Elvis Remains Top-Earning Dead Celeb
Elvis is still the king when it comes to earning royalties, according to Forbes magazine, but Shakespeare could have given him a run for the money.Elvis is still the king when it comes to earning royalties, according to Forbes magazine, but Shakespeare could have given him a run for the money. Forbes' annual list of Ten-Top Earning Dead Celebrities showed Elvis Presley was top earner for the fifth straight year, generating $45 million for his estate.
"Peanuts" cartoonist Charles Schulz held his customary spot at No. 2, with $35 million.
Presley died in 1977 and his music is still going strong, but he has a long way to go to outlast Shakespeare, still on theater marquees nearly 400 years after his death.
The magazine calculated what the Bard's heirs might collect each year if he were still under copyright and estimated it at $15 million with over 5,000 performances of his plays and hundreds of thousands of books sold in the last year.
That would put him behind fellow Englishman and former Beatle John Lennon (No. 3 at $22 million) and artist Andy Warhol (No. 4, $16 million) and ahead of dead heavyweights such as Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe.
This year's list also showed the big impact of Hollywood, as Johnny Cash and Ray Charles broke into the top rankings as the release or planned release of film biographies boosted their royalty statements.
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