Angelina Jolie Most Powerful Celebrity

Angelina Jolie has topped Oprah Winfrey to become the World’s Most Powerful Celebrity, according Forbes magazine.  The methodology is, shall we say, unclear.  But here’s what they say about Jolie:

Eclectic actress and gossip-column favorite dethrones media maven Oprah Winfrey atop this year’s Celebrity 100. Jolie has always been able to attract tabloid attention and Oscar nods, but this year, she’s finally figured out a way to make serious money. Her most recent blockbuster, Wanted, proved this mother of six’s sweet spot is action films; the movie earned $340 million at the box office. Up next: Salt, in which Jolie plays a CIA officer accused of being a spy.

Oddly, Oprah earned a whole order of magnitude more money — $275 millionto Jolie’s paltry $27 — but, since they don’t tell us what factors were used or how they were weighed, who’s to criticize.  And, certainly, Jolie’s hotter.  (Were I employed by Playboy magazine, I would compile a list.  As it is, I shall pass.)

But here’s an odd one for you:

About halfway down the list sits a very familiar face: President Barack Obama. At No. 49, Obama’s the first sitting head of state to appear on this Forbes fixture because of his worldwide fame, his historic election and his career as a best-selling author.

On what planet is Angelina Jolie more powerful than Barack Obama?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. JKB says:

    <blockquoteOn what planet is Angelina Jolie more powerful than Barack Obama?


    Couldn’t resist.

  2. Furhead says:

    It’s the question of what is a celebrity. Either Obama should be at the top, or not on the list at all. It seems the ambiguity of whether he is technically a “celebrity” weighed him down in the list (half points for half celebrities).

  3. Tlaloc says:

    reading this kind of stuff rots your brain, James.

  4. Steve Plunk says:

    I feel her power. Or I should say I want to feel her power.

  5. hcantrall says:

    lol Steve

    I would be willing to bet, as sad as it is to say that more people read about what Angelina Jolie is up to than they do about what President Obama is up to. In our celebrity obsessed culture, that’s powerful. And I must mention that no woman should look like she does, I hope to find out someday that she’s full of botox, collagen, and various plastic parts – I’d feel a lot better!

  6. HiItsNino says:

    Didn’t she and Brad Pitt announce that they were going to solve the Isreali Palistinian conflict? Seriously. How is that going for them…

  7. Drew says:

    I don’t want to feel her power, I want to feel…….uhhh

    “On what planet is Angelina Jolie more powerful than Barack Obama?”

    In today’s dumb downed, star struck culture, where mindless voters base votes and their “policy” positions on feel good cult of personality………..who knows??

    Gimme a policy rich “Yes we can,” people.

  8. Drew says:

    “Didn’t she and Brad Pitt announce that they were going to solve the Isreali Palistinian conflict?”

    Brad’s practicing by fixing New Orleans first. After that: Israel / Palestine. Then: a cure for all diseases known to mankind.

    Cool, huh?

  9. pylon says:

    Give that Obama is the first president to ever make the list, can we assume that all of the celebtrities on previous lists were more powerful than the then current president?