Madonna Wins Highest-Earning Celebrity

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Updated August 27, 2013

MadonnaPop star Madonna was the world’s top-earning celebrity over the past year, trumping the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg.

The 55-year-old Material Girl made an estimated $125m (£80m) thanks to her MDNA tour, clothing and fragrance lines, according to Forbes.

Popular director Steven Spielberg was at number two with $100m (£64m). Most of his earnings came from his back catalogue of film hits such as ET and Jurassic Park – which has just been released in 3D to mark its 20th anniversary – as well as last year’s Oscar winning Lincoln. The director also takes a cut of all ticket sales at Universal Studios theme parks.

Third place was a three-way tie between 50 Shades of Grey author EL James, Simon Cowell and shock jock Howard Stern, with earnings of $95m (£61m).

Thriller writer James Patterson follows with $91m (£58.5m), while TV and radio host Glenn Beck earned $90m (£57.8m).

Others in the top 10 included Transformers director Michael Bay ($82m, £52.7m) producer Jerry Bruckheimer ($80m, £51.4m) and pop star Lady Gaga ($80m) who featured 10th on the list.

Forbes compiles its annual list of celebrity earnings using input from agents, managers, producers and others to calculate its estimates for each celebrity’s entertainment-related earnings.

The figures do not reflect tax deductions, agent fees or “the other expenses of being a celebrity”.