Madonna Highest-Earning Celeb, Despite 'Flop' Album

Her tour managed to save her—big time: Forbes
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2013 7:10 AM CDT
Madonna Highest-Earning Celeb, Despite 'Flop' Album
Madonna attends the world premiere of "Madonna: The MDNA Tour" at the Paris Theatre on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Somehow, despite selling fewer than a million copies of her latest album, Madonna made it to the top of the Forbes 2013 top-earning celebs list. She has her tour to thank: It grossed $305 million. Merchandise sales, her clothing line and fragrance, and investments also helped get her to the No. 1 spot; Forbes estimates she made $125 million between June 2012 and June 2013—more than she's ever earned since Forbes started the Celebrity 100 list. The rest of the top 5:

  • No. 2, Steven Spielberg, $100 million: Though last year's Lincoln and this year's TV show Under the Dome helped, a lot of that money comes from his vast library of past hits, which are in constant rotation on TV.
  • No. 3, EL James, $95 million: 50 Shades of Grey, 70 million copies. Enough said.
  • No. 3, Howard Stern, $95 million: The shock jock ties for third thanks to his Sirius/XM contract.
  • No. 3, Simon Cowell, $95 million: Another tie for third, this one thanks to the X Factor and dozens of Got Talent shows (one of which stars Stern).
Click for the complete list, which includes Glenn Beck in a very high spot. (Read more Forbes stories.)

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