In just a year, Beyoncé moved from #32 to #17 on Forbes‘ annual The World’s Most Powerful Women list. She and Oprah are the only celebrity/entrepreneurs in the top 20, ranking among First Lady Michelle Obama (#4); Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff (#2); and Xerox Chairman and CEO Ursula Burns (#14).
The publication considered income, traditional and social media hits, and impact “across industries, cultures and countries.”
King Bey’s year so far consists of a $50 million deal with Pepsi (PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi was placed at #10) that includes her 15-minute performance at the Super Bowl (the most coveted program for advertisers); a record-breaking audience for her HBO autobiographical documentary,Life Is but a Dream; and a 65-date Mrs. Carter Show World Tour (that includes a stop at the BET Experience) added to the heft of her 2012 portfolio.
Earlier this year, she and husband Jay-Z (who was placed on the cover of Time magazine as one of their 100 most influential people in the world) became pop music’s first billionaire couple. The duo worked together on The Great Gatsby soundtrack, a movie which brought in $51 million in domestic box office sales during its opening weekend; and celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary with a controversial trip to Cuba.
Oprah came in at #13 as a philanthropist and as the U.S.’s only Black billionaire (she’s given a reported $400 million to educational causes including her own Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa). This year, she proved her media staying power, getting major interviews with Beyoncé, Lance Armstrong and Jason Collins. The Academy Award nominee will also star in the summer release of The Butler, her first return to the big screen since 1998.