Nipsey Hussle Lands on 'Forbes' List of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities. ‘Forbes’ recently released a list of the top-earning dead celebrities of 2019. The list features 13 well-known celebrities who have continued to earn money even in their passing. . Nipsey Hussle, who was murdered in March of 2019, is the most recently deceased name on the list. He came in at no. 10, with $11 million earned in 2019 from 1.85 billion streams of his music. Hussle is just $1 million shy of Prince’s $12 million earnings, whi

Forbes’ top earning celebrities who are no longer living

Just because Nipsey Hussle, Whitney Houston and Marilyn Monroe are dead doesn’t mean they aren’t still making money

Just because you can’t take it with you doesn’t mean you can’t keep making it.

In the tradition of its top earning actors, comedians, rappers and others, Forbes has compiled a list of the top earning celebrities who have died. These 13 continue to make money even after their deaths — in one case nearly 60 years after.

Even as physical sales continue their long decline, the nine musicians on the list “generated 15.2 billion streaming spins over the past year in the U.S., up 38.5% from the prior 12 months. That sort of consumption offers the departed a second career from beyond the grave,” Forbes reported

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Here are Forbes’ top earning celebrities who are no longer alive and why they are still making money:

No. 13: George Harrison, $9 million

Date of death: Nov. 29, 2001

Harrison “has benefited from Beatles reissues — as well as the Fab Four’s Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas — vaulting him back into our rankings for the first time since 2011,” Forbes said.

LAS VEGAS, NV ? SEPTEMBER 15: Singer Whitney Houston is seen performing on stage during the 2004 World Music Awards at the Thomas and Mack Center on September 15, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

No. 12: Whitney Houston, $9.5 million 

Date of death: Feb. 11, 2012 

Half her estate sold for $7 million in May. That plus the success of the Kygo remix of her “Higher Love” cover paved the way for Houston’s debut on the list.

No. 11: XXXTentacion, $10 million

Date of death: June 18, 2018

The South Florida rapper remains the most-streamed deceased rapper in the United States more than a year after his death, with 5.6 billion spins.

No. 10: Nipsey Hussle, $11 million 

Date of death: March 31, 2019

Hussle’s “focus on retaining the rights to his music monetized his 1.85 billion streams, third-most of any act on our list, at a greater rate than most artists dead or alive,” Forbes wrote.

No. 9: Prince, $12 million 

Date of death: April 21, 2016

More than three years after his death, Prince continues to “move music,” Forbes wrote, “including a robust 320,000 physical units and half a billion on-demand streams, an overall increase of 12% year-over-year.”

No. 8: Marilyn Monroe, $13 million 

Date of death: Aug. 5, 1962

Monroe died nearly 60 years ago, but she remains one of the most popular celebrities when it comes to licensing, Forbes stated. “Monroe has added a Zales collection to deals with the likes of Chanel and Montblanc.”

No. 7: John Lennon, $14 million 

Date of death:  Dec. 8, 1980

Like Harrison, Lennon has benefited from the 50th anniversary of “Abbey Road,” which “boosted the Beatles across streaming and digital—moving 2.2 million U.S. album-equivalents over the past year, more than any defunct act—with Lennon’s own catalogue leaping 52%.”

Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, wrote over 40 children's books, but he also wrote a book for adults. MUST CREDIT: Courtesy of Dr. Seuss Enterprises.
Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Seuss Enterprise/Courtesy of Dr. Seuss Enterprise

No. 6: Dr. Seuss, $19 million 

Date of death: Sept. 24, 1991

Licensing deals added to the publishing business, which moved more than 5 million books in the U.S. over the past year.

No. 5: Bob Marley, $20 million 

Date of death: May 11, 1981

“With nearly 1 billion streaming spins in the U.S., the ubiquity of Marley’s music keeps his House of Marley products — including headphones, speakers and turntables —from going up in smoke,” Forbes wrote.

No. 4: Arnold Palmer, $30 million 

Date of death: Sept. 25, 2016

The golf legend continues to make money thanks to partnerships with MasterCard and Rolex, plus his half-tea, half-lemonade beverage deal with Arizona and the alcoholic version with MolsonCoors.

No. 3: Charles Schulz, $38 million 

Date of death: Feb. 12, 2000

A licensing deal with Met Life adds millions to the Peanuts franchise Schulz created 70 years ago.

No. 2: Elvis Presley, $39 million 

Date of death: Aug. 16, 1977

The bulk of Presley’s money comes from the half a million visitors each year to his Memphis home, Graceland.

Michael Jackson performing in 2002. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

No. 1: Michael Jackson, $60 million 

Date of death: June 25, 2009

Jackson had “2.1 billion U.S. spins, up from 1.8 billion a year ago,” Forbes wrote. “With proceeds flowing from his Mijac Music catalog, a Las Vegas show and a long-term deal with Sony, he retains his postmortem cash crown for the seventh consecutive year.”

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To determine its list, Forbes measured pretax income from Oct. 1, 2018, through Oct. 1, 2019. Numbers were compiled “with the help of data from Nielsen Music, IMDBPro and interviews with industry insiders. Fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted,” Forbes stated.

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