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Power Celebs of 2010 by YAHOO! India

pooja_l IF-Rockerz

Joined: 10 September 2007
Posts: 8056

Posted: 15 December 2010 at 2:34am | IP Logged

Not one year goes by when we don't take stock of the celebs who had the biggest standings in media space, product and campaign endorsements and the sheer power to influence the outcome of anything they were involved in. Some of the celebs and high level personalities have come upon this kind of influence by fluke, some have shown resilience over the years and yet, others have worked hard to get where they're at today. Here are the top ten of India's most influential people in 2010 - politicians, sports personalities and the glitterati of Bollywood who, by just associating with a brand, product or a cause, can spell instant success for them.

Text: Princy James and Suma Nagaraj; Photo editor: Azhar Ali

Power Celebs

  1. Rahul Gandhi
  2. Priyanka Chopra
  3. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
  4. Amitabh Bachchan
  5. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
  6. Aamir Khan
  7. Salman Khan
  8. Gul Panag
  9. Saifeena
  10. Julia Roberts

Young, charismatic and clad in pristine white, Rahul Gandhi, the torch bearer of Indian National Congress is one man who strives to keep alive the aspirations of his late father Rajiv Gandhi's dream of India - a strong, independent, self-reliant country in the forefront of the nations of the world. He has come a long way from a temperamental young man who used to make mindless statements to an astute proactive politician who believes in development from the grass-root levels. The Congress sees a future leader in Rahul and he is making calculative steps towards his big goal of leading India one day.

Though officially not anointed yet, he is the crown prince of the Indian National Congress, waiting for that right moment to take the reins. Before ascending the throne, he believes in descending down to the masses, following the footsteps of his great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru, who used to visit the remotest villages to motivate the common man. Guided by Mahatma Gandhi's famous dictum - the heart of India lies in its villages - Rahul started his campaign from villages. His visits - the so-called attempt to re-connect with the heart of India, is criticised by a few as a "show-off"; still, it was vital in mobilising the youth and Congress's victory in national elections owes a lot to his efforts. Against the wish of his supporters, Rahul opted to decline the minister post, even as he backed the inclusion of fresh young talent in the Cabinet. His decision to abstain from power makes him stand out from the lot of typical politicians. By lauding the reforms carried out by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Rahul proved to be a mature politician who transcends ideological confinements.

The kind of popularity Rahul enjoys was evident when he emerged as the most preferred brand ambassador for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in a survey edging past even Sachin Tendulkar and Aamir Khan. Rahul has that magnetism which could pull the crowds like no other. Be it his village visits or interactive meetings with students, or rumours about his marriage, Rahul effortlessly steals the attention of the masses.

It was dedication and perseverance that earned Priyanka Chopra the National Award for Best Actress for Fashion last year, which helped her prove wrong the age-old adage that beauty queens can't act. She has finally found her place in Bollywood and was lucky to prove her mettle by grabbing a variety of roles in a relatively young career. Though she couldn't make it big like Fashion this year, her Anjaana Anjaani which released later in the year, was a box-office hit that surpassed even Rajnikanth's Robot in the north. Now Priyanka's presence has become a threat to Kareena and Aishwarya Rai - who are the hot contenders for the top spot. Priyanka's interest in charity events got her worldwide recognition and she was named the UN Goodwill Ambassador this year. Her mission involves promoting the education of young girls in rural India by joining hands with UNICEF. She is the only woman from India and second person from Bollywood after Amitabh Bachchan to receive this honour. Apart from this, she is also a crusader for the green cause and is an active 'Green Ambassador' too.

The bubbly actress is also the host of the reality show Khatron Ke Khiladi 3 proving that she is a deadly combo of boldness and beauty. In personal life too, Priyanka is blessed with many admirers including Hollywood heartthrob Gerard Butler! Though she has been linked to many actors from Shahid to Ranbir, she isn't committed to anyone, publicly at least, and seems busy with her own projects. She actively connects with her fans on Twitter and has tied up with YouTube to promote her own channel on the site to engage via video and interactive updates with her adoring audience.

  • If the essence of greatness lies in consistency, then Aishwarya Rai can be regarded the undisputed queen of showbiz. Even after a decade and half, the aura around her hasn't dimmed even a mere fraction. Charm, sophistication, elegance - she is regarded as the epitome of all these even now, surviving the test of time. Though her acting skills are debatable, she has carved her own niche when it comes to celebritydom. Her filmography hasn't scaled any big heights when compared to other actors in the Bollywood fraternity; still, she has been associated with almost every big banner in the industry. No other beauty queen has made it big like Ash, save Priyanka Chopra. She's even had a brush with Hollywood, though not as flattering as her domestic one.

    She was featured on Oprah Winfrey twice and is the single Indian celeb who commands global attention today. Though her much-anticipated big budget flick Raavan failed miserably at the box office, she is still  the top choice for many producers, and for Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Ash is like a perpetual muse and appears in his big release this year, Guzaarish, (which also tanked, unfortunately) starring alongside Hrithik Roshan. Ash even made a dramatic comeback to the ramp after more than a decade as she walked for designer Manish Malhotra showing the world that even at this age, she emanates more charm than any younger model. Her achievements aren't inherited, and that makes all that she has earned more laudable considering the power and influence of Bollywood dynasties. With a good number of global endorsements in hand, Ash has in fact become a brand icon for India. And now with the Bachchan name tagged to her name, the world is most definitely this drop-dead gorgeous pearl's oyster.

