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Michael Jackson tops Forbes' list of highest-paid dead celebrities

By
Sarah Mulé
Michael Jackson arrives at Carnegie Hall in New York to chair a benefit and panel discussion on love work and parenting for his foundation, Heal The Kids, on February 14, 2001. File Photo by Ezio Petersen/UPI
Michael Jackson arrives at Carnegie Hall in New York to chair a benefit and panel discussion on love work and parenting for his foundation, Heal The Kids, on February 14, 2001. File Photo by Ezio Petersen/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Michael Jackson tops Forbes' annual list of the highest paid deceased celebrities with an $825 million pretax payday in 2016.

In March, Jackson's estate sold his half of the Sony/ATV music catalog, which included the rights to Beatles songs, for $750 million.

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Jackson's $47.5 million purchase of the catalog in 1985 ended up being his biggest investment.

"That was a big fight when he wanted to buy that catalog... it turned out to be one of the greatest investments ever," said celebrity estate manager Jeff Jampol.

Jackson's estate also released new editions of his Off the Wall album earlier this year.

Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts cartoon, holds the second spot on the list, earning $48 million between Oct. 1, 2015 and Oct. 1, 2016. Schulz died in 2000, but is still earning money thanks to the licensing from the Peanuts franchise.

Also included on the list are Arnold Palmer, Prince, David Bowie, and Elvis Presley, who sold more than 1 million albums in the past year.

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