LOS ANGELES - The Forbes list of the world's most powerful women includes Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Beyonce Knowles and Ellen DeGeneres, all of whom apparently wield more power than the woman who is second in line for U.S. president.
The annual list, released late Wednesday, places Winfrey third. The talk-show queen is worth $2.7 billion and earned $315 million in the past year, but beyond wealth Forbes takes into account executive position, creative influence and entrepreneurship.
No. 1 on the list is First Lady Michelle Obama. Forbes didn't calculate her and her husband's personal wealth or money earned in the last year, choosing instead to list in that category the country's national budget, which is $3.5 trillion.
After Winfrey, Lady Gaga, at No. 7, is the next media person on the list. She earned $62 million in the past year and, according to Forbes, "single-handedly reinvigorated pop music and pop culture."
Next in media, at No. 9, is Knowles, who earned $87 million and whose music is a favorite of Michelle Obama's, according to Forbes.
Former "American Idol" judge DeGeneres is 10th on the list and earned $55 million. Forbes noted that she recently gave a $30,000 college scholarship to a gay teenager who challenged a high school policy against same-sex prom dates.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who would be in line for the presidency after Vice President Joe Biden, is 11th on the list. Like Michelle Obama, her "money" category consists of the national budget.
Sarah Palin, who Forbes puts in the media category, is No. 16. Her title is "political maverick and commentator," but unlike most others on the list, her entry doesn't include a "money" category. Instead, she gets a "media buzz" category, which says she has 2.3 million Facebook friends and that if you search for her name online you'll get 44 million results.
Other media personalities on the list include Angelina Jolie (No. 21), Katie Couric (No. 22), Arianna Huffington (No. 28), Madonna (No. 29) and Sarah Jessica Parker (No. 45). (please visit our entertainment blog via www.reuters.com or on http://blogs.reuters.com/fanfare/)
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