Forbes magazine recently published it’s list of the top earning dead celebrities in the year to October 1st 2010. Unsurprisingly there are a number of dead musicians, singers and a composer in the list. They share the space with authors, actors, a cartoonist, a sports franchise owner, a TV Producer and a scientist!. Obviously I only intend to focus on the musical aspects of the list, but here is the top 13. Why 13? Why not? It also includes their earnings for the year. Only one living celebrity topped Jacko’s earnings and that was Oprah Winfrey. He also earned more than the combined totals of the two biggest living musical earners; U2 and AC/DC. Read about it on the Forbes site here and also on the BBC here.
No. 1 Michael Jackson – $275 million – Here is Michael with the Jackson 5 with the frankly underrated and underplayed “Sugar Daddy”. A truly brilliant slice of Motown magic!
No. 2 Elvis Presley – $60 million – Here he is with a classic and probably one of my favourite Elvis songs, “Suspicious Minds” originally recorded in the Memphis sessions in the late 60s
No. 3 J.R.R. Tolkien – $50 million
No. 4 Charles Schultz – $33 million
No. 5 John Lennon – $17 million – I have included loads of Lennon stuff recently so here is an excellent Lennon tribute song from Dan Bull called “Lennononandonandon”
No. 6 Stieg Larsson – $15 million
No. 7 Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) – $11 million
No. 8 Albert Einstein – $10 million
No. 9 George Steinbrenner – $8 million
No. 10 Richard Rodgers – $7 million – This is the Richard Rodgers off of Rodgers and Hammerstein and below you can see a rather interesting version of their classic song “The Lady Is A Tramp” sung by the somewhat eccentric Nina Hagen.
No. 11 (tie) Jimi Hendrix – $6 million – Here is Jimi with his classic cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower”. Dylan was so impressed with it that it is now the arrangement he uses when he plays the song live.
No. 11 (tie) Steve McQueen – $6 million
No. 13 Aaron Spelling -$5 million