The 15 people named on the Forbes list earned a combined $366 million between October 2010 and October 2011, which just goes to show that death is not the end when it comes to celebrities.
Songwriters who own their own work usually fare best on the list because their catalogs can keep selling well long after they've passed away. But now there's a new way for dead pop stars to earn big: Cirque Du Soleil. Michael Jackson, John Lennon and Elvis Presley all headed out on tour posthumously with Cirque, which helped them notch a spot on this rundown.
To place on this year's list a deceased celebrity had to have earned at least $6 million between October 2010 and October 2011. To compile the list, Forbes spoke to agents, lawyers and other sources to estimate each star's gross earnings (before taxes, management fees and other costs).
Below, the top 10 earners who made the list.