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Life After Death:

Artists Top Charts

From the Grave

7/13/2006 8:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Image composite of Notorious B.I.G, Kurt Cobain and Tupac Shakur

Johnny Cash

After being dead for three years, Johnny Cash has again topped the Billboard music charts -- for the first time in 37 years. Interestingly, TMZ did some digging and found out that The Man in Black is not the only artist who has had posthumous albums skyrocket to #1.

Tupac Shakur, aka 2Pac, was gunned down on a Las Vegas street in 1996 at the peak of his hip-hop career. Since that time, the rapper has released two albums that hit #1 on the charts-- once in 2001 and the other 2005. His mother Afeni Shakur is now controlling the artist's new album releases.

Christopher Wallace, aka The Notorious B.I.G or Biggie Smalls, was killed the following year. 2Pac and Biggie were engulfed in a very heated East vs. West Coast rap war that played out in their music. Biggie had two albums hit #1 following his death -- "Life After Death" and "Born Again."

Seattle band Nirvana, a band fronted by Kurt Cobain, lost its leader to suicide on April 5, 1994. The band released "MTV Unplugged in NY" shortly after the singer's death -- which shot to #1. Two years later, the band released "From the Muddy Banks of Wishkah," which also launched up the charts to #1.

Elvis PresleyThis album success trend doesn't only appear in Generation X artists. Long before those musicians picked up an instrument or microphone, dead celebrities were raking in the album sales; Bob Marley, Janis Joplin and Elvis Presley all had #1 one records after their deaths.

4 COMMENTS

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1.

the wise old owl    

The fact that something becomes MORE VALUBLE after the DEATH of it's creator is no surprise. When a famous ARTIST dies, his art work SKY ROCKETS ! When a famous Movie Star passes away, the memorabilia goes way up too. People value more what they can no longer have in their lives. Even more so then when they had it. Kind of Ironic but that's just the way it is in our society. If you can't get it, and it is in HIGH DEMAND, you are gonna PAY!!

2838 days ago
2.

doug    

Well, all I can say is...I bet Johnny is not 'cashing' in on this one.

2838 days ago
3.

the wise old owl    

Hey DOUG, he may not be CASHING IN, (very funny by the way ) But his ESTATE sure is.

2838 days ago
4.

Sublime    

What about Bradley Nowell?

2837 days ago

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