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10 Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities

by Nebojša Vujinović

There are many ways celebrities earn their money. Some sing, some act, and now is an era of social media, so there is also a way to become popular.

Celebrities make a lot of money when they are alive, and they enjoy the perks of being rich. But when they die, their income doesn’t just stop. The inheritors of the dead celebrity still get loads of money due to some legal regulations and rights.

The popularity of the celebrity after they die can still be enormous, especially if they loved them so much when they were alive, or if they did something good for mankind. 

Here is the list of 10 highest-paid dead celebrities for 2024 and how they ranked years before. 

10. Prince

Prince was widely known as one of the best musicians of his generation. He died from an overdose on April 21, 2016. Four years after his death his records continued to sell and he is No 10 on the list with $10 million. In previous years he was on number nine.

9. John Lennon

source: cheatsheet.com

Even though it’s been forty years since John Lennon’s murder, he is still making money from his music. Thanks to his co-writing of songs for The Beatles, John earned $13 million, which moved him from number 7 in 2019 to number 9 in 2024.

8. Bob Marley

Bob Marley died of cancer in 1981, but his music is still widely streamed. Thanks to his fans, the reggae legend earned $14 million in 2024, even though he was number 5 in 2019. He is also earning from the T-shirts, lighters, and also his line of speakers and headphones House of Marley.

7. Juice Wrld

source: rollingstone.com

Juice’s sudden death from overdose in 2019, at only 21, was a huge shock to the public. It’s also interesting that in his short career and with only three albums, he made $15 million. 

6. Kobe Bryant

source: si.com

It is still unbelievable to see Kobe’s name on the list of dead celebrities. After his and his daughter’s helicopter accident in January 2024, Nike sold out his merchandise, and also his autobiography was sold out which earned him $20 million in the first year of his death.

5. Elvis Presley

We can’t remember a year when the King of Rock & Roll wasn’t on the list. Unfortunately, the pandemic had a huge toll on his estate, moving him from number 2 in 2019, to number 5 in 2024. He still managed to earn $23 million and stay on the list in the top 5.

4. Arnold Palmer 

source: cdn.britannica.com

Golf legend Arnold Palmer managed to keep his 4th place on the list from last year. Thanks to many deals he made while living, he was on the list ever since he died in 2016. This year he earned $25 million.

3. Charles Schulz

source: keyassets.timeincuk.net

Peanuts is still everyone’s favourite strip, and it’s not a surprise that its creator Charles Schulz still earns a great amount of money even after his death in 2000. Charlie Brown and the gang brought 32.5 million into his bank account in 2024.

2. Dr. Seuss

source: streetz1033.com

Another great children’s author is found on this list. Dr. Seuss earned $33 million from his books, even though in 2024 some publishers decided they will stop producing them due to some racist parts. This was his second-best paid year, considering that he was number 6 on last year’s list.

1. Michael Jackson

The King of Pop is No 1 on this list almost 10 years in a row, with being second only in 2012. Ever since he died his records are streamed and sold in millions, and his deal with Sony is bringing him 70% of his earnings. This brought him $48 million in 2024 only and we are sure he will remain No1 in the years to come. Once a King, always a King.