The top-earning dead celebrities

An artist touches up a background portrait of Johnny Cash on stage before the Johnny Cash Memorial Tribute last year. Cash ranked No. 10 on Forbes' list of top-earning dead celebrities.
An artist touches up a background portrait of Johnny Cash on stage before the Johnny Cash Memorial Tribute last year. Cash ranked No. 10 on Forbes' list of top-earning dead celebrities.Mark Humphrey / AP file
/ Source: Forbes

They're famous across the globe. Their work is treasured by millions. And they're rolling in cash — they just can't spend any of it.

The 13 members of our annual Highest-Earning Dead Celebrities list brought in a collective $186 million in the last year.

They, or more accurately, their estates, earned that money by selling their work — both written and recorded — or just the rights to use their likenesses on T-shirts, posters or in advertisements.

Sometimes their life stories themselves are worth something: Musician Ray Charles makes the list for the first time this year, in part because of income related to his 2004 biopic. Johnny Cash, who also makes his first appearance this year, has his own movie out in November.