Entertainment | Celebrity

Oprah Winfrey is Forbes’ most powerful celebrity

US talkshow host has massive earnings and big social media presence

  • Reuters
  • Published: 09:09 June 26, 2013
  • Tabloid

  • Image Credit: REUTERS
  • Oprah Winfrey was named the most powerful celebrity on June 26, 2013 by Forbes, heading the six women and four men who make up the top 10.

After two years as a runner-up, Oprah Winfrey was named the most powerful celebrity on Wednesday by Forbes, heading the six women and four men who make up the top 10.

It was the fifth time the former talk show host who runs her own TV network has headed the annual ranking of 100 celebrities.

Singer Lady Gaga came in second, followed by director/producer Steven Spielberg and singers Beyonce and Madonna.

“There is nobody else with that kind of consistency and power,” said Dorothy Pomerantz of Forbes.com. “There are only three people who have been on every single one of our lists since 1999. It is Oprah, Howard Stern and Steven Spielberg.” Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, who was No 1 last year, dropped to 12th place.

With earnings of $77 million (Dh282.7 million) from June 2012 to 2013, Winfrey was not the highest earning celebrity, an honour that went to Madonna who made $125 million, but Forbes said Winfrey’s position in Hollywood and her presence in the press, on television and in social media propelled her to the No 1 spot.

“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.” Despite hip surgery, which forced her to cut short a tour, Lady Gaga earned $80 million in the past 12 months which, along with her army of fans and powerful social media presence, assured her second place.

“She is still a huge force in pop music. Even when she is not playing, people are talking abut her and speculating about her,” Pomerantz said.

Spielberg, with earnings of $100 million in the last year, was the top man on the list, ahead of rock star Jon Bon Jovi at No 7, tennis champion Roger Federer and Justin Bieber, the youngest member of the list, squeezed into the top ten at No 9.

Although only 23, sixth place singer Taylor Swift, made the list for the first time and rounded out the top 10 along with Emmy-award winning TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

Money, fame, social media

Forbes based a celebrity’s earnings on income from tours, books, contracts, endorsements, movies and residuals. Each celebrity was given a marketability score, developed by California market research firm E-Poll.

It gauged fame and influence by how often celebrities appear in the media. It used Starcount, a Singapore-based company that looks at 11 social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to determine their presence in social media.

“In today’s world celebrities have this enormous ability to reach out to their fans, who really are their customers, and to sell their product, which is really themselves. If they don’t take advantage of that it hurts them,” said Pomerantz.

Pop stars, most notably Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Barbados-born singer Rihanna, are particularly good with handling social media, according to Forbes.

Top celebrity couples include Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z (32), American football quarterback Tom Brady (65) and his model wife Gisele Bundchen (81), and actor Ashton Kutcher (53) and his girlfriend Mila Kunis (89).

Best actress Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, who was No 49, is a newcomer to the list this year, as is Hugh Jackman, who was No 11, and new father Channing Tatum (23).

Covering everything from entertainment and lifestyle

Tabloid
Lifestyle & Entertainment columnists
  • Russell Hemmings
    Life the Hemmings way

    Life coach Russell Hemmings on fears, anxieties and the human psyche demystified

  • Uma Ghosh Deshpande
    The Dubai Insider

    TV personality Uma Ghosh Deshpande guides you through the city’s society gatherings and stories

  • Bharat Thakur
    Yoga for you

    Bharat Thakur guides you through practices and wisdom of this ancient science of exercising

  • Gaby Doman
    Gaby Doman: Notes to myself

    The everyday ups and downs of being a modern woman, according to this globetrotter

  • Pratyush Sarup
    Design diary

    Dubai-based interior designer Pratyush Sarup lets us in on the world of design

Lifestyle top picks

More from Life

Quick Links

  1. Business

  2. Sport

  3. The latest Entertainment news

  4. The latest Lifestyle stories

  5. Blogs

  6. Opinion

In Entertainment

  1. Books

  2. Celebrity

  3. Latest film and cinema news

  4. Gaming

  5. Internet

  6. Music

  7. Performing and Visual Arts

  8. Television

Latest in Entertainment

  1. New movie releases in the UAE this weekend

  2. Helen McCrory turns a new age ‘Medea’

  3. ‘Weird Al’ on his successful week in music

  4. Review: ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’

  5. Emirati horror film ‘Djinn’ now showing on TV