Michael Jackson came in at No. 1, earning a whopping $825 million this year alone, according to Forbes. The massive income is in large part due to the March sale of Michael Jackson's half of the Sony/ATV music publishing catalog, which included its library of Beatles tunes for $750 million alone. If you're curious, Jackson purchased the catalog for $47.5 million—$140 million in 2016 dollars—to buy the Beatles-packed ATV publishing catalog back in 1985.
Peanuts creator Charles Schulz claims the second spot with $48 million, receiving ongoing paydays for licensing revenue from his famous characters, including 2015's well-received 3-D Peanuts movie. Arnold Palmer rounds out the top three with $40 million, although he earned most of this money while he was still alive since he only just passed away in September.
Musicians fill up many of the remaining top spots, including Prince and David Bowie who both passed away earlier this year. Prince earned nearly $2 million per show and sold more than 2.5 million albums over the past year, earning him $25 million in 2016 and the No. 5 spot on this list. Bowie released his final album, Blackstar, days before his death, and made $10.5 million overall to land at No. 11.
Musical icons like Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, and John Lennon round out the list with earnings of $27 million, $21 million, and $12 million, respectively. You can see the full list here.
10. Bettie Page ($11 million)
9. Albert Einstein ($11.5 million)
8. John Lennon ($12 million)
7. Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel ($20 million)
6. Bob Marley ($21 million)
5. Prince ($25 million)
4. Elvis Presley ($27 million)
3. Arnold Palmer ($40 million)
2. Charles Schulz ($48 million)
1. Michael Jackson ($825 million)