10 Powerful Celebrities
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ratings for the self-made billionaire's flagship production, the oprah winfrey show, may have diminished, but her earning power appears bulletproof—at least for now. she will debut the oprah winfrey network in partnership with discovery communications next year. she also has a three-year, $55 million deal with xm satellite radio. her harpo production company helped create dr. phil and the rachael ray show. less successful: a recent reality-tv show, oprah's big give.
tiger chalked up another monster year on and off the course in 2007. he won his ninth pga player of the year award and a seventh vardon trophy (given to the pga tour's leader in scoring average) and was the top money winner for an eighth time. he won the inaugural fedex cup, adding a $10 million payout to his bursting retirement account. off the links he parted ways with american express after a decade together. he still has big contracts with nike, accenture, buick and gillette. his latest endorsement: a five-year agreement for his own line of gatorade drinks.
debatably, she’s the world’s most physically faultless female, from her vivid bottle-green eyes to those flawless curves (recall her as lara croft?). and then there’s her weakness for swinging both ways. “am i bisexual?” she smiles. “absolutely. yes.”
after ditching destiny's child to go solo in 2003, the houston native has released two platinum albums and built a wildly successful entertainment empire that includes fashion, film and publishing deals. she sold $50 million in tickets on a recent tour. her endorsement contracts, with l'oréal, american express and others, bring in $10 million annually.
coming to america paid off for england's soccer sensation despite the injuries that plagued his first season with the los angeles galaxy. his base salary with the team was only $5.5 million, but that figure more than doubled with his cut of the team's ticket, merchandise and sponsorship revenues. he added deals with sharpie, giorgio armani and vitamin company go3 to an existing roster of sponsorships that includes adidas, motorola and pepsi.
he became an unlikely mainstream star with his boozy turn as captain jack sparrow in the pirates of the caribbean series. last year he found time to star in his pal tim burton's movie version of sweeney todd, which grossed $154 million. he earned his third best actor oscar nomination for his portrayal of the demon barber of fleet street.
the late-1970s rock band, famous for not getting along, reunited at the 2007 grammys performing its hit "roxanne." the sting-fronted group then set off on a world tour, selling out stadiums and arenas on five continents. they sold $200 million worth of tickets and played to 4 million fans.
brooklyn-born jay-z had a monster year, releasing a second platinum comeback cd, american gangster. in april he signed a $150 million, 10-year recording, touring and merchandising deal with concert promoter live nation—and days later married his longtime girlfriend beyoncé on the roof of his new york city penthouse.
it was wizardry that transformed j.k. rowling from a destitute single mother on welfare into a best-selling billionaire. her adventures of teenage magician harry potter and his classmates at hogwarts became a children's literary sensation in 1998 with the u.s. publication of harry potter and the sorcerer's stone. it and the six subsequent books have now sold 375 million copies worldwide. the final one, harry potter and the deathly hallows, has sold 44 million since it was published last july, including 15 million in the first 24 hours.
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rendered permanently cool with his roles in fight club, seven and ocean's eleven, pitt remains one of hollywood's most bankable actors. up next: the curious case of benjamin button. spends down time flying around the world working for charities—and adopting babies—with his girlfriend, actress angelina jolie.
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