The King of Pop takes the crown from last year's No. 1, his close friend and movie actress Elizabeth Taylor.
He has been gone for four years now, but the late King of Pop Michael Jackson still managed to reign over even living celebrities as Forbes' top-earner for 2013. His $160 million in earnings easily surpassed Celebrity 100 list No. 1 Madonna's $125 million payday. Jackson, who died in 2009 at the age of 50 from a doctor-administered drug overdose, regained the top spot from good friend Elizabeth Taylor, who dropped to No. 4 this year with $25 million.
Taking into account earnings made between from October 2012 to October 2013, Jackson's remarkable total came from two Cirque du Soleil shows, "Immortal", which since from its opening has grossed $300 million and the routinely sold-out "One". He also still earns from his extensive music catalogue.
Trailing Jackson at the runner-up position is fellow music icon and another king, that is, the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley, who earned an estimated $55 million, most of it coming from his estate and his famous home in Graceland. A notch below him is Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, who kept his third place ranking for a second straight year with $37 million, while a third music artist, reggae singer Bob Marley, completed the top 5 posthumously earning celebrities, taking fifth place with $18 million.
Actors/actresses and singers dominate the rest of the top ten, with Marilyn Monroe at No. 6 with $15 million, John Lennon at No. 7 with $12 million, Bettie Page at No. 8 with $10 million, Steve McQueen at No. 9 with $9 million, and Bruce Lee tied at No. 10 with Jenni Rivera with $7 million in earnings. Scientist Albert Einstein shares the 8th spot with Page while "Dr. Seuss" book author Theodor Geisel joining McQueen at No. 9.