Kobe Bryant is still a titan of industry even in death so says Forbes which just ranked him #6 on its “Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities of 2020” list.
Recall that the NBA legend passed away on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash but in the months that followed, his estate pulled in an estimated $20 million in earnings, Forbes says.
The main source of income is from shoes and apparel with Nike reportedly raking in around $250 mil annually from Mamba items.
In addition to sneakers, Kobe’s 2018 autobiography, “The Mamba Mentality: How I Play” sold more than 300,000 copies this year TEN TIMES the number of copies it did in 2019, Forbes says.
There’s more after the Lakers won the NBA championship in October, Bryant’s jersey was the #2 seller for the organization, behind Finals MVP LeBron James.
As for the rest of the Forbes list Michael Jackson is still #1 with $48 mil in earnings in 2020. Dr. Seuss is #2 with $33 mil. Peanuts creator Charles Schulz is #3 with $32.5. Arnold Palmer is #4 with $25 million. And #5 is Elvis with $23 mil.
Elvis’ estate has lost a ton of money this year because of the COVID pandemic, tourism at his legendary home Graceland is a big moneymaker, but it’s been hit hard by the shutdowns.
Unfortunately, there’s another newcomer to the “Dead Celebs” list rapper Juice WRLD, who died back in Dec. 2019 at only 21. Forbes says his music sales spiked after his death, helping the estate bring in $15 mil.