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Tyra Banks

The former model has built a distinct brand–and media empire–by presenting herself as the fun, driven mentor to a young, multiethnic, and aspirational female demographic. No idle pretty face, Tyra Banks, 35, has taken a hyperactive hand in creating several reality programs, including America’s Next Top Model and Stylista, and produces those along with her successful daytime talk show. Top Model, now filming its 13th season, is syndicated in 100 countries and has more than 30 international editions. The Tyra Banks Show, which aired its 600th episode this year, regularly bests Oprah Winfrey’s show among 18- to 34-year-olds. — by Kate Rockwood