Jennifer Lopez had a stellar year as evidenced by her jump to the top of celebrity heap.

Crowning The Cougar: Does Jennifer Lopez Deserve The Top Spot On The Forbes Celebrity 100?

Spencer Cain

Ladies and gentlemen, my favorite list is finally here. The 2012 Forbes Celebrity 100 was released this morning, and while the results weren’t that surprising, they are certainly worth talking about. The usual heavy hitters like Oprah and Lady Gaga held court somewhere near the top of the list, but there’s a new queen in town: Ms. Jennifer Lopez.

While Jenny From The Block was nowhere near the top spot in terms of financial gain over the past year (despite the fact that she pulled in a not-so-paltry $52 million), her combination of significant press, high profile gigs and overall influence helped secure her the coveted position. I don’t know why I was so surprised to see her listed at the top. After all, her American Idol hosting job brought her back to prominence within the blink of an eye. You can’t turn on your television without seeing an ad campaign featuring J. Lo hawking some random products such as Fiat cars.

And we can’t ignore the fact that Jennifer’s split from hubby Marc Anthony has gotten her a ton of attention. Her steamy relationship with 25-year-old backup dancer Casper Smart (pictured in the photo above gyrating on her like a true prince) has caused a complete tabloid frenzy. While other stars would be deemed somewhat classless for this display of behavior, Jennifer has somehow pulled it off. She makes no apologies about who she is and I think we can all relate to having passionate relationships that others may frown upon.

I do think that other stars may have had more influence this year, but in terms of visibility, Jennifer has seriously made her presence known. Congratulations to that girl who used to dance in hot pants on In Living Color. You’ve come a long way, baby! (Click through the gallery above for a look at the rest of the list in order.)

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