Fame leads to more than fortune. When armed with talent, ambition, passion, business-sense and an loyal audience, celebrities pack a lot of power. On Monday, Forbes released its annual list showcasing 100 of the world’s more powerful celebrities.
The famous faces topping the roster do more than perform. Some helm media and fashion empires. Others make millions designing and/or endorsing fragrances, cosmetics and other consumer products. A few even moonlight as venture capitalists.
Beginning with comeback queen Jennifer Lopez, here’s a look at the celebrity elite that landed spots 1 – 10 on Forbes Celebrity 100.
- Jennifer Lopez: Before winning a seat between Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler at the American Idol judging table, J.Lo’s A-list status was dangerously close to sliding down a notch or two. In the past year, she has earned more than $52 million, landed major endorsement deals with Procter & Gamble‘s (NYSE:PG) Gillette and L’Oreal (PINK:LRLCY). She also has a successful clothing line at Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS), a popular fragrance and a new album.
- Oprah Winfrey: Although Winfrey had a tough year dealing with her struggling cable network, OWN, she still earned $165 million last year. Her magazine, radio deal with Sirius (NASDAQ:SIRI) and spin-off shows have helped Winfrey remain the top earner on the list.
- Justin Bieber: He’s only 18, but the Canadian superstar earned about $55 million dollars last year. In addition to recording hit albums, selling out shows and hawking myriad consumer products, Bieber is a budding venture capitalist. He owns stakes in start-ups such as Spotify and Tinychat.
- Rihanna: The beautiful singer from Barbados earned $53 million during the past year. Her hit singles like We Found Love and Talk That Talk helped her score a spot on the list for the first time. She also makes millions with her fragrance and endorsement deals.
- Lady Gaga: The incomparable Gaga held last year’s No. 1 spot on the list, but with earning $52 million despite touring less, fifth place isn’t shabby. With more than 24 million Twitter followers and 50 million Facebook fans, the musician is very influential in social media.
- Britney Spears: J.Lo isn’t the only celeb on the list who has made a comeback. At the No. 6 spot, Spears has officially revitalized her career. She earned $58 million last year because of extensive touring, endorsements, a platinum album and a fragrance line with Elizabeth Arden (NASDAQ:RDEN).
- Kim Kardashian: Millions snicker at the celebrity power harnessed by the TV reality-show star because she’s mostly known for stirring controversy. However, drama can reel in money, fame and power. The 31-year-old earned $18 million last year and appeared on more than 60 magazine covers.
- Katy Perry: Aside from rocking blue hair — seriously not many people can pull that one off — Katy Perry is only the second artist in history to have five No. 1 singles from the same album. The other celebrity who accomplished that? Michael Jackson. Perry earned about $45 million last year.
- Tom Cruise: The ninth spot on the list and the third comeback story goes to Tom Cruise. Many wrote Cruise off after his couch-hopping stint on Oprah coupled with his noisy opinions about silent childbirth and other philosophies. But the legendary actor has some serious star power. The success of Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol helped him earn $75 million.
- Steven Spielberg: With two Oscar nominated films, The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse and earnings of $130 million, the movie producer/director landed the No. 10 spot on the list. DreamWorks‘ (NASDAQ:DWA) successful debut on the small screen with hits such as Terra Nova and Smash also add to Spielberg’s power prowess.
There are 90 more celebrities who’ve aced the power game, so check out the entire Forbes Celebrity 100 List.