NEW YORK (Reuters) - Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey has replaced Tom Cruise as the world’s most powerful celebrity and jailbird Paris Hilton has dropped off the annual Forbes magazine list of the 100 most influential stars.
Golfer Tiger Woods ranked second while singer Madonna was No. 3 on the list, which aggregates earnings and media presence to evaluate a celebrity’s power.
Winfrey jumped two spots on the ninth annual list, released on Thursday, with earnings of $260 million from various media ventures. Woods moved up from No. 5 but made less than half Winfrey with $100 million in the past 12 months.
Lea Goldman, editor of the Forbes Celebrity 100 Power List, said Winfrey’s ranking was no surprise.
“She is pretty much a top five perennial, just based on her earnings alone she usually ranks up there,” Goldman said.
Madonna was not in the top 100 last year but Goldman said she made the new list after becoming the highest grossing female artist in history with her “Confessions” tour and for hitting the headlines by adopting of a baby boy from Malawi. Her earnings for the year were $72 million.
The Rolling Stones, who Forbes said earned $88 million this year, took the fourth spot, slipping from No. 2 last year.
After making the Forbes rankings for the past three years, hotel heiress Hilton was off the 2007 list. Also not making the cut were two other young women with party-girl reputations -- actress Lindsay Lohan, who has not made the list since 2005, and singer Britney Spears, last ranked in 2002.
“We look at celebrities as brands and when you talk about those girls, you’re talking about diminished brand value,” Goldman said. “It’s not enough to just be a headline, and it’s not enough to pocket a paycheck -- you have to have both.”
Cruise dropped to No. 8 from top spot last year, yet still showed his power by securing a deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. to revive United Artists movie studio just months after his bitter split from Paramount Pictures.
Two other actors broke in the top 10 this year and surpassed Cruise with Brad Pitt, partner of actress Angelina Jolie, hitting No. 5 and Johnny Depp taking the sixth spot. They were 20th and 27th, respectively, last year.
Goldman said while Depp earned a staggering $92 million off the back of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, Pitt, who earned just $35 million, easily outscored him in the media.
“You could not escape Brad Pitt this year,” Goldman said. “The guy was ubiquitous and certainly because of his personal life and his new family, coupled with his earnings, which aren’t shabby ... it really was a remarkable year for him.”
The “Brangelina” effect also propelled Jolie, a U.N. goodwill ambassador who has one biological and three adopted children with Pitt, up 21 spots to No. 14. Last year she tied with Pitt’s ex-wife, actress Jennifer Aniston, at 35.
Singer Elton John moved up this year’s list to No. 7 from the 16th position with $53 million in earnings, while Jay Z, the rap star-turned-music executive and boyfriend of singer Beyonce, made his debut at No. 9, with $83 million.
Director Steven Spielberg rounded out the top 10 with earnings of $110 million.
The full list can be viewed at www.forbes.com/celebs.
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