top of page

Marley in 8th spot on Forbes' 2020 Top Earning Dead Celebrities List

Reggae legend Bob Marley is among the top-earning deceased celebrities globally, with an estimated annual earnings of US$14 million, according to Forbes magazine.

Marley placed eighth on the annual Forbes list, with most of his earnings coming from his music streams, which the magazine said soared this year "after the reggae legend accumulated more than a billion spins globally".

Forbes further outlined that the "House of Marley, his line of speakers, turntables and headphones, and sales of T-shirts and lighters adorned with his likeness, also added more than $3 million to his coffers."

Marley was ranked fifth on the list of top-earning deceased celebrities in the world last year.

Meanwhile, Pop icon Michael Jackson topped the list for the eighth straight year. Jackson, who died on June 25, 2009, earned all of US$48 million for the 12-month period ending October 1, 2020.

Forbes noted that Jackson was able to retain his top spot on the list despite the release of the damning documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ last year.

Jackson's Mijac Music catalogue, which included tunes by Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin, and a long-term deal with Sony, accounted for more than 70 per cent of his earnings, the magazine stated.

Jackson placed far ahead of fellow musical icons, Presley and rapper Juice WRLD, who died on December 8, 2019 due to an overdose.

Forbes ranked Presley in fifth place overall, with estimated earnings of US$23 million, while Juice WRLD was placed at seventh with US$15 million.

The rapper, whose real name is Jarad Higgins, saw his music streams spike after his death in December of last year, just nine months after the release of his sophomore album, 'Death Race for Love'.

Joining Jackson and Presley in the top five are: author and animator, Theodor Seuss Geisel, popularly known as Dr Seuss, in second spot with US$33 million; Peanuts creator, Charles Schulz, who ranked third with earnings of US$32.5 million; and golf legend, Arnold Palmer, who placed fourth with US$25 million.

Of note, basketball legend Kobe Bryant joined the list at number six, after he made US$20 million following his death in a helicopter crash on January 26 of this year. His daughter, Gianna, also died in the crash.

Forbes said that its annual list of the top-earning dead celebrities was determined by pre-tax income from October 1, 2019 through to October 1, 2020.

"We compile our numbers with the help of data from MRC Data, IMDbPro, NPD BookScan and interviews with industry insiders. Fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted," the magazine added.

2 views0 comments


bottom of page