28 Aug 2013

Madonna listed as top earning celebrity

7:40 am on 28 August 2013

Madonna is the world's top-earning celebrity, according to Forbes, which estimates she made $US125 million in the past year.

Her income was mainly from her MDNA tour, which grossed $US305 million, helped by sales of clothing, fragrance and various investments.

Madonna's top spot compares with her previous peak of $US110 million in 2009.

Forbes compiles its annual list of earnings using input from agents, managers, producers and others to calculate its estimates. The figures do not reflect tax deductions, agent fees or other expenses.

"Madonna's success, at age 55, just goes to show the incredible power of a successful music career," Forbes reporter Dorothy Pomerantz said.

In other listings:

Film director Steven Spielberg was second with earnings of $US100 million.

50 Shades of Grey author EL James, radio jock Howard Stern and music and television producer Simon Cowell were in a three-way tie for third with earnings of $US95 million.

Others in the top 10 earners included TV host Glenn Beck, director Michael Bay and thriller writer James Patterson, who Forbes said was now the best-selling author of all time.