Move over Oprah: Gaga tops celebrity power list

May 19, 2011
Sophie Taylor

Social networking has made singer this year’s most powerful celeb, says Forbes magazine

Eccentrically-attired singer Lady Gaga has pushed Oprah Winfrey off her pedestal as she moves up to number one in Forbes magazine's annual Celebrity 100, a list that rates the stars by how "powerful" they are.

Oprah, with her media empire and global profile, has topped the list four times since its inception in 1999 – twice as many as nearest rival Tom Cruise – and was last year's most influential famous person.

But Gaga, real name Stefani Germanotta, has brushed aside the queen of chat for this year's list, rising from third to first by virtue, editors say, of her online social networking presence.

Every year, the list takes into account each celebrity's earnings, their press coverage, their Google search rankings and their fanbase. Unveiling the 2011 list, Forbes cited Gaga's 32m Facebook fans and 10m Twitter followers as well her estimated £55.6m take over the past year.

Editor Dorothy Pomerantz said: "Lady Gaga beat Oprah this year because of her social media power. She's the best example of how celebrities will need to manage their careers in the coming years."

Gaga's triumph leaves Winfrey in second place. The top ten is graced by two UK luminaries: Sir Elton John at number five and Simon Cowell in ninth position.

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