It’s been 2 years since his untimely death, and since ill-fated day in June 2009, Michael Jackson’s estate continues to generate an overwhelming amount of money. For the second year in a row, Jackson has been number one on Forbes Magazine’s ‘top-earning dead celebrities.’ Jackson earned about $170 million this past year, which also makes him the second highest earning artist in 2011 period, following U2.

A decrease from the $275 mill the King of Pop earned in the year after his passing, this year’s fortune came from music sales and his stake in the Sony/ATV catalog. According to Forbes, Jackson may make it to the top of 2012’s list due to Cirque du Soleil’s tribute show to the unparalleled performer called “Immortal.” If the whimsical tour company’s homage does well enough, Jackson’s could possibly earn more touring income posthumously than when alive.

Elvis Presley made number 2 on the list with earnings in the neighborhood of $55 million, followed by Marilyn Monroe, with $27 million and Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz coming in 4th. Screen icon Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away in March 2011 tied with singer John Lennon, both raking in $12 million. For the complete list, check this.

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