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Michael Jackson outstrips Prince, Bowie as top-earning dead celebrity

Reuters logo Reuters 13/10/2016

Michael Jackson topped an annual list of the top-earning dead celebrities on Wednesday for the fourth straight year, far outstripping fellow musical icons Prince and David Bowie who passed away earlier this year.

Jackson, who died in 2009, raked in a bumper $825 million in earnings for the 12 months ending October 1, according to estimates from Forbes.

Prince performs during the halftime show of the NFL's Super Bowl XLI football game in Miami © REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo Prince performs during the halftime show of the NFL's Super Bowl XLI football game in Miami That came mostly from the Jackson estate's $750 million sale of the late singer's remaining stake in the Sony/ATV music publishing catalog - which includes the rights to many Beatles songs - to Sony Corp.

Sales of Prince albums soared after the musician died of an accidental drug overdose in April.

Forbes ranked him in fifth place overall with estimated earnings of $25 million, just below Elvis Presley with $27 million.

British Pop Star David Bowie screams into the microphone as he performs on stage during his concert in Vienna © REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo British Pop Star David Bowie screams into the microphone as he performs on stage during his concert in Vienna Bowie, whose surprise death of cancer in January came days after a new album release, outsold both Presley and Jackson in albums and singles in 2016, but the British singer's overall estimated earnings were a comparatively small $10.5 million, Forbes said.

File photo of U.S. popstar Michael Jackson performing during his concert in Vienna © REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo File photo of U.S. popstar Michael Jackson performing during his concert in Vienna Golf legend Arnold Palmer, who died in September at age 87, claimed the No. 3 spot with earnings of $40 million, mostly from licensing and endorsements of his signature Arnold Palmer iced tea and lemonade drink, leisure wear label, and golf course designs.

Forbes' estimates were based on pretax income, before management and legal expenses, and were compiled through interviews with estate experts and data on record sales, touring, and movie earnings.

List of Top Earning Dead Celebrities Forbes Highest-Earning dead celebrities of 2016

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