Kurt Cobain is the year’s top dead earner

Elvis is beaten for the first time in six years

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Kurt Cobain has been named the “Top-Earning Dead Celebrity” of the year in a poll by Forbes.com.

The Nirvana frontman, who died in 1994 aged 27, earned $50 million (£26.3m), as a result of his widow Courtney Love selling a 25% stake of his song catalogue to Primary Wave.

Relegated to second place, Elvis Presley, who has been top of the list for the past six years, earned $42 million (£22.1m).


The list includes other stars whos fortunes change year on year, depending on how the icon’s estates are handled.

Johnny Cash, who comes tenth on the list, earning $8million (£4.2m), released two albums this year, whereas Cobain’s fortune was from a solitary event.

Future Top-Earning lists will possibly see John Lennon move from this years’ fourth position at $24m (£12.6m) as Yoko Ono has filed to reclaim lost royalties from EMI.


The full Top ten “Top-Earning Dead Celebrities” are as follows:

1. Kurt Cobain $50m (£26.3m)

2. Elvis Presley $42m (£22.1m)

3. Charles Schulz $35m (£18.4m)

4. John Lennon $24m (£12.6m)

5. Albert Einstein $20m (£10.5m)

6. Andy Warhol $19m (£10m)

7. Dr Seuss/ Theodor Geisel $10m (£5.3m)

8. Ray Charles £10m (£5.3m)

9. Marilyn Monroe $8m (£4.2m)

10. Johnny Cash $8m (£4.2m)

To see the Forbes analysis of the list click here


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