It may hearten some of you jaded music lovers to learn that back in March Johnny Cash's latest album, "American VI: Ain't No Grave," debuted at number three on the Billboard 200. Yes, six years after his death, the music legend is still giving Lady Gaga and Katy Perry a run for their money. Meanwhile, last year a deceased Michael Jackson sold 8.3 million albums and 12.4 million digital downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan, making him the best-selling artist of 2009.
As album and DVD sales taper off, the entertainment industry has quickly found another goldmine: deceased musicians with proven track records. From nostalgic musicals to remastered albums, these departed musicians generate millions of dollars in royalties and licensing fees at a relatively low production cost. It's no wonder why we see ongoing family feuds, high-end auctions and public tussles for the rights to such music catalogs.
Check out some of the most lucrative catalogs of departed musicians --