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2004
Forbes Celebrity 100

"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:

power
rank
name money
rank
pay
($mil)
web
hits
press
clips
cover
stories
tv
radio
1 Britney Spears 25 39.2 997,000 25,856 10.5 373
2 Tiger Woods 4 69.0 378,000 50,650 3 372
3 Steven Spielberg 3 100.0 237,000 14,454 2 234
4 Madonna 17 43.0 627,000 34,754 2 398
5 U2 4 69.0 669,000 13,679 0.25 219
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Methodology: Earnings estimates are in millions for the June 2001 to June 2002 period; tallies include dollars earned solely from entertainment income. Published sources include Billboard, Pollstar, Radio & Records, Variety, Adams Media Research and Nielsen SoundScan. Web mentions generated by Google. Press clips generated by Lexis-Nexis. Magazine covers are based on the number of times a celebrity's face appeared on the cover of any of 16 major consumer magazines. TV/radio mentions compiled via Dow Jones Interactive's media transcripts.