Each year Forbes ranks the 100 most powerful and influential celebrities -- from box-office favorites to God-like athletes. While the amount of money the earned most certainly comes into play, the list looks beyond just numbers and also asks who has an effect on the way we live. Today, that question has become even more complex, with new constructs such as social media outlets like Twitter fueling new and uncharted ways to influence and communicate with fans and admirers and the ongoing popularity reality television shows creating celebrity cash cows out of average citizens with no discernible talents (we're looking at you, Kardashians).
Out of the twelve times that Forbes has compiled this list, Oprah Winfrey has taken the top prize four times, the most frequent recipient of that honor. While Oprah has been knocked out of her preeminent position before by the likes of superstars Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise, this year finds Oprah wedged between two relative newcomers. Taking first place this year is Lady Gaga herself, raking in $90 million thanks to her Monster Ball tour but also because of her 32 million Facebook fans and 10 million Twitter followers, making her a dominant Internet authority, the preferred method of communication for the coveted 18-24 year old demographic. Oprah sits snugly at second place but close on her heels is YouTube-discovered phenom and pre-teen hearthrob Justin Beiber. But the big O has nothing to be worried about. With only one daily hour-long talk show the media mogul was transformed into a warm, maternal figure in nearly every American's life, but now she has her own station, OWN, to help disseminate her message(s) of self-love and spirituality. But if we could give Winfrey some advice, it would be to log on and get in touch with technology....and to invite us to her "Favorite Things" episode.