You see that smile on Jennifer Lopez’s face up there? That’s the smile of a very, very successful lady. And one whose rise to #1 of Forbes‘ 2012 Celebrity 100 list we could not have imagined two years ago. But joining the judges’ panel on American Idol kicked off a renaissance that earned her $52 million last year, according to the magazine. That includes income from Idol, music sales, endorsement deals with Gilette and L’Oreal, a clothing line at Kohl’s, her new TV show Q’Viva with ex-husband Marc Anthony and this weekend’s new comedy What to Expect When You’re Expecting. All that made her shoot from #50 on last year’s list to the top of the heap. The list measures income from entertainment as well as “media visibility,” which explains how J.Lo beat out Oprah Winfrey, who is at #2 though she earned $165 million last year. Justin Bieber, who earned $55 million, is close behind at #3 (and earned the cover story of the magazine), and Rihanna is #4 with $53 million. Last year’s #1, Lady Gaga, slid down to #5 because she didn’t tour much in the last year, the mag’s editors explained.
So, yeah, in case you were still wondering why every pop star in the world is now also a reality show judge, you have your answer. Also, it is unfair that a woman that powerful and rich can simultaneously look this hot in a Vogue spread.
[Photo: Getty Images, Vogue]