Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, whose earnings between October 2011 and September 2012 amounted to Rs.202.8 crore, has topped the inaugural Forbes India Celebrity 100 list.
The list, a ranking of India's biggest entertainers based on their income and popularity, also features Bollywood superstar Salman Khan and cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni on the second and third spot, respectively.
Both Salman and Dhoni are ahead of Shah Rukh in terms of popularity and fame, but King Khan occupies the top spot courtesy his earning power, mainly riding on massive income from brand endorsements, according to the official website of the magazine.
By Forbes India estimates, SRK, who also features on the magazine's cover, earned Rs 202.8 crore, compared to Salman's Rs 144.2 crore and Dhoni's Rs 135.16 crore in the said period.
The Forbes India's special edition "decodes what lies behind the success of India's biggest creative entrepreneurs across eight categories: film actors, directors, sport stars, TV personalities, singers/musicians, authors, models and comedians",it said
The list was arrived at after a rigorous data collection process that considered the celebrities' income (from the business of entertainment) and fame (as measured by media mentions, online presence and social media followers) in a definite time period.
Dhoni, captain of the Indian cricket team, is the top sportsperson, while Oscar-winning composer A.R.Rahman leads the pack of singers/musicians and is the only representative of the category in the top 20.
Malaika Arora Khan is the leading TV personality, and Karan Johar is the most powerful director. Author Chetan Bhagat, comedian Vir Das and model Esha Gupta topped their respective categories.
A majority of celebrities who made it to the list fall in the age bracket of 30 to 50. However, 12 youngsters, including Saina Nehwal, Virat Kohli, Anusukha Sharma and Sania Mirza have broken into the top 50.
At 23, Saina Nehwal is the youngest celebrity on the list.
The special edition of the magazine will hit stands Saturday.