Forbes put out what feels like its 87th list this month with the release of the Forbes Celebrity 100 list. Jennifer Lopez, with her $52 million in earnings in the last year and omnipresent-like quality, topped the list. Six other women including Oprah, Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga managed to nab spots in the top 10. According to the Washington Post, this female heavy top tier shows the importance of “us ladies in the whole being-famous-and-generating-money business, the sort of significant thing that studio moguls should probably pay attention to.”
Jennifer Lopez managed to top the list despite the fact that she doesn’t rank in the top spot on any of the individual metrics used to determine the list. It is her strong and widely appealing brand that has landed her on the top of this list. There is nobody who uses her fame more strategically than Jennifer Lopez.
The list measures power based on his or her earnings for the period between May of last year and May of this year plus data related to the amount of press generated, number of online mentions and influence on social media. Though she is a judge for American Idol and has a clothing line (with Kohl’s), a fragrance (her 18th), and a deal with Fiat (she occasionally still does movies as well), it was probably the press coverage of her divorce that put her over the edge. Her social media following is also significant with 6.6 million followers on Twitter and 12 million fans on Facebook. “She appeals to such a wide demographic, almost every age range,” Stacy Jones, chief executive of entertainment marketing agency Hollywood Branded, told Forbes. Her wide demographic includes Latinas, working women and mothers. “There aren’t any more legs to add to it.”
Lopez even managed to beat out Justin Bieber who took spot number two (but he did nab the cover of the magazine.) He earned more than her and is a budding venture capitalist apparently but J.Lo still dominated. The last year was considered a comeback for the actress/singer/dancer/designer as it was only two years ago that she had two failed albums, four box office disasters (oh Gigli) and two failed clothing lines.
Her move to television with American Idol was considered a last desperate resort and a career risk, but it worked. Forbes writer Hannah Elliott wrote, “Viewers who knew only an attention-grabbing siren met a hardworking, self-made, empathetic single mother, who got emotional when contestants did well and when they failed.” A lot of this comeback was due to getting back together with her manager Benny Medina, who was the architect of this comeback. The magazine estimates that Lopez will earn $13 million from her upcoming tour and she can add that to her new $20 million American Idol salary.
Press coverage as well as many businesses is also what landed Kim Kardashian the number seven spot (she earned $18 million in the last year.) Lady Gaga got knocked off the top spot by Lopez, after she had a slightly quiet year compared to 2010. Oprah took second even though her $165 million was considered a pretty poor year for the media mogul.
First time ladies on the list included Zooey Deschanel and music sensation Adele.