photo: Joel Ryan, AP
Madonna was the top earner on Forbes' recent Celebrity 100 list, raking in $125 million between June 2012 and June 2013. Not bad for a living person. Her late buddy Michael Jackson easily topped her, earning $160 million over the past year by our estimate. It's the third time in the past five years that the top-earning celebrity in the world has come from the graveyard.
Much of that money comes from two Cirque du Soleil shows. Immortal, a touring show, has grossed over $300 million since opening last year. One, which opened at the Mandalay Bay in May, is routinely sold out. Both shows feature the usual Cirque du Soleil acrobatics but One comes with a bonus: a hologram-like illusion of Jackson performs "Man in the Mirror" at the end of the show. (For more on Jackson's new show read Zack O'Malley Greenburg's story here.)
The King of Pop also still earns from his music and his half of the Sony/ATV catalog, which includes hits by The Beatles, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift among others.Read More »from Forbes Ranks Highest Earning Dead Celebrities