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Michael Jackson Leads List of Top-Earning Dead Celebs

Michael Jackson

Madonna was the top earner on our recent Celebrity 100 list, raking in $125 million between June 2012 and June 2013. Not bad for a living person. Her late buddy Michael Jackson easily topped her though, earning $160 million over the past year by our estimate. It’s the third time in the past five years that the top-earning celebrity in the world has come from the graveyard.

Much of Jackson’s money comes from two Cirque du Soleil shows. Immortal, a touring show, has grossed over $300 million since opening last year. One, which opened at the Mandalay Bay in May, is routinely sold out. Both shows feature the usual Cirque du Soleil acrobatics but One comes with a bonus: a hologram-like illusion of Jackson performs “Man in the Mirror” at the end of the show.

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