We live in very weird times. To be famous, you need to pose in the buff, release a mixtape, a string of club hits or stage the biggest scandal in mankind’s history. But that’s not the weirdest part yet. To be richer than you are right now, provided you are already famous, you must be dead.
You are probably now asking, how does that work? Let’s go through this subject a little bit more.
Most of the celebrities we have known since the world celebrity became a big deal have been wealthy – and some of them very wealthy. In most of their performances, these celebrities never lack an expensive jewelry to show off to their fans, who would pay anything to get their hands on them. These peeps drive the best cars in the world, live in posh estates and some are guarded as heavily as POTUS. Now that’s the perfect life, right?
If these people could carry their wealth to the afterlife, their life on earth would have been a joke! Why? Well, here is the thing. The moment celebrities die, the world, in its bid to eulogize them and praise their legacy, ends up buying from them more than they did when they were alive, as it has been proven in most cases. Eventually, the celebrities, in their death beds or graves, end up being richer than they were when they were alive.
Which celebrities are these? There is a list right below that will feed you with the news.
15. Bruce Lee – $7 Million
Who on earth would claim not to remember the Godfather of Kung Fu movies? To say the least, this guy was a legend. On top of that, he is the reason why so many people believed they could break a rock with their fingers, or use the “eagle claw” to gorge their enemy to death, just because Bruce Lee did it in the movies.
Now, during his heydays, people used to flock cinemas to see his movies. It therefore goes without saying that the chap was getting some good bucks out of it, but it wasn’t until his death that Bruce Lee topped his own money charts. Currently, he is valued, in death, at about 7 million dollars which is his highest ever.
14. Jimi Hendrix – $7 Million
Jimi is widely remembered as the guy who kept us on our groove back in the 60s, before his demise in 1970. Following the drug overdose that ended the musician’s life, his money life has still maintained immortality. Currently, the late singer is valued at about 7 million dollars.
So where is all this money coming from?
Apparently, Jimi’s estate has been releasing more of his songs over the decades, in most cases repackaged in a boxset of CDs. One popular boxset was Winterland, which had four CDs. His music has even been used in recent commercials, one of them being by HP, where they used one of his classic hits “Foxy Lady”. Seems like money is not getting tired of his tune.
13. Steve McQueen – $9 Million
Now that the ladies are done screaming (for those who knew him), let’s start talking about this guy.
Steve McQueen was the true definition of “the cool guy”. This actor, apart from attracting a lot of ladies who used to meet him in front of their TV sets (sadly we couldn’t get records of actual dates), also attracted a lot of money in his very successful career. He has been referred to as the symbol of “anti-hero”, that developed during the Vietnam war era. Apart from that, his appearances on the big screen in movies such as “The Towering Inferno”, “The Thomas Crown Affair” and many more won him many hearts.
After his demise in 1980 following a complication during surgery, the McQueen legacy continued to live on thanks to the relationships he established with Tag Heuer and Persol. Even in his death, the McQueen estate has partnered with Lucky Jeans so as to maintain the actor’s popularity. Currently, he is worth about 9 million dollars.
12. Bettie Page – $10 Million
Ladies, you have to wait a little bit because the men are still looking at the image. Now here we go.
Bettie Page was the true definition of style and undoubtedly, beauty. This glamour model, apart from breaking the neck of so many men, broke through the world of fashion and modelling after introducing her own style. In a bold move, she deviated from the norm at her time and introduced a new era in modelling, with her symbolic low-cut tops and bangs.
Matter of fact, her sense of style is so famous that lines of Bettie Page Boutiques stores have been set up in New York City, Las Vegas and Portland. Therefore, it goes without saying that even in her demise, which sadly occurred in 2008 due to natural causes, money is still cat-walking to her estate. She is valued currently at well about 10 million dollars.
11. Paul Walker – $10.5 Million
Wow, who would ever forget this great man? He made us love speed, powerful cars with noisy engines and street races. Paul Walker, before meeting his demise, was the star of what has been one of the greatest movie franchises of all time, “The Fast and Furious.” Most of his remembered acting career, if not all, was in the franchise.
Paul sadly met his demise due to a tragic road accident which occurred as Fast and Furious 7 was still being shot. But the young chap was going to cash in huge at the debut of the movie, which he actually did, making a whopping 10.5 million dollars. In sync with his high payout, the movie, which commemorated him in a special tribute song at the end, grossed the highest ever in Box Office at a whooping $1.5 Billion. We still pay tribute to this legend.
10. David Bowie – $10.5 Million
Pop music lovers must have already remembered this legend. David Bowie has been acknowledged as one of the greatest pop artists of our time. In his career that spanned well over five decades, David had over 700 songs, 27 studio albums and 140 million sold records under his belt. That’s quite a long career (with good bucks of course), but not like what followed after his death.
In January 2016, David gave up his ghost, only to leave behind an explosion in his record sales. Within hours of his death announcement, his songs had taken the first five slots in the downloads chart of iTunes. On top of that, 12 of his albums were in the top 20 and his music was one of the most streamed on Spotify.
9. Albert Einstein – $11.5 Million
“Hey! This guy is not a celebrity!”
Easy there. It doesn’t matter if Physics was hell for you, you got to love this devil. Albert Einstein, apart from being the undisputed father of Physics, is also the man responsible for the famous equation E=MC2 (it has probably never made sense to you, but it looks dangerous, doesn’t it?). Well it is.
This ex-German citizen is revered for having provided the equation that stopped a couple of mad countries from turning insane and burning the whole world in search of supremacy. Apart from that, he is also remembered for some of the world’s greatest Physics theories such as “The Theory of Relativity”, and a host of other discoveries he made during his nerdy years on planet earth.
