‘Kings’ top dead celebrity list

Michael Jackson’s sudden death sparked an outpouring of grief
around the world, but fans also opened their wallets to make him this year’s
top-earning dead celebrity with $275 million.

Jackson raked in more than the combined total of the
other 12 celebrities on the list, Forbes magazine said. He was ranked third on last
year’s list with $90 million.

Elvis Presley came in second, earning $60
million from admissions to his former home, Graceland, which is now a museum and tourist
attraction in Memphis, Tennessee, a Cirque
de Soleil show and
more than 200 licensing and merchandise deals.

“The Lord of the Rings” author J.R.R. Tolkien, whose trilogy of novels was made
into films by director Peter Jackson, came in at No. 3 on the Forbes
list with earnings of $50 million, while Charles Schulz, the creator of Charlie Brown
and Snoopy, came in fourth with $33 million.

Former
Beatle John Lennon, who would have turned 70 this year, was
ranked No. 5 with an income of $17 million.

Presley, Tolkien, Schulz and Lennon all appeared on last
year’s list, which was topped by fashion designer Yves
Saint Laurent with
$350 million after the sale of much of his estate. But Saint Laurent dropped
off the list this year along with author Michael Crichton an artist Andy
Warhol.

Along
with Jackson, newcomers to this year’s list included Yankees baseball team owner George Steinbrenner at No. 9 with $8 million, and Swedish author Stieg
Larsson, who wrote the
popular mystery Millennium Trilogy novels that began with “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” at No. 6 with $18 million.

A
deceased celebrity needed to earn at least $5 million between 1 October, 2009
and 1 October , 2010 to make this year’s list, Forbes said. The magazine spoke
to agents, lawyers and other sources to estimate annual gross earnings.

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Michael Jackson’s is this year’s top-earning dead celebrity with $275 million.
Photo: File

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