Tupac Still Not Dead

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No surprises in Forbes' annual roundup of top-earning dead celebrities:

1. Elvis $40 million
2. Charles Schulz $32 million
3. J.R.R. Tolkien $22 million
4. John Lennon $19 million
5. George Harrison $16 million
6. Dr. Seuss $16 million
7. Dale Earnhardt $15 million
8. Tupac Shakur $12 million
9. Bob Marley $9 million
10. Marilyn Monroe $8 million

NEXT: My So-Called Life

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  1. That headline should win some sort of prize.

    I wonder where the Earnhardt $$ comes from? Those “3” stickers? The other dudes make books and records you can sell at least.

    I’m looking forward to Tupac’s latest release: A Very Tupac Christmas.

  2. Interesting, but only seven of those people are actually dead.

  3. Ever been to a NASCAR race? Earnhardt fans still worship the ground he walked on. Who knew stickers, flags, hats, jackets, T-shirts, baby clothes, posters, die-cast replicas, beer mugs, lithographs, etc etc would be so profitable. In addition he owned a number of racing teams. I don’t know if they count those too, or just his endorsements. He should have endorsed a HANS device and full helmet.

  4. Actually there is a surprise, for me at least: I would think John Lennon’s songwriting royalties alone would push him well past Elvis in the earnings department. Guess not.

  5. Given that NASCAR culture is a descendent of moonshine-runnin’ “Thunder Road” culture, I would think that it would find a warm spot in the hearts of libertarians. Here in NASCARLand, we even have a NASCAR-themed Whataburger restaurant.

    Dale Sr. would never have endorsed a HANS device or full helmet, Anon 4:49. It just plain doesn’t fit the culture.

    Famous last words of virtually every redneck who dies an accidental death:

    “Hey, ya’ll! Watch this!”

  6. The problem is that Bush’s tax policies do nothing but benefit the wealthiest 1% of corpses…

  7. I’d have thought Jim Henson would have made the list. Maybe he did in past years. He left quite the profitable empire behind, but it’s been run into the ground since his demise. Still, a ‘Fuck me Elmo’ might bring in enough to make next years list.

    I miss you Jim

  8. Shouldn’t Jesus be #1 most profitable dead celebrity?

  9. Shouldn’t Jesus be #1 most profitable dead celebrity?

  10. No kidding SPUR!

    🙂

    Okay Gordon, please enlighten me about which three on that list are not in fact worm-food?

  11. Please englighten me, too, Gordon. I get that Elvis is pumping gas in Grosse Point Michigan or Moss Point Mississsippi, and that Tupac isn’t really dead but instead is plotting revenge against his foes. But who else has allegedly woken from the dirt nap?

  12. Steve,
    Obviously two are Elvis and Tupac. The third is a toughie. I don’t see Biggie on the list, so that’s not it.

  13. Marilyn Monroe obviously.

  14. I don’t think Elvis earning $40 million means that it all goes to the Elvis estate — referring to the songwriting royalties (Lennon) vs. not having them (Elvis). I think it’s what the dead (or rumored dead) celebs earn for all of the various corporate interests who profit off of them. I’m sure RCA makes a bundle off of Elvis and only a tiny fraction goes to the estate. Though the estate continues rake in megamillions all on its own.

    What I find interesting is that when you think about Lennon being half of McCartney, and Harrision just being Harrison, and when you think about all of the popular output of Lennon solo vs. Harrison’s less than stellar solo career … Lennon still only earns $3 million more than Harrison. How’d that happen? I don’t think there’s a big market in George Harrison hip-swiveling clocks.

  15. I guessed Bob Marley as the third. Marilyn’s worshippers generally don’t claim she’s still alive. She remains more satisfyingly tragic by being dead. Kind of like Princess Diana…

  16. It’s worth mentioning that, for at least a few of the people on that list, death was a heckuva career move. It’s highly unlikely, for example, that a 68 year old Elvis would have grossed $40 million last year.

  17. The only good rapper is a dead rapper.

  18. Lennon still only earns $3 million more than Harrison. How’d that happen?
    Harrison recorded a new album just before he died, which bumped up his annual income. In the long run, Lennon’s song catalog will keep clocking bookoo dollars, while Harrison’s returns will dwindle.

  19. Take the same list and add a column of who gets the money now… Of course although the original list is almost all male, the new column will be almost all women.

  20. IIRC, Neither Lennon nor McCartney kept control of their early output published by Northern Songs. The catalog was eventually auctioned, and Michael Jackson wound up with it. McCartney begged his “Ebony & Ivory” pal to sell back to him, but no dice. Meanwhile, Mac owned a batch of songs including a slew of Buddy Holly tunes and “On, Wisconsin.”

    It was the lucky or very clever rock n’ roller who managed to keep his copyrights. Many label owners or record producers convinced the songwriter to transfer ownership, or put someone else’s name on the tune as writer or co-writer, or they wouldn’t record.

    Kevin

  21. That was only the publishing rights, not the composer’s royalties. The publisher basically gets half the income produced by the songs. People seem to think that the Beatles lost control of their composing copyrights, which isn’t so.

    If I remember correctly, Northern Songs was controlled by Dick James Music, and never by the Beatles at any point. This was the typical arrangement at the time, and only changed once singer/songwriter types began to realize how much money was slipping through their fingers by not controlling the publishing too.

    Of course, instances of musicians signing bad contracts would fill volumes.

