Oprah Winfrey continues to take over the world. The media mogul is back on top of Forbes’ annual “Celebrity 100 Power List,” which ranks the rich and famous based on earnings and buzz. Winfrey, who came in third last year, was the top money-maker with an estimated income of $260 million over the past 12 months. She last topped the list in 2005.
“The woman is making history every single year,” said Lea Goldman, a Forbes associate editor who oversaw the list. “It’s not as if she’s sitting on her laurels enjoying the show.”
Winfrey’s Harpo Productions is a partner on celebrity chef Rachael Ray’s popular syndicated daytime talk show, which debuted last September. Harpo is launching its first prime-time series, “Oprah’s Big Give,” a reality contest in which contestants compete in philanthropy, and Winfrey also produced the Broadway show “The Color Purple.” Golf tycoon Tiger Woods, who pulled in $100 million, ranks second. Madonna, absent from the list last year, is No. 3. The pop star’s “Confessions” world tour – the highest-grossing tour by any female artist in history, Goldman said – and her adoption of a baby boy in the African country of Malawi put her back in the spotlight.
The Rolling Stones dropped from No. 2 to No. 4. Brad Pitt, who secured $35 million in earnings, ranks fifth – up 15 spots from last year – in part because of his status as one of the most talked-about celebrities in the world, Goldman said. (Girlfriend Angelina Jolie is No. 14.)
Another handsome family man, Johnny Depp, placed sixth and was the year’s highest-paid actor with his take of $92 million. Not bad for a pirate. Elton John, who earned a total of $53 million thanks to concerts and revenue from Broadway hits such as “The Lion King,” ranks seventh. Power player Tom Cruise – the world’s No. 1 star last year – slipped to No. 8.
Rap mogul Jay-Z placed ninth with earnings of $83 million, leading the newly added category “Hip-Hop Impresarios.” Businessmen-rappers 50 Cent and Sean “Diddy” Combs placed 32nd and 43rd, respectively.
Some guy named Steven Spielberg was No. 10.