"To become a celebrity is to become a brand name," Philip Roth said more than 20 years ago. He was right, of course, but the novelist wasn't thinking big enough. Exploited correctly, celebrity can be converted into something more durable than a mere brand. That is indelibly evident in this year's annual ranking of fame and clout, the Celebrity 100.
Money is still the most important metric of celebrity, and starting on the next page we calculate which entertainers and athletes have earned the most in the past year; in the interest of diversity, we've selected top earners from different professions. But the measure of celebrity entails much more--media mentions and Web buzz and other touchstones of fleeting fame. Thus our Power 100 list combines earnings with media exposure to calculate the relative status of a vast array of stars.
Click on a column header to view the full list sorted by that category: