Bob Marley makes US$14M; ranks 8th among top-earning dead celebs

Reggae icon Bob Marley passed away on May 11, 1981 after a battle with cancer.

It’s been almost four decades since Bob Marley passed but the reggae legend continues to make bank thanks to his impressive music catalogue and global popularity.

Marley ranked 8th on Forbes magazine’s annual list of highest-paid dead celebrities, with an impressive US$14 million in earnings for the 2020 review period.

The annual list of the top-earning celebrities who’ve passed away measures income before tax from October 1, 2019 to October 1, 2020.

Michael Jackson continues to be the top-earning dead celebrity, taking in US$48 million in the year under review.

The magazine notes that Marley, who passed away from cancer in 1981 at the age of 36, saw his music streams soar, accumulating more than one billion spins globally. Forbes continued, “House of Marley, his line of speakers, turntables and headphones, and sales of T-shirts and lighters adorned with his likeness also added more than US$3 million to his coffers.”

Recent additions to the list include basketball great Kobe Bryant who died in helicopter crash in January this year and rapper Juice WRLD who passed away in December 2019 from an overdose. They earned US$15 million and US$20 million respectively.

The list was topped by Michael Jackson whose estate brought in US$48 million. Forbes said, “The 2019 release of the damning documentary Leaving Neverland didn’t cost the King of Pop his crown. Jackson’s Mijac Music catalog, which includes tunes by Elvis and Aretha Franklin, and a long-term deal with Sony, account for more than 70% of his earnings.”