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Ruling class: Our richest tween celebs


Toni Fitzgerald

Media Life

June 13, 2008

From Harry Potter to Hannah Montana, tween stars seem to rule entertainment these days. Last year’s top concert tour was headed by a 15-year-old, the best-selling book of the past decade is aimed at kids, and the No. 1 movie on television is “High School Musical.”

No wonder, then, that five tween favorites made the most recent Celebrity 100 ranking, Forbes’ annual list of the richest, most popular and most buzzworthy stars.

It marked the first year that the magazine included a tween subcategory in the rankings, which take into account income, press attention, sales and viewership figures, and magazine covers.

Of the five tween stars, three got their start on the Disney Channel and another, the singing group the Jonas Brothers, has a movie premiering there next week.

It’s another reminder of just how influential the network has become with the 9-14 demographic, where it has ranked No. 1 in primetime for 162 straight weeks.

Disney’s “Hannah Montana” star Miley Cyrus, who had a No. 1 concert tour, a No. 1 TV show and a No. 1 movie in 2008, ranked No. 35 on the Forbes list and first among tweens.

Cyrus’ profile rose even further earlier this spring, when she posed for a series of risqué shots for Vanity Fair. She quickly apologized, and she seems to have weathered the tempest just fine.

An upcoming “Hannah” movie, following her stronger-than-expected concert film, should do good business, and the TV show remains a top draw with tweens.

Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter in the film series, was the only non-Disney-backed star in the tween top five.

Radcliffe has three more “Harry” movies on tap and has received critical kudos for his recent non-magical roles, including a satirical bit on HBO’s “Extras” and a naked romp on stage in “Equus.”

Radcliffe ranked 64th on the overall Forbes list, 55 spots behind Potter’s creator, author J.K. Rowling, who ranked ninth. She had the highest annual income of any star, $300 million.

The Jonas Brothers, whose most recent single debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, took third on the tween list and 89th overall. The trio was dropped by their record label shortly before being chosen to open for Cyrus last year, which catapulted them to teenybopper stardom.

Their first Disney movie, “Camp Rock,” premieres one week from tonight and will repeat on ABC and ABC Family the following nights.

“High School Musical” stars Zac Efron and Ashley Tisdale round out the teen top five, ranking 92nd and 94th on the overall list, respectively. Efron parlayed the lead in “HSM” into a role in the hit movie “Hairspray” as well as the upcoming “Seventeen Again.”

Tisdale, who got her start on Disney’s “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody,” also voices a character on the network’s “Phinneas and Ferb.” Both tween stars will appear in fall’s big-screen “HSM 3.”




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