Still worth his weight in gold: Stunning new image of King of Pop Jacko (as it's revealed he earned £175m last year)

Michael Jackson has been named this year's top-earning dead celebrity, with earnings of nearly £175million.

The singer, who died aged 50 in June 2009, earned a staggering £173million over the past twelve months - more than pop stars Lady Gaga, Madonna and Jay-Z combined.

His earnings were also more than the other 12 celebrities on the Forbes list, which included John Lennon, Steve McQueen and Elvis Presley.

Forbes writer Lacey Rose said: 'Jackson's spot atop our top earning dead celebrities list should come as no surprise given the renewed fan interest in music, videos and all things Michael Jackson.

'Thanks to a lucrative catalog, hit film and album sales, the late king of pop earned more in the last year than Lady Gaga, Madonna and Jay-Z, combined.'

Presley came in second, earning £37million from admissions to his former home, Graceland, which is now a museum and tourist attraction in Memphis, Tennessee, a Cirque de Soleil show and more than 200 licensing and merchandise deals.

Jackson was 50 when he died in his Los Angeles home on June 25 last year, shortly before a planned series of comeback concerts in London. The singer left behind three children and a debt of £315million.

But his estate has generated millions since his death, mostly through record sales, the This Is It concert movie, licensing rights, deals to release new albums and a Cirque du Soleil stage show in Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, new photographs of Jackson have been released in new book Michael Jackson: The Auction ahead of a sale of the pictures in Paris in December.

One of the shots, both taken by French photographer Arno Bani, shows Jackson with super-smooth skin and a round blue patch of glittery make-up around his eye.

The other, which was intended to be the cover for Jackson's 1999 album Invincible, shows the singer wrapped in a shiny gold cape, looking intensely into the camera.

Talking about working with Jackson at the time, Bani said: 'I had carte blanche. I was young but he was more of a kid than I was. He asked me to dream, to play with haute couture - it was like solving a puzzle.'

The two photographs, along with a selection of other shots all taken by Bani, will be auctioned off by Pierre Bergé auctioneers in Paris on December 13th.

Michael Jackson: The Auction (Thames & Hudson) £15.95 is out now.


1. Michael Jackson (£173million)
2. Elvis Presley (£37million)
3. J.R.R Tolkein (£31million)
4. Charles Schulz (£20million)
5. John Lennon (£10million)
6. Steig Larsson (£9million)
7. Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) (£6.9million)
8. Albert Einstein (£6.3million)
9. George Steinbrenner (£5million)
10. Richard Rodgers (£4million)
11. (tie) Jimi Hendrix (£3.7million)
11. (tie) Steve McQueen £3.7million)
13. Aaron Spelling (£3.1million)

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