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   Top 50 Highest-Earning Celebrities
 
Jordan Tops Forbes' Celebrity 100 List
Reuters
NEW YORK — Basketball superstar Michael Jordan has earned the top spot on Forbes magazine's inaugural Forbes Celebrity 100 list that ranked him as the highest paid and most "powerful" celebrity on the planet.

Photo
Victoria Arocho/AP
Former NBA superstar Michael Jordan

Those making the list are awarded a power ranking that measures both 1998 income and media buzz — a blend of prominence on the Web, magazine covers, on TV and radio and in newspaper clips — that can also be a measure of future earnings power, the magazine said in its March 22 issue.

While comedian Jerry Seinfeld made the most money last year ($267 million) and teen heartthrob actor Leonardo DiCaprio appeared on the most magazine covers (14), it was Jordan who cashed in big time on his name recognition and turned his on-court prowess into $40 million in endorsement income.

He also registered more than 40,000 press clips — only baseball slugger Mark McGwire (No. 23) topped it with 47,377 — 777 Web mentions, 492 TV/radio mentions and seven magazine covers, according to the Forbes ranking.

The majority of the celebrities on the top 100 list are entertainers or athletes.

Photo
AP
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld was the top-earning celebrity in 1998, according to 'Forbes' magazine

Talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey with her Harpo Entertainment Group is No. 2 on the Celebrity 100, DiCaprio takes third place but is No. 36 in the money rank, Seinfeld is fourth overall and director Steven Spielberg is No. 5.

Forbes cites "ultimate hostess" Martha Stewart as a classic example of brand name power, ranking her No. 31. Stewart has her own multimedia company, a magazine, produces a TV show and radio show, writes a syndicated column and has a Web site that gets 3.7 million visitors a month.

Rap mogul Sean "Puffy" Combs, No. 19, is recognized by the magazine as a fast-rising star who is building a vast empire with hit records, a record label, a clothing line, restaurants and more.

Rounding out the top 10 are the Spice Girls, No. 6; actor Harrison Ford, No. 7; actor/comedian Robin Williams, No.8; singer Celine Dion, No. 9 and the Rolling Stones, who are ranked No. 10 both overall and in the earnings list with $57 million.

Pro golfer, 69-year-old Arnold Palmer, who still pulls in endorsements, was No. 50 with $18.1 million, and former President George Bush finished, with $2.2 million, at No. 100.

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