Long gone are the days of Hollywood starlets rising to fame based on just their looks or talent. The following five business-savvy ladies have turned their names into multi-million-dollar brands and, whether you are an official fan or a hater, you know that you respect them.
#5: Empire of Jessica
Quick: name three Jessica Simpson songs. Can’t? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s easy to forget that the beauty and fashion mogul has two multi-platinum records under her belt, which have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. Over the last decade, the southern belle leveraged her music career into a full-fledged fashion and entertainment empire. You’d be hard-pressed to take a trip to the mall and not run into Jessica Simpson products: from halter tops to handbags and hair extensions, today, Jessica’s brand is worth a cool $100 million. Not bad for a girl who was deemed stupid for her “chicken of the sea” faux pas, eh? Image via US Weekly.
#4: Empire of Bethenny
Everything is coming up Bethenny these days! One of the original “Real Housewives” (Real Housewives of New York) and current star of her own reality TV show, Bethenny Frankel quickly became a fan-favourite with her quick wit and charm. The self-proclaimed skinny girl has built an impressive empire with her signature Skinny Girl Margarita, a low-cal take on the delicious beverage. The wildly popular drink launched a whole Skinny Girl movement, which now boasts self-help books, shape wear, health foods and workout DVDs. In 2011, Bethenny sold her Skinny Girl franchise for a reported $120 million; and the fierce brunette shows no signs of slowing down. Her Ellen-backed summer daytime talk show has solid ratings, and rumour has it that it’s being syndicated this fall. Go Bethenny! Image via Cheeky Chicago.
#3: Empire of J.Lo
Everyone is talking about the recent “comeback” of Jennifer Lopez [pictured, top of post; image via The Montreal Gazette], but she never really went away. Though she took a break from music, Jennifer continued to rack in serious cash with a successful clothing line, fragrances, beauty product endorsements and acting. Her hard work paid off — the former American Idol judge is worth a quarter of a billion dollars. Currently on tour with Enrique Iglesias, J.Lo is reminding sold-out stadiums across North America that Jenny from the block has still got it! Image via Pop Crush.
#2: Empire of Beyoncé
To quote one of last year’s best pop songs: Who runs the world? Girls! Beyoncé Knowles is certainly one of them — and she’s running straight to her bank account. Worth more than $300 million, Beyoncé not only has the Midas touch in the recording studio, but has also seen mega success with her House of Deréon clothing line, perfume and product endorsements. Hailed as People magazine’s 2012 Most Beautiful Woman, Beyoncé took some time off earlier this year after the birth of her first child, Blue Ivy. Still, the savvy diva managed to rake in $52 million in 2012 alone, despite the relatively low-key year she’s had so far. Now that’s true star power! Image via Examiner.
#1: Empire of Oprah
Was this one even a surprise? Whether our list centred on female celebrities or just celebrities, Oprah Winfrey would have been right at the top. For 25 years, millions of people around the world faithfully watched her TV talk show; this powerhouse fanbase helped her branch out into the successful O magazine and Oprah Radio Network. She also single-handedly helped launch the TV careers of Dr. Phil, Rachael Ray and Dr. Oz. Though we’re slowly getting over the 4pm void she’s left in our hearts when her show wrapped last year, Oprah is never far away. In 2011, she launched OWN, her TV network. Though ratings have not been as high as anticipated, Oprah remains a powerful force in the entertainment industry. What’s all her fame worth? $2.7 billion. Yep, you read that right — and we say she deserves every penny. Image via PopFi.
Written by Sagal Ali.