Icon top earning 'dead singer'

King Of Pop Michael Jackson is still topping polls, with Forbes naming him as the highest earning dead singer in 2009.

In the age of downloads, a performer can die but their music will forever be alive. After Michael Jackson died, for example, fans flooded online to hear his music with the singer breaking chart records.

A new poll aims to discover which dead celebrities are earning the most. Compiled by rich list magazine Forbes, the new poll throws up some intriguing results.

The top earning deceased celebrity on the list was designer Yves Saint Laurent whose estate earned an astonishing £213 million. Still a high profile clothing brand, many of the trademark designs of Yves Saint Laurent remain in stock.

The highest earning performer on the list was Michael Jackson, who is perhaps cheating through virtue of having been alive for 50% of 2009. Nonetheless the singer earned £55 million, a hefty sum.

Jackson was due to perform 50 nights at the O2 Arena, which had led to a flurry of interest in the singer. After his death, of course, the icon broke all chart records sending a huge amount a tracks into the upper echelons of the countdown.

Elvis Presley stands just behind Michael Jackson in fourth. The rock pioneer earned £33 million, ahead of Beatles star John Lennon who earned £9 million.

Guitar hero Jimi Hendrix is 12th on the list after earning a total of £5 million last year. With his estate promising more releases over the next few years it seems as if Hendrix will be a regular appearance on the list.

1. Yves Saint Laurent - $350 million
2. Rodgers & Hammerstein - $235 million
3. Michael Jackson - $90 million
4. Elvis Presley - $55 million
5. J.R.R. Tolkien - $50 million
6. Charles Schulz - $35 million
7. John Lennon - $15 million
8. Dr. Seuss - $15 million
9. Albert Einstein - $10 million
10. Michael Crichton - $9 million

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