The King of Pop, who died in June, 2009, made $275 million over the past year, putting him at the top of Forbes list of top-earning dead celebrities.
Second on the list released Monday is Elvis Presley, who earned $60 million.
Third is J.R.R. Tolkien, who sold a combined 500,000 copies of his The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit books in the past year alone.
"Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz is fourth, having earned $33 million.
Former Beatle John Lennon is fifth at $17 million.
Stieg Larsson, who wrote The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo but died of a heart attack at age 50 before it was published, earned $15 million in the past year.
The Forbes list, at Forbes.com, includes 13 names.
Tying for the last spots with $6 million apiece are Jimi Hendrix, Steve McQueen and Aaron Spelling.