Michael Jackson pulled in $115 million over the past year, enough to easily earn the top spot on this year’s Halloween-spooky list of Top- Earning Dead Celebrities. But it’s his total postmortem haul that’s reaching scary proportions: Jackson has now earned more than $1 billion pretax since his death.
Michael Jackson is world’s top-earning dead celebrity
Jackson earned a total of $1.1 billion in his solo career, as tallied in my book Michael Jackson, Inc.
While alive, Jackson earned a total of $1.1 billion in his solo career, as tallied in my book Michael Jackson, Inc. He’s now within moonwalking distance of matching that total in the afterlife, though it’s worth noting that the aforementioned $1.1 billion figure swells to $1.9 billion when adjusted for inflation.
“The cash flow on an annual basis is tremendous,” explained veteran entertainment attorney Donald David to me in an interview published in the book. Sure, it’s going to decline eventually, but it’s going to be a huge amount in the foreseeable future. [Jackson's] kids are going to have grandkids before that money’s gone.”
Since 2009, Jackson has handily out-earned not only every dead celebrity from Elvis to Einstein, but he’s pulled in more than any living solo musician. Much of that cash has come from two Cirque du Soleil shows, his own music and publishing revenues, and his half of the Sony/ATV publishing catalogue.
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