5. John Lennon (tie)
Died: Dec. 8, 1980
Though the former Beatle was killed in New York City over 30 years ago, his estate continues to collect cash. Buoyed by their long-awaited inclusion in the iTunes Store, the Beatles sold 1.6 million albums in 2010, tenth-best of any musical act dead or alive. In addition to royalties from those sales, Lennon earns from the group’s Cirque du Soleil show and from licensing deals with the likes of Cisco and Mont Blanc.