Rock 'n' roll legend Elvis Presley has ceded his crown to Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain on forbes.com's list as the top-earning dead celebrity.
The list says grunge rocker Cobain earned $US50 million between October 2005 and October 2006. Presley wound up in second place with $US42 million , down from last year's $US45 million .
Forbes.com bases its dollar amounts on licensing deals for using the deceased celebrities' work or image in advertising or elsewhere.
This was Cobain's first time on the list in its six years of publication. Presley has ruled the roost since its inception, said forbes.com staff writer Lacey Rose.
Cobain's coup was due to his widow, actress and singer Courtney Love, who sold a 25 per cent stake in the Seattle grunge group's song catalogue to New York music publishing company Primary Wave.
Ranked after Presley is Peanuts cartoon strip creator Charles Schulz at $US35 million.
Rounding out the top five are Beatle John Lennon at $US24 million and groundbreaking physicist Albert Einstein at $US20 million.
Einstein's estate profits from such licensing deals as the popular Baby Einstein educational videos.
Other celebrities on the list include Theodore Geisel, better known as children's book author Dr Seuss; rhythm & blues pioneer Ray Charles, silver screen legend Marilyn Monroe and reggae superstar Bob Marley.
Past top earners include songwriter Irving Berlin and actor Marlon Brando.The top 10 dead rich are:
1. Kurt Cobain £26.3m
2. Elvis Presley £22.1m
3. Charles Schulz £18.4m
4. John Lennon £12.6m
5. Albert Einstein £10.5m
6. Andy Warhol £10m
7. Dr Seuss/ Theodor Geisel £5.3m
8. Ray Charles £5.3m
9. Marilyn Monroe £4.2m
10. Johnny Cash £4.2m