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Friday, 21 June, 2002, 01:36 GMT 02:36 UK
Britney tops Forbes power list
Britney Spears
Sponsorship deals have helped Britney's fortunes
Britney Spears has become the most powerful celebrity in the world, according to an influential poll.

The pop star topped the Forbes Global Celebrity List which ranks the influence of celebrities from the worlds of showbiz and sport.

Shooting up from fourth place, she pipped golf superstar Tiger Woods to the top.

Spears earned $39.2m (£26m) in 2001, and appeared on TV or radio 373 times.

The chart takes into account media coverage, earnings and website downloads to rank the showbusiness players.

Top 10
1. Britney Spears
2. Tiger Woods
3. Steven Spielberg
4. Madonna
5. U2
6. *NSync
7. Mariah Carey
8. Oprah Winfrey
9.Michael Jordan
10. Tom Hanks
Director Steven Spielberg polled third place, despite the critical panning of his last movie AI: Artificial Intelligence.

Madonna, who is currently enjoying a run in West End play Up for Grabs, is at number four.

U2 are the only non-American personalities to make it into the top 10, sitting at number five, having earned $69m (£46m) during 2001.

The highest charting British star is Sir Elton John at number 24, followed by Harry Potter author JK Rowling at 34.

Bankability

Birmingham-born Ozzy Osbourne, who has seen a resurgence in his career thanks to an MTV fly-on-the-wall TV show, is at number 85.

He can expect to see his chart placing rise next year after he and his family signed a multi-million pound deal for a second series of The Osbournes.

Friends
The female cast of Friends have eclipsed their male counterparts
A bad box office year for Tom Cruise, with Vanilla Sky being relative flop, has seen his bankability fall considerably.

He as dropped from number one in 2000 to not featuring at all in the top 100 this year.

Meanwhile ex-wife Nicole Kidman has entered at number 27 after earning $15m (£10m).

She appeared to have been content to stay in the shadows of her superstar husband but when he ended the relationship after 13 years she positively thrived in her professional life.

Her hit movies included Moulin Rouge and The Others and she also scored a number one single in the UK with a duet with Robbie Williams.

Friends together

Forbes warned last year that Cruise's position at the top, would suffer following his divorce, having earned $43m ($29m) in 2000.

Cruise will be crossing his fingers that his next movie Minority Report, directed by Spielberg, will once again push him firmly to the top.

Friends star Jennifer Aniston looks to be the breadwinner in her household at the moment having earned $24m (£16m) in 2001, placing her at number 28.

But husband Brad Pitt, star of Fight Club and Snatch, does not figure in the top 100 at all.

Female Friends stars Lisa Kudrow and Courtney Cox-Arquette also make the chart but male co-stars Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer and Matt Le Blanc are omitted.

See also:

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