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27 Jul, 2007 07:44

Russian Forbes publishes Top 50 celebrities list

The Russian edition of Forbes magazine has published its list of the most popular and richest celebrities of Russia. There are 50 of them: actors, musicians, models and sportsmen.

Is it possible to calculate the annual income of Russian celebrities? Editor-in-Chief of the Russian Forbes, Maksim Kashulinsky, says it is. But it’s very difficult as Russian stars are usually paid in cash.

But despite all problems, Forbes for a third year in a row has published its list of top 50 celebrities.

“We do not count the fortunes of these people. We don't know how rich they are. We just count how much they earn in a year. Our rating consists of two parts. On the one hand, we calculate their annual income, and on the other, we define how popular they are, how many times they are mentioned on TV, in newspapers, magazines and internet,”

Maksim Kashulinsky, Editor-in-Chief  of the Russian Forbes.

So first place still belongs to Russian tennis player, Maria Sharapova, with $US 23 MLN. Aside from her, there are 21 sportsmen on the list and most of them are in the top ranks. The reason is simple, Russian athletes are paid according to international standards.

And the annual income of Russian musicians is less impressive. Russian pop star Dima Bilan, for example, banked $US 4 MLN in a year. But he left behind Alla Pugacheva, the mega star of Russian show business.

Russian socialite and TV personality, Ksenia Sobchak, takes 7th place. She's often compared to Paris Hilton here in Russia, but her income is nowhere near the same, only $US 1,5 MLN.

Ten positions down and we find another newcomer, a young and promising singer, the girl with a male name, Maksim.

“I've never tried to make commercial music. I write my songs from the bottom of my heart, and if they bring me financial success…. Well, the only thing I can say, I'm very happy to be on the list,” Maksim commented.

Maksim stormed into Russia's show business scene only a couple of years ago. Her debut album called ‘The Awkward Age’ was a huge success and sold hundreds of thousand of copies. And according to Russian Forbes she's banked $US 1,2 million. 

Apart from pop idols there are also classical music stars in the Forbes list. Internationally renowned conductor Valery Gergiev takes 28th place with $US 3,5 million income. Pianist Denis Matsuev banked $US 1,5 million. And opera singer Anna Netrebko takes second from bottom with $US 2 MLN. 

But is it so important to know how much a star earns within a year?

“Yes, it is very important…especially for those who are on the list – they can now fix the price of their talent and work,” Maksim Kashulinsky, Forbes Editor-in-Chief, insisted.

But there's always someone to disagree.

For example, pop stars from the girl band Tatu. They plummeted from the last year's 6th place 30 points down this year.

“We don't do anything special to get on the Forbes list. Frankly speaking, we don't care about it all. We know that anyway we're the most popular Russian girl band in the whole world!” Yulia Volkova and Lena Katina of Tatu explained.

Anyway, it is interesting for their fans as they need to know everything about their idols.