Maria Sharapova has claimed the throne in Forbes' 2013 edition of Russia's top 50 celebrities. The nominations were allocated based on three factors: income for the year, media coverage and top searches in Yandex.
The tennis player has replaced singer Stas Mikhailov — who topped the list two years in a row — due to her hefty income of over $29 million.
Gregory Leps came in second place with an estimated earning of $15 million for the year.
Although Leps came in behind Sharapova, he dominated in being the top searched celebrity in Yandex, having 6.5 million searches to his name versus Sharapova's 760 thousand. Many accredit Leps' recent popularity to his performance at the State Duma where he publicly chastised journalists and their constant presence.
Third place went to the conductor and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, Valery Gergiev. According to Forbes, Gergiev's income was $16.5 million, topping Leps'. The directors yearly income has more than tripled over one year; it is reported that in 2012 the conductor's annual income was $3 million.
The top ten positions also included: singer Philip Kirkorov ($9.7 million), hockey player Alexander Ovechkin ($16.8 million), TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak ($1.4 million), singer Nikolai Baskov ($8.9 million), model Natalia Vodianova($8.6 million) and football player Andrei Arshavin($6.4 million).
For the first time since this edition started printing, Alla Pugachyova did not make in the top 10, and is instead at 11th place with an annual earning of $2.5 million.