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One Direction, Simon Cowell on World's Most Powerful Celebrities List for 2014

Simon Cowell (third from right) with One Direction members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles and Liam Payne
Simon Cowell (third from right) with One Direction members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles and Liam Payne
Getty Images

Forbes magazine has released its annual World's Most Powerful Celebrities List for 2014. One Direction debuted on the list at No. 28. "The X Factor" creator/executive producer Simon Cowell is ranked at No. 42, which is a big drop from his No. 17 ranking in 2013.

One Direction is the world's biggest-selling act to emerge from "The X Factor." The group came in third place on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2010, when Cowell and other "X Factor" decision makers put together five contestants (Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan) who originally auditioned as solo singers. Cowell was One Direction's mentor on the show, and he signed One Direction to Syco Music, the record company co-owned by Cowell and Sony Music.

One Direction has since had No. 1 hits and sold-out tours in several countries. The group also makes millions from merchandising. For example, the One Direction fragrance Our Moment was the fastest-selling new fragrance of 2013. In April 2014, One Direction began headlining its first stadium tour, and is one of the few music acts that can sell out stadiums around the world in 2014.

As One Direction's fortunes rose considerably from June 2013 to June 2014, Cowell's fortunes took some major blows in the same time period. "The X Factor" was cancelled in the U.S., and ratings for most "X Factor" shows around the world also declined. Cowell's "Got Talent" TV franchise is also going downhill. "Australia's Got Talent" was cancelled, and ratings for most "Got Talent" shows around the world have decreased. Cowell also lost millions as a producer of the flop "X Factor" stage musical "I Can't Sing!," which closed in May 2014, after just two months on the West End.

According to Forbes, the magazine's annual Celebrity 100 list ranks the top 100 stars "from the worlds of movies, TV, music, sports, books and modelling based on money and fame. We estimate earnings by talking to lawyers, producers, agents and other in-the-know folks to figure out how much over 200 celebrities earned from entertainment-related business in the past year. That includes things like music sales, upfront pay on movies and endorsement work. Our time frame for earnings this year is June 1, 2013 to June 1 2014. We don’t deduct for things like taxes, agent fees or the other expenses associated with being a celebrity."

Oprah Winfrey, who has been No. 1 on the list several times, dropped from No. 1 in 2013 to No. 4 in 2014. Beyoncé Knowles, who was No. 4 on the list in 2013, jumped to No. 1, due to the successes of her 2013 tour and self-titled album. Jennifer Lopez, who was No. 1 in 2012, was ranked at No. 33 in 2014.

Here are the celebrities in the Top 20 of Forbes magazine's Celebrity 100 list of 2014, ranking the world's most powerful celebrities:

1. Beyoncé Knowles

2. LeBron James

3. Dr. Dre

4. Oprah Winfrey

5. Ellen DeGeneres

6. Jay-Z

7. Floyd Mayweather

8. Rihanna

9. Katy Perry

10. Robert Downey Jr.

11. Steven Spielberg

12. Jennifer Lawrence

13. Bon Jovi (tie)

13. Bruno Mars (tie)

15. Kobe Bryant

16. Roger Federer

17. Miley Cyrus

18. Taylor Swift

19. Lady Gaga

20. Kanye West

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