Famous for its “Top Lists” Forbes may have accidentally unveiled an interesting observation about society: Does money still equal power? The latest list, ‘Celebrity 100’, analyzes the most powerful individuals in the entertainment business.

In order to discern who the most powerful celebrities are Forbes analyzes earnings related to entertainment, media visibility and social media power (using facebook and twitter as indicators). The celebrities are then ranked across five categories; Money, TV/Radio, Press, Web and Social. This year’s list seemed to only have one twist: Lady Gaga out-ranked Oprah— becoming one of the only 3 individuals to do so in the past 7 years.

RankNamePayMoney RankTV/RadioPressWebSocial
1Lady Gaga$9083211
3Justin Bieber$53244823
5Elton John$100718192854
6Tiger Woods$7514654038
7Taylor Swift$4533144566
8Bon Jovi$125463494412
9Simon Cowell$90822176274
10LeBron James$4829262720

The names that top this list range from singers to athletes and each individual shows strengths in different areas. The two categories that had the most individuals scoring in the top ten were Press and Money Rank, demonstrating the influence these two items have over power ranking.

Although Lady Gaga was viewed as the most powerful, when it came down to ranking by earnings in one year, she fell to the number 8 spot.

The lowest celebrity on the power list who was able to crack the top 5 in terms of pay was Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of movies such as Top Gun, Gone in 60 Seconds, Pearl Harbor and Pirates of the Caribbean. Bruckheimer made a total of $113 million in the past year but was only able to nab the 39th spot on the most powerful list, his social rank was 86—the lowest of the top celebrity earners.

Does Money Equal Power?

Although Lady Gaga earned a whopping $200 million less than Oprah, she was still able to take the number one spot on the list which begs the question does money really equal power?

MyBankTracker.com decided to rank the categories by importance to find out. By adding all of  the celebrities ranking the highest on the list to see which categories scored the lowest we were able to rank them by importance.

RankNamePayMoney RankTV/RadioPressWebSocialImportanceCategoryCelebrity Power Ranking Combined within Category
1Lady Gaga$90832111Pay130
3Justin Bieber$532448233TV192
4U2$1952591016174Social Networking238
5Elton John$1007181928545Web239
6Tiger Woods$7514654038
7Taylor Swift$4533144566
8Bon Jovi$125463494412
9Simon Cowell$90822176274
10LeBron James$4829262720

As the table shows, Money still plays the biggest role in how much power a celebrity holds with press coverage following closely behind.

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