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Oprah tops Forbes' power list

The factors that allow one to make the Forbes Power List include annual earnings, influence and media appearances.

art and culture Updated: Jun 15, 2007 17:14 IST

US talk show host Oprah Winfrey heads the list of the world's most powerful celebrities in Forbes magazine, followed by golfer Tiger Woods, Madonna and the Rolling Stones.

Oprah, who also runs a book club and other publications, topped the Celebrity 100 Power list published on Thursday, after placing second in 2006 behind actor Tom Cruise.

Although she earned a huge chunk of money - $260 million for the year, making her the strongest earner - income alone wasn't enough to place well. Other factors such as influence, annual earnings, internet hits, and television and magazine cover appearances factored into placement on the Power list.

Producer Steven Spielberg, for example, only placed 10th on the power list, even though he was the third largest money earner, with $110 million.

Conversely, actor Brad Pitt's earnings of a meagre $35 million made him the 25th largest earner. Yet, he was ranked the fifth most powerful, in recognition of public sympathy for his role as partner of actress Angelina Jolie, father of one biological and three adopted children with her, and public activist on behalf of New Orleans recovery and other issues.

Jolie, who ranked only 59th on the earnings side with $20 million, was ranked the 14th most powerful celebrity in the world, for reasons similar to those that boosted Pitt to fifth place. She was 36th last year.

Golf wizard Tiger Woods (income $100,000) claimed second most powerful place, followed by the 'Material Girl' singer Madonna ($72 million) and the '60s rock group Rolling Stones ($88 million).

Johnny Depp, who with $92 million earned more money in a single year than almost any actor ever in history, according to Forbes, rated sixth on the power list.

British singer Elton John, actor Tom Cruise, hip-hop artist Jay-Z and Spielberg rounded out Forbes' list of the ten most influential people on the planet.

While Americans claimed eight of the ten top spots, other international figures placed among the top 100, including Germany's Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher at 24th place. His top rival on the racing circuit, Kimi Raikkonen of Finland, ranked 41st.

German Model Heidi Klum climbed from 96th place last year to 84th. Britain's football star David Beckham, who is moving to California to play with Los Angeles Galaxy, claimed 15th place.

Recognizing the growing popularity and influence of the hip-hop community, Forbes opened a new category of earners called "Hip-Hop Impresarios," who it said are "businessmen who continue to expand their brands and influence outside of music alone."

They included Jay-Z (ninth, $83 million), 50 Cent (32nd, $33 million) and Sean (Diddy) Combs (43rd, $23 million).

Missing from this year's most powerful are three of America's most troubled celebrities - Paris Hilton, the hotel heiress in jail for violating probation for drunken driving, actress Lindsay Lohan and singer Britney Spears.

In their place were "young female entertainers with 'good girl' reputations," Forbes said, including Hilary Duff (72nd), Jessica Alba (78th), Hayden Panettiere (98th) and Dakota Fanning (94th).

First Published: Jun 15, 2007 16:39 IST