JM | Nov 16, 2020

Bob Marley still ranks among 10 highest-paid dead celebrities of 2020

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Reggae legend down three places from last year

Bob Marley

Reggae legend Bob Marley has been listed among the top 10 highest paid dead celebrities of 2020 by the internationally acclaimed Forbes magazine.

Marley has been placed eighth on the annual Forbes list with his estate earning some US$14 million annual with most of these earnings coming from music streams. This is a step down from his fifth-place ranking last year to commanding eighth position this year.

Forbes reports that its annual list of the top-earning dead celebrities was determined by pre-tax income from October 1, 2019, through to October 1, 2020. The estate of Marley, the king of reggae music, continues to make millions some 40 years after his death from cancer.


Forbes reports that the earnings of Marley soared this year as his music accumulated more than a billion streams globally. The reggae legend also received handsome earnings from the sales of T-shirts and lighters depicting his pictures, his line of speakers, turntables and headphones.

These added more than US$3 million to his earnings. Marley, who died in 1981, is one of the founding fathers of reggae music and was largely responsible for helping to the musical genre gaining global recognition.

He is held in high regard across the globe and is revered among the Rastafarian community. The singer, songwriter, and musician was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, while Rolling Stone has ranked him No. 11 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

This year Marley would have celebrated his 75th birthday.


Meanwhile, American pop icon, Michael Jackson, who died on June 25, 2009, headed the list for the eighth consecutive year. Jackson earned all of US$48 million for the 12-month period October 2019 to October 2020.

Michael Jackson (Photo: Facebook @michaeljackson)

In arriving at its decision to give Jackson the top spot, Forbes noted that the American pop artiste was able to retain his top spot despite the release of the damning documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ last year. In second spot was author and animator, Theodor Seuss Geisel, popularly known as Dr Seuss, with earnings of US$33 million.

Far behind Jackson in fifth spot was fellow musical icons, Elvis Presley, who ranked fifth with $23 million, and rapper Juice WRLD, ranked at number seven with $15 million in earnings. Juice WRLD died on December 8, 2019 from an overdose.

Also in the top five are Charles Schultz, the creator of the Peanuts cartoons, who ranked third with earnings of US$32.5 million and golf legend, Arnold Palmer in fourth position with earnings of US$25 million. Basketball legend Kobe Bryant is in sixth position with his estate making US$20 million after he and his daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash on January 26 of this year.

Juice WRLD (Photo: Facebook @rapup)

Rounding out the top 10 were international superstars, John Lennon, lead vocalist of British pop group, The Beatles (number 9 with $13 million), and American musician, Prince who rounded off the top 10 list with US$10 million in earnings.


What To Read Next