Oprah Regains Top Spot on Forbes List of Powerful Celebrities

Thursday, 27 Jun 2013 01:54 PM

By Andrea Billups

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Oprah Winfrey is long gone from network television but her starpower remains strong — the self-made billionaire, an icon in television and publishing, has regained the No. 1 spot on Forbes magazine's list of Most Powerful Celebrities.

She takes over from musical icon Jennifer Lopez who moved down to No. 12 on this year's Forbes Celebrity 100.

It is the fifth time Oprah has taken the top spot in the list's 15-year history. She was also number one in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010. She has ranked second four times and third three times and has never been lower than ninth on the list.

Although Winfrey and her media empire took some business hits over the last few years as she sorted out what worked and what didn't, her OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) seems fully back on track as she earned $77 million between June 2012 and 2013, Forbes reported in announcing its annual celeb hot list.

That figure was down from the previous year when the popular former newscaster and Mississippi native, 59, who parlayed her likeability and interview skills into a fortune, earned $165 million. All of that is just a snippet of the media mogul's net worth: $2.7 billion, making her one of the wealthiest women in the world.

Winfrey was joined on the list by a host of powerful females in show business. Five of the top six spots were taken by women — Lady Gaga was second, Beyonce was fourth, Madonna fifth, and Taylor Swift sixth.

Only moviemaker Steven Spielberg in third place broke the female monopoly at the top.

The magazine bases its list not only on income, which is most important to the rankings, but marketability and social media clout.

Winfrey, whose official biography tells of her rise from a childhood of poverty and abuse, has enlarged her sphere of influence from a talk show to her network, a self-named magazine as well as work in film and philanthropy in the United States and abroad.

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