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Kobe Bryant, Elvis Presley, David Bowie make Forbes ‘Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities Of 2022’ list

Kobe Bryant, Elvis Presley, David Bowie make Forbes ‘Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities Of 2022’ list

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Kobe Bryant, Elvis Presley, David Bowie are among 13 celebrities who are still earning big money from beyond the grave.

According to the Forbes Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities Of 2022 list, the late celebrities raked in a record-breaking $1.6 billion, an increase of 72% compared to 2021.

“This year's ranking includes pretax earnings from sales, streams, licensing deals and other sources between November 1, 2021 and October 30, 2022 as well as estate acquisitions made or announced during the same period,” said Forbes.

Taking the No 1 spot on the list is “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit“ author JRR Tolkien.

The storyteller, who died in 1973, earned an astounding $500 million this year from the sale of Middle-Earth Enterprises, which handles intellectual property rights for motion pictures, video games, merchandise and more, to Swedish gaming company Embracer.

Kobe Bryant, Elvis Presley, David Bowie make Forbes ‘Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities Of 2022’ list
JRR Tolkien. Picture: Instagram

Basketball legend Kobe Bryant is second on the list with earnings of $400m from his estate’s sale of his stake in the BodyArmor sports drink company to Coca-Cola.

David Bowie was placed third with $250m for the sale of his publishing catalogue and masters to Warner Chappell.

“Blue Suede Shoes” hitmaker Elvis Presley earned an impressive $110m this year despite being dead for 45 years.

Most of his earnings came from tourists treating themselves to a holiday at his Graceland mansion and resort after being cooped up during the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Forbes, tour tickets, shows, and merchandise made up at least $80mm.

James Brown stacked up $100m after a New York-based independent music publisher snapped up the Godfather of Soul’s music rights, property, and name and likeness.

Forbes reported that Brown’s estate would use some of the proceeds to fund academic scholarships for needy children.

The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, made $75m while Leonard Cohen raked in $55m.

Dr Seuss generated $32m through book sales, Netflix deals and merchandise.

At No 9 is Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro, who made $25m million when his publishing and recording royalties were snapped up by music company Primary Wave.

American cartoonist Charles Schulz bagged the 10th position with $24m. He scored when classic holiday specials such as “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” were bought by Apple TV.

At No 11 is the flamboyant Mexican composer and singer Juan Gabriel. He earned $23m. Forbes reported that in April, Gabriel’s estate struck a deal with Universal Music Group in which the company would assign the singer’s post-2008 catalogue to label subsidiary Virgin Music US Latin, while Universal’s publishing arm would oversee the entire catalogue.

The 12th spot went to “Imagine” singer John Lennon who earned $16, while his Beetles band member George Harrison bagged the last spot with $12m.

Lennon and Harrison both earned about $2.5m from the “Get Back” documentary series, which looks at the British group’s infamous final recording sessions.

Original Article

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