06/22/2010 01:16 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Richest Estates Of Dead Musicians (PHOTOS)

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 --

The Richest Dead Musicians