On Wednesday, Michael Jackson overtook his fellow musicians David Bowie and Prince and topped the list of top-earning dead celebrities. Prince and David Bowie passed away earlier this year.
According to estimates from Forbes, Jackson, who died in 2009, raked in a bumper $825m in earnings for the 12 months ending 1 October. Mostly that came from the Jackson estate’s $750m sale of the late singer’s remaining stake in the ATV/Sony music publishing catalog – which also included the rights to many Beatles songs – to Sony Corporation.
Forbes’ made these estimates on the basis of pre-tax income, before legal expenses and management, and were compiled through a number of interviews with estate experts and data on record sales, movie earnings and touring.