Michael Jackson is Forbes’ highest paid dead star


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The Independent Culture

The late King of Pop was named by Forbes magazine as the top-earning dead celebrity of the past year. The singer, who died in 2009 at the age of 50, raked in nearly £99m over the past 12 months, even more than the top living star, Madonna, who earned a little over £77m.

The Thriller star’s wealth nearly tripled runner-up Elvis Presley’s £34m on Forbes’ annual list of posthumous celebrity wealth. He reclaimed the top spot from his old friend Dame Elizabeth Taylor, who died in 2011 aged 79.

Much of Jackson’s cash from beyond the grave has come from his two Cirque Du Soleil shows. Immortal grossed an impressive £185m since opening last year and Las Vegas show One “regularly sells out”, says the magazine.

He also earns a fortune from his half of the lucrative Sony song catalogue, which includes hits by The Beatles, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift.