Elvis Presley earnings: How much would The King be worth today?
Elvis Presley stars in 1966 trailer for Frankie and Johnny
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Elvis Presley is the best-selling solo artist of all time, having broken a number of records with his work. He holds the records for the most Number One albums by a solo artist and the most Number One singles by any artist on the UK charts, showing how popular his work was and still is. While many may assume this would lead to substantial wealth, the real picture of Elvis Presley’s estate is a little more surprising.
How much would The King be worth today?
Elvis Presley would today be worth far more than when he died, despite not being able to tour or do live performances.
Generally speaking, touring is one of the most lucrative ways in which celebrities earn.
However, in the case of Elvis, he had spent a great deal of his wealth in his lifetime, meaning he is actually worth more now than before his death.
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When Elvis died, he had a net worth of $5million (£3.5million), which -accounting for inflation – would be around $21million (£15million) now.
This was partly due to his lavish lifestyle, where he would have hotel rooms remodelled to look like the interior of his home, Graceland, and would pay for his friends in the Memphis Mafia to live it large.
As well as this, he also had to pay his ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, a great deal in a settlement, as well as giving her five percent of his publishing rights, which were substantial.
According to Forbes, Elvis’ net worth in 2020 was $23million (£16.2million), which is more than when he was alive in 1977.
In fact, in Forbes annual list of high-earning dead celebrities, Elvis often appears near the top of the list along with fellow star Michael Jackson.
In 2019, Elvis earned $39million (£30.5million) from beyond the grave, which is around the amount he makes every year, meaning his net worth increases annually.
In 2020, Elvis was named the fifth-highest earning celebrity in 2020, and brings in around $10million (£7million) every year from tourists visiting Graceland.
Elvis had the potential to be earning even more during his lifetime and posthumously, however some dodgy dealings with his manager Colonel Tom Parker meant there were some missed opportunities.
In March 1973, Colonel Tom and Elvis sought a lump sum in lieu of all future artist’s royalties for anything recorded up to that time from Elvis’ record label, RCA.
By this time Elvis had quite the back catalogue, meaning this would have earned The King a huge amount of money if he had held on to it.
The deal was done and RCA paid Elvis and Colonel Tom $5.4million (£4.2million) for the artist royalties, which was then split equally between the two men.
$5.4million would be $31,512,240 in today’s money, which would be £24,250,716.98.
Elvis did maintain the artist royalties on recordings made after March 1973, which still earn the estate substantial amounts.
Despite this potential loss of earnings, Elvis did hold on to most of his publishing rights, which he earned on more than 100 songs.
However, due to copyright laws, these are likely to expire in the not too distant future, meaning there will no longer be a source of income for the estate.
Elvis’ estate was inherited by his daughter, Lisa Marie, though it was first managed by his father, grandmother and ex-wife until Lisa Marie was old enough.
The estate was held as Elvis Presley Enterprises, though Lisa Marie sold 85 percent of the estate’s business holdings in 2005.
Despite this, Lisa Marie still owns Graceland itself and all of the property within it.
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