Elvis Presley performed all over the United States, and a few times in Canada. He never travelled to another continent to perform, but he still made a great deal of money, so much so he was able to buy a huge mansion, Graceland. He has been dead for a long while – so is he still make money and if so, how much?
Elvis Presley still makes a great deal of money, despite dying in August 1977.
In fact, according to Forbes, Elvis is one of the highest-paid dead celebrities, every year.
Each year, Forbes releases a list of the highest earners, and this includes writers, cartoonists, musicians and more.
For many years, Elvis has topped the list, though now another celebrity has taken the top spot for almost every year since their death.
Elvis Presley – how much does he earn after his death?
Elvis Presley performing on stage
That man is Michael Jackson, who is one of the highest-earning dead celebrities ever, topping the list every year bar one since his death in 2009.
However, Elvis still comes in the top three most of the time, and in 2019 he earned a hugely high amount.
In 2019 Elvis earned $ 39 million (£30.5million), which is around the amount he makes every year.
This is nothing compared to Michael Jackson, however, who earned $ 60million (£47million) in 2019, but huge numbers like $ 400million (£313million) in 2018.
Elvis Presley and Colonel Tom Parker
Some of Michael’s numbers, however, are due to his estate selling part of his publishing rights to Sony.
Elvis’ estate, much of which is owned by Lisa Marie Presley, do not earn much of his royalties, as some of them belong to RCA, his record company.
In March 1973, Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager, suggested Elvis be given a lump sum in lieu of all future artist’s royalties for anything recorded up to that time.
Of course, by 1973, Elvis had quite the back catalogue to work with, meaning this would have earned RCA a huge amount of money.
Lisa Marie Presley
The deal was done, and RCA paid Elvis and Colonel Tom $ 5.4million (£4.2m) for the artist royalties, which was then split equally between the two men.
The amount would be equal to $ 31,5m (£24,3m) in today’s money.
As a result, Lisa Marie does not own the artist’s royalties on sales of recordings made before March 1973, however the Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) does own his artist’s royalties on sales of recordings made after that date, which still earns them a hefty sum.
EPE also still holds the publishing rights to all of the songs recorded by Elvis, which equals around 700, as they were part owned by Elvis through his various publishing companies.
The publisher’s royalties to his songs, therefore, are still earned by the EPE, as these were not sold to RCA.
Of course, his publishing contracts are liable to expire, after which those songs can no longer earn publishing royalties by the EPE, but can earn artist’s royalties for RCA.
Lisa Marie also sold 85 percent of her share of EPE in 2005 to entertainment company CKX.
This included its physical and intellectual properties, however Lisa Marie retained sole ownership of Graceland and her father’s personal items, many of which remain in the house.