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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 October, 2004, 08:42 GMT 09:42 UK
Elvis Presley tops dead rich list
Elvis Presley
Elvis is still known as the king of rock 'n' roll
Elvis Presley has come top of a list of the highest-earning dead celebrities, with an annual income of $40m (22m).

Fans of The King have continued to snap up merchandise and visit his Graceland home 27 years after his death.

Peanuts cartoon creator Charles Schulz was in second place on the list, complied by influential US business website Forbes.com.

Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien was in third, making the top three unchanged for the second year in a row.

Presley's earnings go to Elvis Presley Enterprises, which is owned by his daughter Lisa Marie.

Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury appears on the list for the first time

His earnings could increase in the future as a new generation of fans is introduced to him through a new clothing line and a Broadway musical.

A Forbes.com spokesman said: "The earning power of most deceased people, even famous ones, slows considerably or stops altogether when they die.

"But for a select few, the pay cheques keep coming and some draw even bigger pay-days than when they were alive."

John Lennon is fourth in the list with an estimated annual income of $21m (11m).

He is joined by fellow Beatle George Harrison - who died in 2001 - whose earnings reached $7m (4m).

Musical success

Other top earners include screen icon Marilyn Monroe, with $8m, and actor James Dean, who died in a car crash in 1955 at the age of 24.

Murdered rapper Tupac Shakur, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1996, is valued at $5m (2.7m), putting him equal with legendary crooner Frank Sinatra.

Flamboyant Queen frontman Freddie Mercury makes the list for the first time, also with $5m.

His earnings have been boosted by the success of the musical We Will Rock You, which has been filling theatres from Australia and Russia to Spain and Paris.

Back to top

1. Elvis Presley $40m (22m)
2. Charles Schulz $35m (19m)
3. JRR Tolkien $23m (12.5m)
4. John Lennon $21m (11m)
5. Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel $18m (10m)
6. Marilyn Monroe $8m (4.3m)
7. George Harrison $7m (3.8m)
=7. Irving Berlin $7m
=7. Bob Marley $7m
10. Richard Rodgers $6.5m
11. George and Ira Gershwin $6m
=11. Jimi Hendrix $6m
=11. Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe $6m
=11. Cole Porter $6m
15. James Dean $5m (2.7m)
=15. Dale Earnhardt Sr $5m
=15. Jerry Garcia $5m
=15. Freddie Mercury $5m
=15. Tupac Shakur $5m
=15. Frank Sinatra $5m



SEE ALSO:
US Presley festival under threat
27 Aug 04  |  Entertainment
How to sell Elvis again
09 Jul 04  |  Entertainment
Elvis fans mark rock n' roll debut
05 Jul 04  |  Entertainment
Elvis outlives self on UK charts
28 May 04  |  Entertainment
Elvis tops dead celebrity fortune list
13 Aug 02  |  Entertainment


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