Britney Spears may not be entirely sane, nor is she one of the leading performers of her generation (though, I suppose if Charlize Theron could go from Playboy pictorials to Best Actress Oscar-winner, anything is possible), but, man, does she generate a lot of moolah on an annual basis: Portfolio Magazine, in this analysis, estimates she generates a combined $120,000,000 a year for various record labels, tour promoters, perfume manufacturers, etc. Not bad for someone who literally cannot speak a sentence that I can make sense of.
This is the $120,000,000 a year woman in action:
What this says to me is what Michael Goldhaber talked about in his article on ‘The Attention Economy’ –essentially (and I’m grossly simplifying), that there are people in the public eye who attract our attention and that this attention will/is becoming the currency of the 21st Century. No where is this more true then in the case of Britney Spears. She, like the Olsen twins, Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, etc., attracts far more attention than her work may deserve and she is able to monetize it in significant ways.
Further proof of Goldhaber’s theory is reflected in many others on thelist of most popular search terms on Yahoo for 2008 (excluding Obama, of course, who should be on the list, IMO):
1. Britney Spears (Entertainment)
2. WWE (Sports / Entertainment)
3. Barack Obama (Politics)
4. Miley Cyrus (Entertainment)
5. RuneScape (Online Game / Entertainment )
6. Jessica Alba (Entertainment)
7. Naruto (Anime / Entertainment)
8. Lindsay Lohan (Entertainment)
9. Angelina Jolie (Entertainment)
10. American Idol (TV Show /Entertainment)