Michael Jackson is Forbes' highest paid dead star

Michael Jackson. Photo / AP
Michael Jackson. Photo / AP

The late Michael Jackson has been 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 NZ$193 million over the past 12 months, even more than the top living star, Madonna, who earned a little over $150m.

The Thriller star's wealth nearly tripled runner-up Elvis Presley's $66m 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, which begins its run in New Zealand on Wednesday, grossed an impressive $360m since opening last year and Las Vegas show One "regularly sells out", says the magazine.

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

- The Independent

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