NEW YORK (Reuters) – Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is the world’s most powerful celebrity for the second straight year and for the fifth time ever, according to the 2008 Forbes Celebrity 100 Power List released on Wednesday.
The annual list also included two couples among its top 10. Actress Angelina Jolie came in at No. 3 and her partner Brad Pitt nabbed No. 10, while music mogul newlyweds, Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z were fourth and seventh.
Golfer Tiger Woods remained No. 2 and soccer player David Beckham was No. 5, while actor Johnny Depp took sixth. Music group The Police nabbed No. 8 after reuniting for a successful world tour and British author J.K. Rowling was No. 9 after the release of the seventh and final Harry Potter book.
"It’s not surprising that Oprah Winfrey and Tiger Woods remain at the top this year — they’re certainly some of the biggest earners," said Matthew Miller of Forbes magazine.
The rankings give the most weight to earnings over the past year but also factors in such things as Internet presence, press clippings, magazine covers and mentions on TV and radio.
During the past year Winfrey made $275 million, Woods, $115 million, Knowles $80 million, Beckham $50 million, Depp $72 million, Jay-Z $82 million, and The Police $115 million.
While Jolie’s earnings of $14 million and Pitt’s salary of $20 million pale in comparison, the popularity of the couple, who have four children and twins on the way, and their constant presence in magazines saw their power soar.
"Had (Jolie) made a couple of millions dollars more she probably would have been close to topping the list because the number of magazine covers that she was on, the number of stories she was mentioned in, far surpassed anyone else on the list," Miller said.
And it was Beckham’s move to Los Angeles with former Spice Girl wife Victoria and their three sons in a blaze of publicity that helped propel him into the top 10 for the first time.
In contrast, Rowling earned $300 million in the past 12 months, more than Winfrey, but is a reluctant celebrity.
The 2008 top 100 is made up of 20 film actors, 20 athletes, 10 musicians, 10 talk show hosts, 10 TV actors, five "tween" stars, five directors/producers, five celebrity personalities, four authors, four hip-hop impresarios, four chefs and three models.
The "tween" category, a marketing term that usually refers to an audience ages 9 to 12, is new, Forbes said, with "Hannah Montana" star Miley Cyrus making her debut in the top 100 at No. 35 "following a sold-out concert tour, a hit 3-D movie, and a controversial photo shoot that had the press buzzing."
Among those dropping from the list are Tom Hanks, Jessica Alba, Hayden Panettiere, Adam Sandler and Scarlett Johansson, The Rolling Stones, Elton John and Jessica Simpson.
The full list can be seen at http://www.forbes.com/celebrities.
(Editing by Mark Egan and Cynthia Osterman)