So while Michael Jackson makes £168m in the year after his death, who else earns the most from beyond the grave?
Elvis Presley is of course the main earner with over £1bn.
Elvis' estate has generated many millions from music royalties, DVDs, licensing deals and tourism at Graceland since his death in 1977, aged 42.
This year, his estate earned £36million. Presley's Graceland mansion is the second most-visited home in the U.S. after the White House, raising £18million a year. His estate also has a large collection of licensing and merchandise deals. He has appeared posthumously in adverts for everything from Apple's iMac to Lipton's Tea.
There is even a newly-released collectors' edition of a Jailhouse Rock-themed Barbie doll on the market.
His former wife Priscilla has built an extraordinary business from the King's ashes. She and her daughter, Lisa-Marie, are the main beneficiaries of the estate.
# 2 - John Lennon £200m
Lennon was worth £100million on his death, aged 40, but has since made £200million. The most famous Beatle sang: 'Money can't buy me love.' But his name has earned vast sums since he was shot dead in New York in 1980. He has had 27 singles in the U.S. charts and sold tens of millions of albums. It is believed his widow Yoko Ono has amassed a £300million fortune from his estate. She has authorised Lennon's likeness on everything from coffee cups to sunscreen tubes. There is even a watch featuring a picture of his buttocks.
In 2008, she sold rights to his name to Ben & Jerry's ice cream. But Sir Paul McCartney and Apple Records keep a tight hold on much of Lennon's musical back catalogue. Lennon was worth £100million on his death, aged 40, but has since made £200million.
# 3 - Michael Jackson £168m
After his premature death last June, his music immediately shot back into the charts, alongside a hastily put-together movie, This Is It, which has made his estate £40million so far. Michael Jackson was married to Elvis' daughter for a short while.
Merchandise deals increased his posthumous income. A new dance game by Ubisoft Entertainment brought in £20million in advances. It is believed Jackson has sold 10.4 million albums worldwide and made £168million in gross earnings since his death at the age of 50.
# 4 Marilyn Monroe £96m
CMG Worldwide, the company that manages her estate, sells her image around the world. The curvaceous star, who died in 1962, is exploited in death as she was in life, selling everything from Visa to Volkswagen.
Memorabilia sales have raised millions for her estate, with items including a five-page note Marilyn wrote when she was 16.
The curvaceous star, who died in 1962, is exploited in death as she was in life, selling everything from Visa to Volkswagen
She also adorns posters and greeting cards, and her enduring fame generates around £2million a year. When she died, aged 36, her estate was valued at £1million. She left three-quarters to her acting coach Lee Strasberg, and a quarter to her psychoanalyst, Dr Marianne Kris.
At #5, Kurt Cobain £95m. #6 James Dean £60m. #7 Tupac Shakur £56m #8 Freddie Mercury £50m. #9 Jerry Garcia £45m. #10 George Harrison £40m. #11 Agatha Christie £40m. #12 Steve McQueen £40m. #13 Bob Marley £38m. #14 Jimi Hendrix £35m. #15 Albert Einstein £30m.
Source: Elvisinfonet.com / EpGold