Elvis Presley is currently ranked #2 on the top list of high earning deceased celebrities this year.
Decades after the death of Elvis Presley, America’s greatest music legend’s legacy remains strong with the King placing extremely high on Forbes’ list of “Top-Earning Dead Celebrities.”
The successful opening of the Elvis Memphis complex across from his Memphis mansion, new albums, international recognition and new generations of Presley fans are key indicators as to why Presley earned over $39 million in pre-tax earnings between Oct. 1, 2018, and Oct. 1, 2019.
The 2020 ratings will be calculated after October, but odds are the totals will be less because of COVID-19 restrictions. In October, a biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann, starring Tom Hanks, will begin filming after a rocky start earlier due to pandemic problems.
Michael Jackson incurred a windfall of near $296 million from the sale of his EMI publishing stake. That sale boosted the total intake to $628 million in one year. His estate’s earnings neared $60 million.
During the same time period, Presley outpaced the earnings of living entertainers such as Lady Gaga, Dave Matthews, Zac Brown Band, Celine Dion, Shawn Mendes, and U2.
Graceland reopened for tours in June with limitations on the number of attendees permitted. Even the traditional Elvis Week ceremonies and events were scaled down considerably.
Besides stamps, music, merchandise and movies, the Presley estate brings in a considerable amount of revenue from Graceland.
A few years ago, Jack Soden, the President and CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises met with residents of the Whitehaven community to shared proposed plans to enhance the neighborhood.
“Here is really, basically the reason people come here from 170 countries a year, from every corner of the earth,” Soden said, motioning to the direction of the Graceland mansion, from the former Elvis Presley Car Museum across the street. “That’s never going to change. That’s the heart and soul of this whole thing.”
Although the City of Memphis and communities have been slow in their improvements, Soden and company moved forward with the revitalization of the west side of Elvis Presley Blvd. The “state-of-the-art” facilities, deemed “Elvis Memphis,” is comprised of two restaurants, a soundstage, retail shops, and more parking.
We are “excited about the two new museums,” said Mark Griffen, referring to a modern Elvis car museum and the other “Elvis, the Entertainer.”
“This is our opportunity to take what we have welcomed and served 22 million visitors with and do something better,” CEO Jack Soden stated.
Fans have been giving high ratings to the museums which feature Elvis’s jumpsuits, gold records, guitars and other memorabilia prominently displayed. in the “Elvis the Entertainer.
Elvis Presley Enterprises built an archives building that opened in 2015. A new 450-room resort hotel, Guest House at Graceland, opened Oct. 27, 2016.
Graceland sits on the original 13.8 acre estate Presley purchased in 1957 for a sum of $100,000. Soden, Priscilla Presley, and Elvis’ Aunt Briggs cut the ribbon for opening the home to the public as a museum on June 7, 1982. On Nov. 7, 1991, Graceland was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and declared a National Historic Landmark on March 27, 2006.
Just behind Elvis, was Charles Schulz of Peanuts fame, with earnings of $38 million. Following him was Arnold Palmer at $30 million, Bob Marley at $20 million, Dr. Suess at $19 million, John Lennon at $14 million and Marilyn Monroe at $13 million.
Prince and George Harrison earned $12 million and $9 million respectively.