Perhaps no other actor in Bollywood enjoys popularity spanning three generations as Amitabh Bachchan does. 40+ years of stardom and yet, he wears class on his sleeve today as effortlessly as he did during his rule at the top. Like his name, Big B is indeed the emperor of the Indian entertainment industry, but this doesn't mean he didn't go through tough times in his career and life. It had its ups and downs, and there was a time when his company, Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL) went broke. If there is one thing that put him back on track, it would be his resilience. It was Kaun Banega Crorepati that revived his career and Bachchan has cast an indelible spell on the reality show that even Shah Rukh Khan couldn't make such an impact like him. Bachchan got the National Award for Best Actor this year for enacting the role of a progeric child in R. Balki's Paa.

Despite his hectic life, Bachchan finds time to connect with his fans through Twitter. He even managed to convince sometime-frenemy Aamir Khan to join the Twitter bandwagon and the merry exchanges between these two livewires are the fodder for many a gossip mill. He remains a class act on television in the 4th edition of Kaun Banega Crorepati and has managed to quietly but smartly align wannabe producers and brands to see the Bachchan family of 4 also as a viable endorsement option. Rumour has it that the Bachchans have signed on with firm favourite Balki for his next venture.

And Kaun Banega Crorepati is well on its way to getting its pride of place in TRPs, co-sponsored by brand L'Oreal that bahu rani Aishwarya endorses and Idea, that son Abhishek is the ambassador of. No wonder the film fraternity refers to him as 'Sir'.

Perhaps India's most charismatic captain in the last two decades, M S Dhoni, he of the toothy grin, swashbuckling on-field style and a ready vocal pat-on-the-back to his team-mates, is rumoured to have pipped India's blue-eyed boy of endorsements, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, at the post.

The chosen one for most brands from cell phones to textile giants to hair creams, this skipper who until a few years ago was the shy boy-next-door in the cricketing circuit, has probably carved the most enviable career graph when compared to most of his peers and superiors, who came and conquered but didn't last long in the endorsements arena. He sealed his darling status by marrying Sakshi, rumoured to be his childhood sweetheart, away from the prying eyes of the media and putting all the Asin/Deepika rumours to rest.

His endorsement earnings are supposed to run into hundreds of crores and many are still lining up on his doorstep, armed with fat paycheques, as he skilfully guides Team India to win after win in all formats of the game.

May that grin never lose its shine, skipper.

Don't let this Khan's short stature fool you - he stands tall even though boxed into a stocky, 5'4" frame. His ascent to super, superstardom has been the result of a very calculated innings in the 2 decades that he's been here in Bollywood. Vociferous to the point of embarrassment, sometimes his own, Aamir Khan fought hard to don the cap of the Intelligent Khan - and has won it fair and square.

Very early in his career, he was quick to shun the politics that are a mainstay in tightly-controlled Bollywood, cut his detractors down to size and earned the wrath of many big banners with his staunch refusal to, how do we put this politely, pander to over-sized egos. Post the Rangeela era, Aamir burned many bridges and from Dil Chahta Hai onwards, has managed to earn top billing and news headlines thanks to his brilliant marketing and PR skills, not to mention superior onscreen talent and directorial vision. Now, all those who've stayed at least a light year away from him seem to want to share space with him in public appearances.

His epic rivalry with the Baadshah of Bollywood, Shahrukh Khan, has been the foundation of many Khan-troversies, as they're called. But things reached a head this year with SRK bestie Karan Johar openly declaring his admiration for Aamir, someone he's ignored for over a decade, now trying to patch things up between the two Khans. We could guess that the coup of the year will be Aamir's appearance on Koffee with Karan - someone that Karan was quick to dismiss 3 years ago with an "I invite only friends" stance.

The bigger coup will be if Peepli Live makes it to the final five of the nominees for the Best Foreign Film at the Oscars this year, and wins.

And the biggest, as they say, will be if Karan actually manages to get the two Khans to star in a movie together. Win-win for all, but mostly for Karan and SRK, as Aamir will smilingly say.

The Khan that made up the Khans' trio of the nineties, this wild child somehow lost his sheen along the way with duds that only fed his beefcake image to the masses and did nothing to tap his comedic potential for the longest time since those silly David Dhawan capers.

Fancying himself as a rescuer of women (we see a lot of you going HA! here) and donning the writer's cap for his ambitious home production, Veer, Salman wanted to go where his successful peers had - the epic, sweeping production of a mythological battlefield with a romantic side saga, including his ex-ladylove, the grey-eyed Aishwarya Rai. Known to cast leading ladies that mysteriously look like his exes or the ones he's dating off-screen, Veer drowned without a whimper at the box-office and was the butt of many jokes for months.

Till Dabangg arrived. With a bang.

