Michael Jackson tops Forbes’ top-earning dead celebrity list

The top five deceased celebrities following Jackson are Elvis Presley ($55 million), Marilyn Monroe ($27 million), ‘Peanuts’ cartoonist Charles Schulz ($25 million), and a tie between John Lennon and Elizabeth Taylor, who both earned $12 million.

MJ’s estate was estimated to have earned $170 million from sales of back catalog, his music publishing company, Mijac Music, and his stake in the Sony/ATV catalog in the past 12 months.

Jackson ’s fortune benefited from Cirque Du Soleil’s extravagant show Immortal based on his life and music. In addition, earlier this month, a tribute concert in Cardiff , Wales , attracted tens of thousands of fans.

Like Jackson , Presley’s legacy benefited from a Cirque Du Soleil show called Viva Elvis, besides the Graceland memorial and his extensive catalog.

Taylor, who died on March 23 this year, is high in the rankings because of sales of her perfume, White Diamonds.

Marilyn Monroe pulled in $27 million after her estate was acquired by Authentic Brands Group earlier this year.

Forbes magazine editors take into account revenue generated by a dead star, who has managed to “win” at least $ 6 million between October 2010 and October 2011.