Madonna's still the Material Girl
Singer sees off Spielberg and Cowell in rich list
WHEN Madonna told fans grumbling about the €145 price of tickets for her concerts to "start saving" because "I'm worth it", she had a point.
The Material Girl has been named the world's highest paid celebrity by the US magazine Forbes after raking in an estimated e93m in the past year.
Despite her MDNA album proving a flop, the accompanying high-priced tour filled stadiums, grossing e228m.
Madonna (55) topped up her income with money from her clothing line, fragrance and strategic investments in brands such as the celebrity-endorsed coconut water drink, Vita Coco.
Madonna's pulling power kept her comfortably ahead of the pretender to her pop crown, Lady Gaga (27), who ranked 10th in the list, with earnings of e60m.
Madonna enjoyed her highest paid year yet, Forbes said, topping the e82m she pocketed in 2009. Despite a slump in record sales, Madonna took her live shows to new territories, including the UAE, Ukraine and Colombia.
"Madonna's success, at age 55, just goes to show the incredible power of a successful music career," Dorothy Pomerantz, a reporter for Forbes, said.
But Madonna fell short of the e123m earned by Oprah Winfrey in the previous year, Forbes said.
The talk show queen and media mogul took a big pay cut this year, according to Forbes, falling to No 13 on the list with earnings of e57m.
The director Steven Spielberg came a distant second to Madonna on the list, with earnings of e75m last year, while E L James, the Fifty Shades Of Grey author, who earned e71m, tied for third place with the American 'shock jock' Howard Stern and music mogul Simon Cowell.
rich list: Madonna and, inset top to bottom, E L James, Howard Stern and Simon Cowell