According to an October 26, 2004 article in Forbes.com, "The earning power of most deceased people, even famous ones, slows considerably or stops altogether when they die. But for a select few, the pay checks keep coming and some draw even bigger pay-days than when they were alive. The trick? Making sure the songs and images live on, long after the celebrity is gone."
Elvis Presley leads their fourth annual assessment of the Top-Earning Dead Celebrities with $40 million annually.