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.
Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.
As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for Examiner.com, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.
He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.