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Michael Jackson Is Forbes’ Top-Earning Dead Celebrity

Michael Jackson
Doug Benc, Getty Images

Michael Jackson may be gone but he’s still rolling in the dough like a baker. The late King of Pop tops Forbes magazine’s list of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities. His estate earned more money between October 2012 and October 2013 than any other deceased entertainer.

According to the business magazine, MJ’s estate raked in $160 million. Most of the revenue is coming from his stake in the Sony/ATV catalog that includes songs from Lady Gaga, the Beatles and Taylor Swift, among others. The Michael Jackson-inspired Cirque du Soleil shows are also generating a huge profit for the estate.

Interestingly, MJ earned more money than the highest-earning living celebrity, which is Madonna at $125 million.

Following behind Jackson on the list is the other “king,” Elvis Presley. His estate generated $55 million last year. Another great musician, Bob Marley, finished at No. 5 with $18 million raised in the past year.

Forbes’ Top-Earning Dead Celebrities List

1. Michael Jackson: $160 million
2. Elvis Presley: $55 million
3. Charles M. Schulz: $37 million
4. Elizabeth Taylor: $25 million
5. Bob Marley: $18 million
6. Marilyn Monroe: $15 million
7. John Lennon: $12 million
8.(tie) Albert Einstein: $10 million
8.(tie) Bettie Page: $10 million
10. Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss): $9 million

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