On October 23, Forbes Magazine reported that the top earning dead celebrity from June 2012 through June 2013 is Michael Jackson (160 Million USD), while top earning living celebrity in the same period is Madonna (125 Million USD).
Does this information make you want to be a rich dead celebrity one day? Then look no further:
Now that the celebrity fetish of the times have reached a level of post-mortem financial envy, it's perhaps advisable to take a look at what drives the Cirque Du Soleil productions, the licensing frenzy of Jackson's publishing assets and the tickets that account for much of this zombie revenue. But why bother with all that when we - the people - want to be entertained whether you - the future dead celebrity - are dead or alive. (Pun is only intended for the 80's British-pop fans.)
Along with the likes of Elvis, Liberace and Marilyn Monroe, the asset management of dead celebrities have become a very lucrative business for the 'managers'. Michael Jackson is at the top of the list for many reasons but one cannot claim this throne by talent alone; you - the future dead celebrity - must meet the criteria when applying for this prestigious position which is bestowed upon you by we - the people:
1) Have talent (or be very good at something): No one can claim to be a rich dead celebrity without recorded talent, but you may get away with not having enough talent if you have a plethora of eccentricities to justify the memorabilia we - the people - will be purchasing after you are dead. Notice that Jackson fulfilled all of the above, and we have just begun to 'twerk' at number 1 before your vertiginous decline.
2) Try to break the law: You cannot get our attention without police raiding your estate at least a few times; if you cannot give us that, we'd rather mourn with Breaking Bad reruns. It really doesn't matter if you are guilty or innocent; to us, you will always be guilty.
3) Choose a lethal drug: This is tricky, because you must proceed with caution at a timely manner; if you 'go' too early, we won't care enough to invest in your post mortem stock. Feel free to exaggerate your addiction problems - even if you are not an addict. Take a look at the celebrity news and understand what we - the people - care to read amidst wars and climate change. Get your freak on!
4) If you're going to do something stupid, do it publicly: Why waste a good headline when you could be trending all the way to viral peaks. Stop being pedantic, or clandestine. (No, you don't have time to look these words up on Wiktionary.) Don't do stuff behind closed doors, get out there. Why do you think we - the people - have VMA's?
5) Use your faith or ethnicity to confuse us: We - the people - need to have arguments about you. So if you are black, turn white. If you are Christian, sing a gospel song BEFORE your LGBT experiences. If you are Muslim, consider questionable pen pals from North Korea. If you are Jewish, we may have already started the conversation.
6) Ruin your talents (or we - the people - will do it for you): This item may look like it is contradicting item number 1, but we - the people - must also witness a reliably continuous decline in your performance proficiency and general health BEFORE your funeral. In order for us to praise you to death, you must 'melt' first. It's how we - the people - roll.
7) Follow Forbes on Twitter: Only to see how other celebrities are much better off by being dead. Get inspired!
All joking aside, the horrendous reporting on the financial gains of the talent we have tragically lost over the years is precisely how the entertainment industry has turned us into the Kardashians. We - the people - can now claim to have the social awareness of a shopping mall escalator. Now, back to our regular reporting; it will contain similar undertones but will always be entertaining.
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