dollar business from buying and handling the licensing of deals of estates for numerous deceased celebrities. Read more about it in this Forbes article.  



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