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Elvis Presley vs Michael Jackson: Who is the richest dead person? | Music | Entertainment

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Elvis Presley died in shocking circumstances on August 16, 1977, as did his fellow performer, Michael Jackson. Michael’s death came as he was preparing for a London O2 residency, back on June 25, 2009. They have both been collecting royalties despite their early deaths – but who has earned the most at this point?

According to Forbes, Elvis Presley is one of the highest-paid dead celebrities, every year getting close to the top of their list.

Each year, Forbes releases a list of the highest earners, and this includes writers, cartoonists, musicians and more.

For many years, Elvis has topped the list, though now another celebrity has taken the top spot for almost every year since their death.

That man is Michael Jackson, who is one of the highest-earning dead celebrities ever, topping the list every year bar one since his death in 2009.

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However, Elvis still comes in the top three of the list, and in 2019 he earned a hugely high amount.

In 2019, Elvis earned $39 million (£30.5million), which is around the amount he makes every year.

This is nothing compared to Michael Jackson, however, who only earned $60million (£47million) in 2019, but huge numbers like $400million (£313million) in 2018.

Some of Michael’s numbers, however, are due to his estate selling part of his publishing rights to Sony.

Elvis’ estate, much of which is owned by Lisa Marie Presley, does not earn much of his royalties, as some of them belong to RCA, his record company.

In March 1973, Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager, suggested Elvis be given a lump sum in lieu of all future artist’s royalties for anything recorded up to that time, despite his having a huge back catalogue at this point.

The deal was done, and RCA paid Elvis and Colonel Tom $5.4million (£4.2million), which would be $31,512,240 (£24,250,716.98) in today’s money, for the artist royalties, which was then split equally between the two men.

As a result, Lisa Marie does not own the artist’s royalties on sales of recordings made before March 1973, however the Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) does own his artist’s royalties on sales of recordings made after that date, which still earns them a hefty sum.

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Elvis’ estate, much of which is owned by Lisa Marie Presley, does not earn much of his royalties, as some of them belong to RCA, his record company.

In March 1973, Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager, suggested Elvis be given a lump sum in lieu of all future artist’s royalties for anything recorded up to that time, despite his having a huge back catalogue at this point.

The deal was done, and RCA paid Elvis and Colonel Tom $5.4million (£4.2million), which would be $31,512,240 (£24,250,716.98) in today’s money, for the artist royalties, which was then split equally between the two men.

As a result, Lisa Marie does not own the artist’s royalties on sales of recordings made before March 1973, however the Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) does own his artist’s royalties on sales of recordings made after that date, which still earns them a hefty sum.


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