Oprah Winfrey has replaced Tom Cruise as the world's most powerful celebrity, according to the annual list of the 100 most influential celebrities compiled by business magazine Forbes.

Winfrey whose business empire spans books, magazines and movies, in addition to her world famous daytime talk show, earned an estimated $260 million last year (£131.8 million) which is over a $100 million more than second-placed Tiger Woods earned last year.

Madonna rounded out the top three celebrities on the list.

Lea Goldman, editor of the Forbes Celebrity 100 Power List, said Winfrey's ranking was no surprise.

"She is pretty much a top five perennial, just based on her earnings alone she usually ranks up there," Goldman said.

British celebrities appearing in the top ten include The Rolling Stones at number four and Elton John at number seven.

Other British stars that feature in the top ten include Jk Rowling in 48th place, with Harry Potter film stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in 79th and 97th place respectively.

Forbes analyses celebrity earnings as well as indicators such as Google hits and press mentions. It also records the number of times a celebrity appears on the cover of 32 major consumer magazines

The full list of the 100 top celebrities can be viewed at www.forbes.com/celebs.

15/06/2007 07:56:45