The 2010 Forbes list of the world’s 100 most powerful celebrities gives pride of place to diversity. Of the top five celebrities on the list, three are African-American. Topping the ranking is the United States’ undisputed talk-show queen—Oprah Winfrey followed by singer Beyoncé Knowles.
Each year, the magazine, which deals mostly with the economy, publishes its ranking of the world’s most powerful celebrities. For the fourth time, the African-American talk show host Oprah Winfrey has been named the “world’s most powerful celebrity,” having lost out on the top spot last year to actress Angelina Jolie.
In compiling the Forbes ranking, the personal wealth of a celebrity as well as his or her media presence is taken into account. It is hardly surprising that the queen of TV-ratings, who recently announced the launching of her own television network, should find herself in top spot on the list with an income of $315 million for 2009.
The second position, occupied the previous year by Winfrey, is occupied by singer Beyoncé Knowles, former leader of the singing trio, Destiny’s Child, with $87 million. She is ahead of the producer of the movie Avatar, James Cameron, who, in spite of his $210 million dollar income, is less powerful at least according to Forbes.
Not far off from the screen and stage divas, the athlete Tiger Woods retains his fifth position with $105 million dollars. The golfing legend’s recent troubles have deprived him of a great part of his advertising income, however, this seems to have no effect, this year at least, on his Forbes ranking. This could be attributed to the media blitz that followed his scandal.
On the list, one can find several other African-American singers and athletes such as the basketball players Kobe Bryant (14th) and Michael Jordan (20th). Beyoncé’s husband, rapper Jay-Z is 15th.
The 2010 list with its homage to African-American celebrities is real evidence of changing times.