Elvis Presley has come top of a list of the highest-earning dead celebrities, with an annual income of 22m.

Fans of The King have continued to snap up merchandise and visit his Graceland home 27 years after his death reports BBC online.

Peanuts cartoon creator Charles Schulz was in second place on the list, complied by US business website Forbes.com.

Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien was in third, making the top three unchanged for the second year in a row.

Presley's earnings go to Elvis Presley Enterprises, which is owned by his daughter Lisa Marie.

His earnings could increase in the future as a new generation of fans is introduced to him through a new clothing line and a Broadway musical.

A Forbes.com spokesman said: "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 cheques keep coming and some draw even bigger pay-days than when they were alive."

John Lennon is fourth in the list with an estimated annual income of 11m.

He is joined by fellow Beatle George Harrison - who died in 2001 - whose earnings reached 4m.

Other top earners include screen icon Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Freddie Mercury.


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