Oprah Winfrey has topped Forbes magazine’s most powerful celebrities list. The billionaire TV star has reclaimed the number one spot on the financial magazine’s annual ranking of Hollywood stars, with the publication crediting her $77 million earnings between June 2012 and June 2013, as well as her prominence on TV, on social media and in the press.
Forbes writer Dorothy Pomerantz said: “She still wields an enormous amount of power, which is really what we look for in our fame matrix. She is taking this cable network and turning it around just through the sheer force of her will, her connections and her ability.”
The 59-year-old star – who has topped the list on four previous occasions – is one of three celebrities who have featured on the prestigious list every year since its inception in 1999, along with radio DJ Howard Stern and director Steven Spielberg.
However, Oprah wasn’t the highest earning star over the last year; that honour went to pop icon Madonna, who earned a massive $125 million between June 2012 and June 2013. Last year’s number one, Jennifer Lopez – who topped the chart thanks to her public profile and earnings of $52 million – drops to 12 on this year’s countdown, while fellow singer Lady GaGa ranks at number two.
Despite being forced to cancel numerous dates on her moneymaking ‘Born This Way Ball’ tour due to hip surgery earlier this year, the 27-year-old star earned $80 million from the global jaunt. Forbes also cites her devoted fan following on social media for her lofty ranking on the list.
Pomerantz said: “She is still a huge force in pop music. Even when she is not playing, people are talking about her and speculating about her.” Elsewhere, ‘Lincoln’ director Spielberg, ‘Grown Woman’ singer Beyonce and Madonna round out the top five, and Taylor Swift makes her debut on the annual list at number six.
The Celebrity 100 is based on income over a 12-month period and fame, as defined by a media presence across all platforms, as well as social media power. Forbes calculated celebrity’s earnings on income from tours, books, contracts, endorsements, movies and residuals and each star was given a marketability score, created by California market research firm E-Poll.
Forbes also deciphered how often individual stars appeared in the media and used Star count – a Singapore-based company that studies celebrity’s presence on 11 different social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to assess their popularity and influence.
Forbes magazine’s Celebrity 100, 2013 – Top 10
1. Oprah Winfrey
2. Lady GaGa
3. Steven Spielberg
6. Taylor Swift
7. Jon Bon Jovi
8. Roger Federer
9. Justin Bieber
10. Ellen DeGeneres