  22. As well the recentness of Harrison’s death makes for a big bump in sales of his entire backlist.

    Many of these dead people are on the list thanks to recent activity related to their works, such as the ‘Cat in the Hat’ movie and the LOTR trilogy which still has its concluding film chapter ahead and the mega-ultra DVD package for Xmas ’05. Go back to before the films were greenlighted and Tolkien probably didn’t make the list that year although his works were still selling at6 a good pace.

  23. Obviously Tupac and Dale Earnhardt are not dead.Enuff said.

  24. In one of Tupacs Videos he is wearing shoes that didnt come out till way after he “died” and it would have been impossible for him to get them before he “died”.

  25. In one of Tupacs Videos he is wearing shoes that didnt come out till way after he “died” and it would have been impossible for him to get them before he “died”.

  26. On every day of Tupacs life he wore a bulletproof vest but not on the day he died, and on the day he died he went to a Mike Tyson fight in which there were tons of people there. You would think he would wear a bulletproof vest he didn’t so its like he set up his death.

  27. TUPAC AINT DAED I DONT GIVE A CRAP WHAT YALL THINK BUT MY BOY IS COMING BACK

  28. TUPAC IS NOT DEAD –> MAKAVELI HAS ESCAPED DEATH

  29. tupac is dead he did wear the vest to the tyson fight but was asked to take it off and was told that bullet proof vest are not legal in vegas even if he was alive the makavelli thery is now useless because he would have came back the 13th of september ( 7 years after pacs death ) tupac is dead and people need to realize that if u need a longer explanation go to one of his sites and it will tell u all about this late…

  30. is Tupac actually dead because peope are saying that he is dead !!!!!! But I hope he isn’t dead yet !!!! He is da bomb!!

  31. is Tupac actually dead because peope are saying that he is dead !!!!!! But I hope he isn’t dead yet !!!! He is da bomb!!

  32. is Tupac actually dead because peope are saying that he is dead !!!!!! But I hope he isn’t dead yet !!!! He is da bomb!!

  33. iight like nathan said ive studied the facts too the pic is fake ,the shoes, the cremation,the public veiwing cancelled,and u cant bury him up cause he was never buried,they didnt even try to track the murderer down,a person knew the killer and was going to turn him in (ya ryte) and he was killed when he was walking into the building but the supposed to be killer was dead months before that so what good was it then…like i said before tupac is alive it is a known fact peacee outt

  34. MAN, I ATE ONE OF DEM SPICY CHICKEN SANDWICHES FOR LUNCH AND MY TUMMY BE HURTIN…

  35. tupac is not dead

  36. hay the song ebony and ivory was put together by a homeless man and he mailed it into motown for stevie wonder to give it to paul mccartney this song made the most money in history for paul mccartney will over 35. 000; 000. from 1982 to now 2004 . contact me if you want to be come a millionaired .p.o. box 7435 chico, ca 95927. i,m looking for some one to run it i want to sell my copyrights to paul mccartney my price 35,000,000.

  37. hey I think that tupac is dead, there would be no reason for him to fake his death, think of it, he had no reason to fake it, i dont think that he would have been able to stay in hiding for that long without anyone seeing him. He had one of those faces that anyone would be able to recognize. His tattoos also would give him away, FACE IT HE IS DEAD MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIVES!!!!!

  38. any comments e-mail me at Brat81063@hotmail.com

  39. The death of Tupac is an interesting arguement. Some say that he wouldn’t take off the bullet proof vest at such a public event. Its already May 10th 2004, no return of Pac. However, the “New” name of tupac, Don Makevelli (im not sure of spelling) is supposed to be a mean resurrection which could be a sign he would return. Also, in many of his songs 2pac talks about “getting out of the public spotlight” could faking his own death be the only way out? And the 7 day theory and all the coinsedences with the 7’s… what does it all mean. Also, some say the person he was riding with Suge Knight, said that 12 shots came through the car but he was only “grazed by one”, how could pac be hit by all of the bullets and he get grazed by one. Finally, my last pieces of data, it is illegal to cremate someone the day after they die, and the funeral for his supposed death was canceled for unknown reasons.

    ~Josh~

  40. HE IS DEAD GIVE IT A BREAK

    LET THE MAN REST IN PEACE!!

  41. HE IS DEAD GIVE IT A BREAK

    LET THE MAN REST IN PEACE!!

  42. HE IS DEAD GIVE IT A BREAK

    LET THE MAN REST IN PEACE!!

  43. tu pac was the best rapper poet and musician who ever grasied this earth he raped with self beleath he cared for those who shared his company but even thow we can not see him no more he is still in our hearts hes in our music, let his legacy live on {REST IN PEACE TU-PAC AMURU SHACKUR

    WE WILL NEVER FORGET U

  44. Tupac isnt dead….. they faked it!

  45. Tupac isnt dead….. they faked it!

  46. Tupac isnt dead….. they faked it!

  47. Tupac isnt dead….. they faked it!

  48. Tupac is infact dead guys i am probably 1 of his biggest fans i have every tatto he had “visable” lol.. and let me just say the whole changing his name to makaveli thing was probably a setup if you know tupac he wanted to be remembered after he died so wouldnt you think he would want us thinkin is he dead alive?? i have to listen to his music it probably was just a way to get us to listen to his music more carefully for hints. so in closing R.I.P. fallin soldier

  49. EMAIL: pamela_woodlake@yahoo.com
    IP: 62.213.67.122
    URL: http://www.pills-for-penis.com
    DATE: 01/20/2004 08:12:04
    Don’t worry that other people don’t know you; worry that you don’t know other people.

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