These dead celebrities are still making money

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Some of the world most famous entertainers have passed and left behind their legends and great bodies of work, which is still bringing big bucks to their estates. Who among these artists makes the most money, years after their death?

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Bob Marley performing live on stage at the Brighton Leisure Centre, UK.(Photo by Mike Prior/Redferns)

Bob Marley

Musician Robert "Bob" Nesta Marley is considered one of the pioneers of Jamaica's reggae music and arguably gave it international exposure.  Fusing reggae with elements of ska and rocksteady, Marley's heartfelt lyrics and infectious melodies made him and his work something of a benchmark, not just in reggae but also as a singer-songwriter.

Marley sadly passed away from skin cancer on May 11, 1981. He was 36. His legacy and astounding back catalog earned the Bob Marley estate $20 million last year, according to Forbes.

Arnold Palmer tees off on the 10th hole with a good margin of lead over Phil Rodgers and Jacky Cupit. Palmer went on to win the World Series Playoff berth by defeating Rodgers by 5 strokes and Cupit by 7.

Arnold Palmer 

Professional golf player, Arnold Palmer, is often remembered as one of the greats of the game. Since 1995, his illustrious career has won a number of events including PGA Tour and the circuit (now called PGA Tour Champions). In 1974 Palmer was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974, cementing his place amongst the best in the field.

During his life, he made lucrative partnerships with brands like Rolex and MasterCard and lent his name, image and signature to AriZona iced tea.

Palmer died in 2016 of heart disease. He was 87. In 2019, Palmer still brought in $30 million.

Charles M. Schulz with a few of his Peanuts characters, including (on top of books) Lucy van Pelt and Charlie Brown, and below, from left, Linus (with blanket), Snoopy and Schroeder (at piano). Image dated January 1, 1962. (Photo by CBS via Getty Ima

Charles Schultz

Cartoonist Charles Monroe "Sparky" Schulz was the man behind the popular Peanuts comic strip, which features characters like Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Woodstock. Schultz has often been called the most influential cartoonist of all time. He inspired others such as Garfield creator Jim Davis and The Simpsons creator Matt Groening.

Schultz's success with Peanuts resulted in an animated TV show, movies and merchandise. The accomplished cartoonist passed away from cancer in 2000. He was 77.

Last year, Schultz and Peanuts made $38 million.


Rock and roll musician Elvis Presley performing on the Elvis comeback TV special on June 27, 1968. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Elvis Presley

The King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley, is one of the key icons of the 20th century. He ushered in a wave of new music in 1954. And since then, Presley has sold an estimated one billion records worldwide.

Despite dying from a heart attack in 1977, Presley still continued to sell hit songs posthumously and Presley memorabilia and merchandise add to the fortune he already earned prior to his death at age 42.

Elvis Presley is often considered the highest-selling individual artist based on sales claims, and his last biggest hit came with 2002's A Little Less Conversation (as Elvis vs JXL). The song was a number 1 hit in no less than 13 countries 25 years after he died.

In 2019, Presley earned around $39 million.


VARIOUS, VARIOUS – JUNE 25: Michael Jackson performs in concert circa 1986. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Michael Jackson

From the King of Rock 'n' Roll to the King of Pop. Michael Jackson is regarded as one of the most important cultural icons of the late 20th century. He started off as a young singer with his brothers in The Jackson 5 and went on to have a solo career at just 13. But it was his fifth studio album in 1979 that really marked the beginning of a phenomenally successful and prominent career.

His 1982 album 'Thriller' has sold more than 47 million copies since its release.

Jackson died in 2009 from a cardiac arrest. Ten years later, his estate still brought in an astounding $60 million.


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