BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 13 August, 2002, 08:13 GMT 09:13 UK
Elvis tops dead celebrity fortune list
Elvis Presley
Millions of Americans have impersonated Elvis
The 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death has ensured The King remains top of the list of the biggest-earning dead celebrities.

The late star, who died on 16 August 1977, earned $37m (24m) in the past year as fans continue to snap up his music and merchandise.

Influential US business website Forbes.com has compiled its second list of the 13 most profitable dead celebrities under the heading Earnings from the Crypt.

The top four from last year remain unchanged with Peanuts cartoonist Charles Shultz's estate valued at more than $28m (18.2m), a rise of more than 8m on 2001, putting him at number two.

He is followed by John Lennon and racing driver Dale Earnhardt, both on $20m (13m).

Impersonations

The number one remix of Presley's single, A Little Less Conversation, his 18th UK chart-topper, ensured he stayed at the top of the earnings league.

George Harrison
George Harrison died in November 2001

Sales of his album have reached the 100 million mark, according to the Recording Association of America (RIAA), as records such as Heart and Soul, The Rock 'n' Roll Era, and It's Christmas Time continue to sell.

A new four-CD box set, Elvis Today, Tomorrow and Forever, is due to be released in the US in September.

The announcement comes as a poll in the US found that 71 million adults consider themselves to be Presley fans, with 70% having watched at least one of his movies.

It also discovered that more than 17 million Americans had at some point impersonated The King and one in 10 has visited his Graceland home.

There are several new entries in this year's Forbes chart including former Beatle George Harrison, who died from cancer in November, 2001.

Click here to see the list in full

Since his death at the age of 58, his estate has earned $17m (11.1m), placing him sixth on the list.

Tupac Shakur
Tupac Shakur left 200 unreleased songs
Murdered rapper Tupac Shakur, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1996, is valued at $7m (4.5m), putting him ahead of screen icon Marilyn Monroe.

Crossing over

Shakur has now had more albums released since his death than when he was alive, having left 200 tracks unpublished before he was shot.

And the estate of thriller writer Robert Ludlum, who died in March 2001, has also seen its fortunes rise.

One of his biggest sellers, The Bourne Identity, has been adapted into a movie starring Matt Damon. Ludlum left three novels unpublished.

Forbes calculates pre-tax earnings of the estate of the deceased from licensing agreements, book and record sales.

"One might not think of death as an optimal career move, but for some celebrities, crossing over to the far side doesn't hurt their income in the least," said the Forbes website.

"It's been a good year for the dead."

Richest deceased celebrities list

1. Elvis Presley $37m (24.1m)

2. Charles Schulz $28m (18.2m)

3. John Lennon ($20m) (13m)

4. Dale Earnhardt ($20m) (13m)

5. Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel ($19m) (12.8m)

6. George Harrison ($17m) (11.1m)

7. JRR Tolkien ($12m) (7.8m)

8. Bob Marley ($10m) (6.5m)

9. Jimi Hendrix ($8m) (5.2m)

10. Tupac Shakur ($7m) (4.5m)

11. Marilyn Monroe ($7m) (4.5m)

12. Jerry Garcia ($5m) (4.5m)

13. Robert Ludlum ($5m) (3.2m)



Features

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT

FORUM

The Elvis years

The Elvis years


Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes