Over the past year, Michael Jackson’s ghost earned more money than any other celebrity… living or dead.
Oww! Jamon! Hee-hee!
According to Forbes, Madonna earned $125 million between June 2012 and June 2013 — enough to place her at the top of its most recent list of highest-paid stars. The estate of her old pal MJ, though, raked in $35 million more, for a total of $160 million, making him easily the highest-paid star of 2013. As Forbes puts it: “It’s the third time in the past five years that the top-earning celebrity in the world has come from the graveyard.” How appropriate, just before Halloween!
Michael’s money comes from a variety of sources, including two Cirque du Soleil shows — one that tours, one housed at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Vegas — and his half of the Sony/ATV song catalog, which includes his own hits as well as tunes like “When a Man Loves a Woman.”
Another artist represented in that catalog: Elvis Presley, who ranks second on Forbes‘ list of dead earners with $55 million. The top five is rounded out by Peanuts creator Charles Schulz ($37 million), Jackson pal Elizabeth Taylor ($25 million), and Bob Marley ($18 million).
See the full top 25 in a Forbes slideshow.