For the second year in a row, the late Michael Jackson leads Forbes’ list of top earning celebrities after death.

Since October 2010 the King of Pop has earned a whopping $170 million from his posthumous entertainment empire. Not only does this make Michael the top-earning dead celebrity, but it makes him the second highest paid star — dead or alive– overall this year.

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MJ’s steady influx of income this year can be attributed largely to aggressive deal-making by his estate’s executors and publishing company Mijac Music. His Cirque du Soleil show, “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour,” has been a bankable hit since it premiered on October 2, grossing on average $2.5 million per night.

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Jackson’s estate also earns the big bucks from his 50% stake in the Sony/ATV music catalog which includes hits from the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Eminem and others that generates approximately $50 million to $75 million a year.

The next big money-maker for Michael will undoubtedly be his new CD, “Immortal,” his second posthumous release, which hits stores November 21st.


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