Texas Trademark Lawyer Tamera Bennett

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Songwriters/Music Publishers Make Forbes Top-Earning Dead Celebrities

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FORBES Magazine released their annual report on Top-Earning Celebrity Estates last week. Broadway songwriting duo Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II placed second on Forbes'  list with $235 million in earnings.   The bulk of their $235 million in combined earnings came from the sale of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization and the rights to music they wrote together. See my post here about the music publishing catalog purchase.

Debuting on the list in third place is musician Michael Jackson. In the four months since his untimely death, the King of Pop's estate has brought in $90 million.  A bulk of this income is related to earnings for the much anticipated "This Is It" show.

Elvis Presley placed fourth with $55 million in earnings.   The Presley Estate topped the list in 2008 with earnings of $52 million.

John Lennon placed seventh with $15 million.

Jimi Hendrix was 12th with $8 million.