Madonna Bests Steven Spielberg as Forbes' Top-Earning Celebrity for 2013

By Josh Grossberg
|  Monday, Aug 26, 2013  |  Updated 2:03 PM CDT
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Madonna accepts the award for top touring artist at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 19, 2013 in Las Vegas.

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They don't call her the Material Girl for nothin'.

Madonna came in at No. 1 on Forbes' list of the top-earning celebrities for the period of June 2012 to June 2013, surpassing the likes of director Steven Spielberg and music mogul Simon Cowell.

The $125 million the magazine estimated the 55-year-old Queen of Pop made was largely due to the massive success of her MDNA world tour, which grossed a whopping $305 million. That's in spite of her album of the same name flopping on the charts, selling less than a million copies in the U.S.

Also helping Madonna reach the milestone was the trek's merchandise sales as well as the big bucks she's made recently off such business endeavors as her fragrance, fashion line and various investments.

NEWS: E.L. James is Forbes top-earning author

Her nearest rival was Spielberg who raked in $100 million thanks to the box office hit that was his most recent film, "Lincoln," along with royalties he earns from his library of movies and the percentage he gets from ticket sales at Universal's theme parks.

Trailing the famed filmmaker and tied in third, fourth and fifth place respectively with $95 million in the bank was Cowell, "50 Shades of Grey" author E.L. James, and Howard Stern.

Simon may have not scored boffo ratings with his latest season of "The X Factor," but he did well enough this year on the strength of income generated from licensing out formats of "The X Factor" and "Got Talent" to networks in dozens of countries around the world.

NEWS: Simon Cowell and Howard Stern are Forbes' highest-paid TV personalities

As for James, she's sitting pretty thanks to revenue from her runaway bestseller, which has since been optioned by Universal Studios, which is making a movie version.

While Stern has his SiriusXM radio show and the shock jock's $15 million per year payday as a judge on "America's Got Talent."

Author James Patterson nabbed sixth place with $91 million followed by conservative commentator Glenn Beck with $90 million thanks to his ever-growing media empire.

Rounding out the top ten are "Transformers" director Michael Bay, who took the eighth spot with $82 million; mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who's in ninth with $80 million; and in tenth Lady Gaga who took in $80 million despite having to cut short her "Born This Way Ball" tour due to a hip injury she's since recovered from.

PHOTOS: Take a look back at Forbes Top 20 celebrity cash couples

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