Sticking to the '70s masala-laden style of movie-making, Dabangg was a no-holds-barred entertainer that celebrated the small-town hero who wins the local damsel's love and flexes his more-than-able muscles to make sure good triumphs over evil, all told with a liberal dollop of slapstick humour that happens only in India. He's so far made 200 crore this year from Dabangg, Bigg Boss and endorsements.

Stay this time, won't you, Sallu?

This dimpled lass with an affinity for mostly art house projects in Bollywood has become India's go-to celeb for support in the shortest form today - in 140 characters. Quick to connect with a genuine cause even if from an abject stranger on Twitter, telling of her life in short tweets, about her love for exercise and food, about her sojourns around the world and her unapologetic stance on everything she believes in, Gul has become the darling of the thinking movie-loving Indian.

She took to Twitter before superstars deigned it fit to descend from their thrones to their smartphones and laptops, and was the Twitter brand ambassador during the earlier edition of the Fashion Week this year. This forthright feminist does not demand cow-eyed adoration from her audience - she commands their respect and is even willing to have an argument with them on matters close to her heart.

Add her very impressive bio to her Twitter persona, tie it up with the Tata Sky ad campaign with Aamir Khan, the thinking woman's favourite Khan, and you have yourself a dream you wish would become a reality - can we see these two powerhouses in a film, please? None of the run-around-the-trees and patriotism-on-display-in-foreign-locales fluff, mind you. Maybe a Vishal Bhardwaj venture or an Anurag Kashyap one?

Ugh. We've got to stop using that epithet. Call them by any name, though, this off-screen celeb couple rules the roost as the preferred star pair choice for product endorsements, beating Aishwarya Rai-Abhishek Bachchan hollow at their own game. Ash and Abhi were rumoured to have been paid a whopping 25 crores for their Lux ad, which nobody seems to remember today.

This star pair is rumoured to command a high price to appear together, and in spite of not tasting sweet success at the box-office, with the miserable Kurbaan that failed to bring in the crowds in spite of its titillating poster, still manage to get top preference with some of the top brands like Airtel.

Despite their highly publicised prior romances fizzling out, their pairing - and their brazen display of love for each other everywhere they go - seems to be working like magic for them. Will it translate to box-office success, too? We hope.

Why Julia in an otherwise Indian list, you ask? Because she is not just America's sweetheart, but of the whole world's. And now, Julia is trying to win the Indian hearts with her new-found love for Hinduism and India. What makes her so special?

Julia's charm lies in her attitude. Attractive, suave, very feminine, yet strong underneath - she has everything. And it isn't surprising to see her enlisted among America's most powerful women even as her name keeps featuring in People magazine's most beautiful list. She is an actress of substance and at the same time, a doting mother who sees herself as an average woman.

Julia, with her latest flick Eat Pray Love based on Elizabeth Gilbert's best-seller, became an Indian ambassador of sorts, speaking highly of its spirituality and her open declaration that she and her family "practise" Hinduism (Many were quick to jump on the "She's converted" bandwagon). Like the protagonist in Gilbert's memoir who spends her time in India to fulfil her quest for spirituality, Julia has claimed to have found great inner peace during her brief love affair with India. Her other interests include spicy Indian food. She is actively involved with UNICEF and its charity and developmental projects and there are even rumours that she is considering adopting an Indian child to add to her biological brood.


yayyyyyyyyyy, happy for Salman Embarrassed Smile

Edited by pooja_l - 15 December 2010 at 2:35am

The following 4 member(s) liked the above post:


Irisduplex Goldie

Joined: 13 June 2006
Posts: 1603

Posted: 15 December 2010 at 3:00am | IP Logged
How did Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka, .....Saifeena...and Julia Roberts?Confused

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pooja_l IF-Rockerz

Joined: 10 September 2007
Posts: 8056

Posted: 15 December 2010 at 3:07am | IP Logged
Originally posted by Macsiris

How did Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka, .....Saifeena...and Julia Roberts?Confused

coz it is celebs, if u r a sportsperson or actor, no matter, but being a celeb gets u listed here

and for further answer, contact the editor of this article LOL
pooja_l IF-Rockerz

Joined: 10 September 2007
Posts: 8056

Posted: 15 December 2010 at 3:58am | IP Logged
but the one that makes me wonder is not inclusion of anyone but exclusion of SRK in this list
desigal90 IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 14 November 2007
Posts: 37271

Posted: 15 December 2010 at 4:04am | IP Logged
Umm...Priyanka above Aamir and Salman. Is this list serious? ROFL
And Saifeena is not one celeb, lmao!

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-Anjaani- IF-Rockerz

Joined: 29 December 2007
Posts: 9031

Posted: 15 December 2010 at 4:34am | IP Logged
Wow PC at # 2, i'm happy for her! Go PC!

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glitters IF-Dazzler

Joined: 25 April 2009
Posts: 2732

Posted: 15 December 2010 at 4:45am | IP Logged
Congrats to PC and Sallu!

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_Sano_ IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 07 December 2005
Posts: 33399

Posted: 15 December 2010 at 6:05am | IP Logged
wow thats a gorgeous pic of aishwarya
pc sk aishwarya rocks

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