They don't call her the Material Girl for nothin'.
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.
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 place with $95 million in the bank was Cowell, Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James, and Howard Stern.
Cowell 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.
As for James, she's sitting pretty thanks to revenue from her runaway bestseller, which has since been optioned by Universal Studios for a movie version.
Stern, meanwhile, has his SiriusXM radio show and a $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 10 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 10th 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.