Forbes compiles its annual Celebrity 100 list by looking at both the pretax income (from May 1, 2011 to May 1, 2012) and fame of Hollywood's biggest and brightest stars -- meaning how often we see their names and faces on TV, in movies and online, as well as their social media following.
Taking all of that into consideration, Lopez is sitting pretty atop the high-powered list, and it's no surprise, especially after the banner professional year she's had. According to Forbes, Lopez brought in $52 million in earnings over the past year, and when that's added to her star power, it's clear to see she's no longer just a singer -- she's a brand, and has ample avenues to promote her various endeavors.
Whether she's judging "American Idol," filming a new music video, promoting a new film or chatting about her ex-husband Marc Anthony (or current boyfriend Casper Smart), it's hard to miss Lopez in the entertainment world these days -- and easy to see why Forbes considers her today's top celebrity.
Trailing behind Lopez is Oprah Winfrey, who brought in a whopping $165 million in the past year. She may have ended her talk show in 2011, but she has continued to create headlines thanks to her OWN cable network -- though she may not have the everyday media presence Lopez seems to command.
Justin Bieber lands at No. 3 on Forbes' list and while he's only 18 years old, it's no surprise that the entertainer and mogul-in-training -- he made $55 million in the last year -- made the cut. After all, he makes hundreds of millions of young fans scream on a daily basis.
Rihanna and Lady Gaga round out the No. 4 and No. 5 spots, respectively, on Forbes' 2012 list.
Other stars making the Celebrity 100 list include first-timers Kim Kardashian (No. 7, with $18 million and lots o' divorce drama), Khloe Kardashian (No. 73, with $11 million and a popular reality show) and the one and only Ashton Kutcher, whose personal divorce drama and professional gain with a role on "Two and a Half Men" helped him land on the list for the first time at No. 51, with $24 million in earnings.
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