For a second straight year Michael Jackson is the world's top dead earner, according to a macabre list compiled by Forbes magazine of stars whose earning power remains undiminished beyond the grave.

The King of Pop, who died two years ago at the age of 50, brought in $170 million (Rs 840 crore) for his estate over the past 12 months, enough to place him ahead of every other pop music act of the past year both living and dead except for Irish rock band U2.

Elvis came in second place, earning $55 million (Rs 270 crore), thanks to his evergreen songbook and a hit Las Vegas stage production featuring his tunes mounted by Cirque de Soleil.
In third place was movie siren Marilyn Monroe, who had $27 million (Rs 133 crore) in earnings over the past year.

Peanuts, the cartoon creator Charles Schulz was fourth while Beatles' legend John Lennon tied for fifth place with screen goddess Elizabeth Taylor, both earning $12 million.

While much of Lennon's revenues came as payment from other musicians performing his music, Taylor's largely came from her best-selling perfume White Diamonds.

Taylor's estate also appears likely to net handsomely from a December sale later this year by the Christie's auction house featuring the late actress's jewels, art work and gowns.

The top earners are:
Michael Jackson
Elvis Presley
Marilyn Monroe
Peanuts cartoon creator Charles Schulz
John Lennon, Elizabeth Taylor
Albert Einstein
Children's author Theodor Dr Seuss Geisel
Jimi Hendrix; Swedish writer Stieg Larsson; Hollywood actor Steve McQueen; and legendary composer Richard Rodgers
George Harrison, Bettie Page and Andy Warhol