This genius scientist has been richer in his death because of branded merchandise sold under his name. Most of these are apparel, tablets and posters designed by Fourier Systems, an Israeli Company. These item are apparently on huge demand, with an Einstein pen having been recently sold for $3,000. All this Einstein trading, has accrued the late scientist a whopping 11.5 million dollars.
8. John Lennon – $12 million
All hail the King of the Beatles who is responsible for not only smashing hits of the 80s and 90s, but also for having one of the biggest music careers in history. John Lennon’s legacy has been revered by other artists in the current industry (the likes of Lil Wayne who mentioned him in his hit song “John”), for what was exceptional talent and utter determination to make music that touched the souls of many.
It is no surprise therefore that after his sad death, John Lennon’s estate has never run dry of capital. Since 1992, the late songwriter and performer’s albums have been sold over 63 million times. Apart from the album cash-ins, his estate has enjoyed capital inflow from Cirque De Soleil’s show, “Love”.
7. Elizabeth Taylor – $20 million
Sometimes death can be cruel, especially when it decides to snatch a beauty such as this one. Before she met the angel of death, Elizabeth Taylor was a renowned actress worldwide. She started what was the first of many more celebrity fragrance businesses. Her legacy and business however, never died after she left for the afterlife.
Currently, her fragrance business, which has been running for a record (over) 24 years, is among the few that are surviving (and still quite strong), despite a sharp decline in the industry. If you have happened to use White Diamonds, then you have generously contributed to the late actress’ 20 million dollar net worth.
6. Theodor Geisel – $20 million
Americans will relate easily with this name, or even better if the name Dr. Seuss was used. For all ye millennials reading this, this is the guy who taught your folks how to read and write, and maybe you also went through his written art, if you read The Cat in The Hat or How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
This master of children books died in 1991, aged 87, but his students who were getting older and grumpier never killed his art, not forgetting his massive cash flow. His book, The Cat in the Hat, has been one of his biggest money magnets, having pulled in 2011 alone, 9 million dollars. It is therefore easy to picture how big the Seuss empire has grown, simply out of selling books, merchandise and a few movie adaptations of the master-writer’s books.
5. Bob Marley – $21 million dollars
Here is one thing about Bob Marley, his image in anything sells like hotcake – and so does his music. During his entire career, the legendary hitmaker, apart from inspiring millions of people across the globe, never lived a capitalistic life. However, his death has brought forth a very promising CEO.
After his demise in 1981, the reggae hitmaker has sold an enormous 75 million albums and over. But this man doesn’t get his afterlife money (which is virtual since he can’t really use it), through album sales alone. Apart from the countless number of brands that use his image to market their merchandise (which never fail to rake in millions), Bob Marley’s estate is fed with money from the House of Marley, which makes eco-friendly audio and lifestyle products. To top the accounts up, the Marley Beverage Company sells a “relaxation” drink, the Marley’s Mellow Mood, which guarantees to leave you high, but not too high to reach the estate’s 21 million dollar worth.
4. Marilyn Monroe – $27 million
Things just got a little bit sexy here. Technically, it is accurate to call Marilyn Monroe the Kardashian of the 1950s and 60s, the main reason why your man is still looking at her photo right now.
Marilyn Monroe was graced with the sexiest features a woman can have, but sadly not the longest life. After her death over half a century ago, the lass’ face might have disappeared deep into the earth but not her wealth. The Monroe estate is currently enjoying a massive flow of wealth, accrued from the line of clothes at Macy’s, ad campaigns and numerous spas and cafes that have popped up in the name of the fallen icon.
3. Charles Schulz – $48 million
Charles Schulz is the Godfather of the comic world. This is the man who knew exactly how to write a comic strip and sell it to over 75 countries in over 21 different languages, with one of the craziest names in comical history “Peanuts”.
Having lived between 1922 and 2000, Charles Schulz was the man behind the famous cartoon characters Charlie Brown and Snoopy of the “Peanuts”comics. After leaving planet earth for some mythical utopia, Charles Schulz left behind a legacy that would feed his bank account without him having the access it, because he could not simply leave utopia.
2. Elvis Presley – $55 million
This guy couldn’t write a comic strip but his lyrical prowess would have you getting down on the dance floor all night. The King of Rock ‘n Roll himself has been a cat with the mythical nine lives. He was first rumored dead back in 1977, and legend has it that he sits in some dark corner in coffee shops, sipping tea while looking at the world give him tons of money in his “demise”.
Now, do we know if he is really dead? Not really. But what we know is that his ghost is filthy rich.
Elvis Presley’s current valuation is at a humongous 55 million dollars. His biggest “zombie income” yet was the release of his album “If I Can Dream”, which had orchestral reworking of his all-time greatest songs.
1. Michael Jackson – $850 million
King of Pop, King of Groove and King of Zombie millionaires. Michael Jackson is a name that will live for centuries. The King of Pop, undisputed for that matter, died in 2009 with an enviable legacy to leave and a bank account that could probably buy back some illuminati members’ souls.
Before passing, MJ had a huge stake in Sony/ATV Music publishing, that saw him own half of the company. Here is where the pop singer popped his huge after-life figures. His song and album sales after his death were capable of gaining him well over 100 million dollars, but his stake at Sony is what blew him off the money charts.
In 2016, Sony/ATV music publishing agreed to a 750 million dollar buyout of MJ’s shares in the company. The result? A dead pop star with close to a billion dollars in his bank account, money whose flow doesn’t seem like it will end any time soon. The legend lives on!
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