Michael Jackson is king of deceased earners

Michael Jackson sits at the top of the pile in the highest earning deceased celebrity stakes, raking in more money over the past year than Elvis Presley and John Lennon.

The King of Pop, who died in June last year pulled in an incredible $275 million (£183 million) over the last 12 months thanks to a powerful back catalogue that contains such potent albums as Thriller, BAD and Dangerous as well as strong merchandizing deals.

His concert film This Is It, which documented preparations for his ill-fated London stage residency, also made $250 million (£167 million) at the box office.

His death on June 25, 2009 shocked fans and non-fans alike.  His life towards the end became somewhat controversial after allegations of child abuse led to extortionate court cases which seriously depleted his financial assets, even cleaning him out according to some reports.

Many tributes were paid to Jackson after his death, including some touching and heartfelt words from Paul McCartney who said, “I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael. He was a massively talented boy-man with a gentle soul.

“His music will be remembered forever and my memories of our time together will be happy ones.  I send my deepest sympathy to his mother and the whole family, and to his countless fans all around the world.”

Jackson’s earnings eclipsed the total combined earnings of the 12 other dead stars on Forbes magazine’s list, including Elvis Presley, J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord Of The Rings author), Charles M Schulz (creator of Peanuts) and Beatles legend Lennon, who occupied the top five respectively.

Images: wikimedia and PR Photos.

Read our complete coverage of Michael Jackson’s death.