$125 million Material Girl: Madonna tops Forbes' top-earning celebrity list 2013


She may be a Material Girl but it seems Madonna, 55, is rather shrewd when it comes to hoarding (as opposed to spending) money. The pop star is the world's top-earning celebrity according to Forbes, raking in an estimated $125 million (£80 million) in the past year, mainly from her $305 million-grossing MDNA tour.

The singer's fortune was also amassed by sales of clothing, fragrance and various investments. This is despite her latest album, MDNA, flopping with sales of fewer than 1 million copies and singles like "Give Me All Your Luvin" failing to impress in the charts.

"Madonna, at age 55, just goes to show the incredible power of a successful music career," Forbes reporter Dorothy Pomerantz said, adding that 27-year-old pop singer Lady Gaga, who came tenth on the list with $80 million in earnings, is often said to be drawing inspiration from Madonna's four-decade-long career.

Click here or on "View Images" for the top ten in pictures

"The young star [Lady Gaga] is certainly emulating Madonna when it come to raking in money," Pomerantz said.

Lincoln film director Steven Spielberg came a distant second to Madonna on Forbes' list, with earnings of $100 million last year, most of which came from his back catalogue of hits including E.T. and Jurassic Park.

Forbes compiles its annual list of celebrity earnings using input from agents, managers, producers and others to calculate its estimates for each celebrity's entertainment-related earnings. The figures do not reflect tax deductions, agent fees or "the other expenses of being a celebrity."

Madonna's $125 million top spot compares with her previous peak of $110 million in 2009, but falls short of the $165 million taken in by Oprah Winfrey in the previous year, Forbes said.

Talk show queen and media mogul Winfrey took a big pay cut this year according to Forbes, falling to number 13 on the list with earnings of $77 million.

Tied in third place with earnings of $95 million in the past year were Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James, radio shock jock Howard Stern and X Factor and music mogul Simon Cowell.

Others in the top 10 earners included TV host Glenn Beck, director Michael Bay of the Transformers franchise, and thriller novelist James Patterson, who Forbes said was now the best-selling author of all time.

Both Spielberg and Bay also made last year's top 10, though with significantly larger earnings.

The full list of top-earning celebrities can be viewed here.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments