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.
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.