Forbes recently released its list of “Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities” of the year and, unsurprisingly, a pair of musical icons — Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley — again have the No. 1 and 2 spots, respectively. Jackson took the top spot easily — his estate made $400 million in 2018, while runner-up Presley pulled in just $40 million. Bob Marley came in at No. 5 (his estate has stepped up merchandising to include marijuana strains and paraphernalia), Prince (whose posthumous record sales have been huge) came in at No. 9 and John Lennon rounded out the Top 10. Rapper XXXTentacion, who was murdered in June at age 20, came in at No. 11, making $11 million after racking up 4 billion streams following the news of his death.
WARM: GNR and Rihanna’s Playlist Disapproval
Rihanna and Axl Rose are the latest musicians expressing dismay over Donald Trump’s use of their music at campaign rallies. On Nov. 4, Rose announced on Twitter that he had formally requested Guns ’N’ Roses’ music no longer be used after “peeps” were “blowin’ up” his phone because they heard “Sweet Child O’ Mine” during news coverage of a campaign event. He also noted the loophole used to get around using the music without authorization — “blanket performance licenses” purchased by venues, usually so they can do things like play AC/DC songs during hockey games. Rihanna also chimed in after being alerted that her “Don’t Stop the Music” was being played over the PA as free Trump T-shirts were being thrown into the crowd. “Me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies,” she wrote on Twitter, after suggesting she’d take action to try to prevent it from happening in the future. Meanwhile, with every complaint, Lee Greenwood continues to salivate over the prospect of “Proud to Be an American” being the only song Trump is allowed to play at rallies.
COLD: Why People Love Death
Psychologist William Forde Thompson recently published the results of his latest study on why people are drawn to Death Metal’s extreme sound and violent, glum lyrics. For the study, Thompson played music by bands like Cannibal Corpse and Obituary to fans and non-fans, then recorded their reactions and used various psychological tests and tools to rate their personality. The results were remarkably unsurprising — as Thompson told Scientific American, Death Metal fans aren’t “angry people with violent tendencies,” and listening to music they like, even if it is classified as “extreme” or “violent,” gives them positive feelings. Thompson says he is trying to understand the “paradox of enjoying a negative emotion,” and chose Death Metal to explore people’s attraction to “violent” music. His ongoing studies have so far suggested that fans find the music cathartic and are attracted to the non-conformist, outsider aspect of it.