David Bowie, Prince & Tom Petty Earned Shocking Money In 2017


Forbes has up a new list of the top earning dead entertainers of 2017. The list measures pretax income from October 15, 2016 through October 15, 2017 before deducting cuts for agents, managers and lawyers. Sources include Nielsen SoundScan, IMDB, Pollstar Pro and interviews with celebrity estate experts.

Elvis Presley finishes fourth with $35 million, up from last year’s $27 million sum thanks to the new $45 million Elvis Presley’s Memphis entertainment complex and recently-opened hotel The Guesthouse at Graceland. Bob Marley rounds out the top five with $23 million, boosted by sustainability-focused House of Marley audio products and the Marley Beverage Co.

Some names on the list passed just before the end of the scoring period—namely including Tom Petty, who died on October 3rd. His inclusion on the list (No. 6, $20 million) reflects earnings from the past year on the road, where his band was grossing north of $1 million per night. Petty and fellow musicians Prince (No. 7, $18 million) and David Bowie (No. 11, $9.5 million) also got a boost from increased music consumption in the wake of their relatively-recent passing.

Michael Jackson’s 2017 earnings pale in comparison to last year’s $825 million haul, as he made $75 million, which places him on par with the seventeenth-best-paid living entertainer, Bruce Springsteen.

Elizabeth Taylor was No. 12 at $8 million.