Think of a deceased celebrity that still earns millions of dollars every year and you naturally think of Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain and now Michael Jackson.
While these stars continue to rake in millions despite their relocation to rock n roll heaven, the actual top-earning celebrity did not make movies or music.
According to my calculations, the top-earning deceased celebrity died more than three thousand years ago and was totally forgotten about until he made the biggest comeback ever.
If you are thinking of King Tutankhamen, you are correct. The reasoning behind his earning status is simple; King Tut is the face of Egyptian tourismwhich generates about $9 billion a year and represents about 11% of Egypts whole GDP.
While Egypt offers a wide variety of tourist options, most folks come to see the Sphinx, the pyramids and the boy king. In fact, it is hard to think of a single individual who is responsible for generating such a huge portion of a countrys wealth.
This does not include the amount of money now being generated by Tuts current tour of world museumswhere the golden objects found in his tomb generate gate fees and sales of kitschy souvenirs. I note the touring schedules of Janis Joplin and Buddy Hollydiminished dramatically after theirdemise.
And Tut has the last laugh. In the midst of political and religious turmoil, the ancient Egyptians did everything they could to erase the name of Tutankhamen from their monuments after he died young.
However, Tut has proven there is something to the mystic mummification processalthough out-earning Michael Jackson is not the sort of afterlife he would have possibly imagined.