Britney doesn’t need to be ”Overprotected” any more: Forbes magazine has declared the newly single Spears the most powerful celebrity in the world, according to published reports. The 20-year-old sex symbol displaces Tom Cruise from the No. 1 slot on the list, which Forbes derives by combining earnings with the less tangible measure of media exposure. Cruise didn’t make the 100-person list at all this year, in part because he deferred payment for ”Minority Report,” reducing his earnings, according to Reuters.
Spears, meanwhile, was only the 25th highest-earning celeb, taking in $39.2 million over the past year; her massive media (and skin) exposure made up the difference. The top earner was, not surprisingly, George Lucas, who took in a whopping $200 million. Besides Spears, the rest of the top 10 includes Tiger Woods, Steven Spielberg, Madonna, U2, ‘N Sync, Mariah Carey (apparently because of her sizable severance pay from Virgin Records), Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, and Tom Hanks.
Among the new arrivals on the list are Ozzy Osbourne (thanks to his new reality-show fame), Bill Clinton, and Rudy Giuliani. Maybe that trio can form a supergroup.