Bob Marley places fifth on Forbes’ top earning dead celebrity list
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While he continues to lag behind the likes of Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley, Jamaica’s reggae legend still edges out such enduring icons as Marilyn Monroe and John Lennon, Caribbean360.com reports.
Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley has been named by Forbes magazine as the fifth top earning dead celebrity of the past year, making him the only Caribbean personality to grace a list dominated by North American and British luminaries.
The enduring “One Love” star is still earning steadily since his untimely death from cancer aged just 36 in 1981, with Forbes reporting that there are now Bob Marley speakers, messenger bags and even a line of drinks bearing the name of the late music icon.
The “Redemption Song” star has also sold a formidable 75 million albums in the past two decades.
Like everyone else, Marley still has a way to go to catch up with first-placed Michael Jackson, who was 50-years-old when he passed away in 2009. Much of the King of Pop’s cash came from Cirque Du Soleil shows: “Immortal” grossed US$300 million since opening last year and Las Vegas show “One” is regularly sold out. He also earns mega bucks from his half of the Sony song catalogue, which includes hits by The Beatles, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift.
The “Thriller” singer’s posthumous earnings beat Madonna, who raked in US$125 million between June 2012 and June 2013 and topped Forbes recent Celebrity 100 list, tempting punters to quip that MJ is worth more dead than the Material Girl is alive.
Elizabeth Taylor dropped to fourth position after topping Forbes’ 2012 list. The “Cleopatra” star, who died aged 79 of heart failure, still earns large amounts from her White Diamonds perfume along with her rights in old movies teamed with stock and real estate investments.
Placing second behind the King of Pop was the King of Rock, Elvis Presley, who raked in US$55 million in earnings. Elvis, who died of a heart attack at the age of 42, has continued to make money through licensing his iconic image and through his home Graceland which is now a popular museum.
The late Charles Schulz comes in third place with his endearing Peanuts cartoons earning him US$37 million in the past year.
Right behind Bob Marley, with her image recently used in a Dior advertising campaign, comes another legend, screen siren Marilyn Monroe. The ultimate blonde bombshell’s image appears on clothing, giftware, collectibles and paper products, and there is also a chain of Marilyn Monroe cafes, nail salons and luxury spas.
John Lennon follows, coining US$12 million from sales of the Beatles back catalogue. The Beatles-themed Cirque du Soleil show, which has become a Las Vegas staple, has also continued to make money for the Lennon estate.
Albert Einstein, who died in 1955, continues to generate millions of dollars with his image associated with “smart” products and more unlikely Halloween masks. Forbes reports that Montblanc put out a limited edition of Einstein pens this year which sold for US$3,000 apiece.
Following the scientific genius is model Bettie Page whose style earned her the title of ultimate pin-up girl. Bettie Page boutiques in US cities including New York City, Las Vegas and Portland earned the late actress US$10 million.
Rounding off the list in 10th place is Theodor Geisel whose Dr Seuss children’s books have been made into a slew of hit Hollywood films.