15 Richest Dead Celebrity Earners

The top-earning celebrity in the world in 2013 was, in fact, a dead celeb. This is surely testament to the fact that our society loves to immortalize our heroes, our idols, our beloved entertainers. We hold onto them even after they are long gone; in fact, when celebrities leave the mortal coil they tend to take their negatives with them, as we seem to focus only on their greatness rendering them almost flawless in death. Once a favourite celebrity is gone we cling to whatever they left for us here on Earth, whatever gifts they brought us, and when they die those items – music, art, personal items, pictures – instantly increase in value because of their now necessarily finite nature. But that’s not to say the celeb in question can’t keep developing an empire. The name itself, on merchandise, in movies and in advertising, seems to have even larger earning potential when the celebrity is passed. And so, many of our society’s most cherished departed celebrities continue to rake in the big bucks long after they’re gone. The legacy these celebrities leave is so huge it’s guaranteed to bulk up their estates for years to come: Indeed, some of these celebs are earning millions annually, up to 50 years after their death. Here’s the breakdown of the 5 immortal celebrities who just keep on earning, ranked in terms of annual earnings in 2013.

15. Jenni Rivera – $7 million

Jenni Rivera is the most recently deceased celebrity on the list, and so although her long-term stamina as a posthumous musical icon has been tested very little, she holds strong at the end of 2013. Rivera, a Mexican-American singer who died in a plane crash in 2012, has sold nearly as many records in death as she did in life; over 880,000 records have been sold since her death. Her postmortem earnings have also been boosted by her autobiography, ‘Unbreakable: My Story’ – selling over 400,000 copies since its release -as well as the reality TV show ‘I Love Jenni’, which has reached an audience of 5.5 million.

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