Q: What did Arnold Palmer, Prince Rogers Nelson and David Bowie have in common in 2016?
A: They all made less than the $825 million Michael Jackson took home from beyond the grave. Which isn't to say they didn't all cash in by cashing out.
While a good portion of the wealth Palmer ($40 million), Prince ($25 million) and Bowie ($10.5 million) accumulated this year was earned while they were still living, they all died within the time frame Forbes stuck to while creating its list of The Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities Of 2016.
It may sound off-the-wall that Jackson took home the top spot on list, but it turns out the bulk of his payday this year was generated by the $750 million sale of his stake in the Sony/ATV music publishing catalog (read: Beatles songs).
“He was always doing stuff that was the best, the greatest, the biggest,” celebrity estate manager Jeff Jampol told Forbes. “That was a big fight when he wanted to buy that catalog … it turned out to be one of the greatest investments ever.”
Here’s the rest of the list:
- Michael Jackson — $825 million
- Charles Schulz — $48 million
- Arnold Palmer — $40 million
- Elvis Presley — $27 million
- Prince — $25 million
- Bob Marley — $21 million
- Theador Geisel “Dr. Seuss” — $20 million
- John Lennon — $12 million
- Albert Einstein — $11.5 million
- Bettie Page — $11 million
- David Bowie — $10.5 million
- Steve McQueen — $9 million
Main image courtesy of Francis Sylvain/AFP/Getty Images