This week, Saturday Hustle pays homage to six legendary performers who are still earning millions despite their passing.
The King of Pop earned US$170 million in 2011 alone. According to Forbes magazine: "His estate made a flurry of deals in the wake of his death, including a seven-year music deal with Sony worth as much as $250 million. Another $60 million rolled in for the rights to This Is It, which subsequently became the highest-grossing concert film and documentary of all time."
He may have died over 35 years ago, but the Presley fortune still remains strong. The actor and singer, who is famous for hits such as Blue Suede Shoes and All Shook Up, earned over US$55 million last year alone from music royalties, Graceland tickets and Elvis-themed shows.
Former Beatle John Lennon died in the 80s and is ranked the third-highest top-earning dead celebrity by Forbes magazine. In 2010, the Beatles sold 1.6 million albums and is still earning loyalties from records sold in 2011 on iTunes.
Legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix released four albums before his passing. The singer now has dozens of albums which feature samples and remixes of his music. He has been said to earn over US$7 million within the last year.
Pop star Whitney Houston's untimely passing rocked the world by storm. A mere two weeks after her passing, Houston's greatest hits album sold 50,000 copies and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200 charts. According to Yahoo Finance, the star is set to earn an additional US$10 million this year.
Though Marley didn't make the Forbes list of top-earning dead celebrities of 2011, as the singer earned less than US$6 million, the singer is still amongst the top-earning dead celebrities in the world. The One Love singer's album — appropriately called Legend — is the 17th album to exceed sales of 10 million copies since Nielsen SoundScan began tabulating in 1991 according to USA Today.