Shah Rukh Khan has added to a year of stunning achievements by topping the Top 50 Asian Celebrities In The World list for 2023. The Bollywood superstar beat off strong competition from around the world in this year’s edition of the popular list, published annually by UK based Eastern Eye newspaper.
The iconic actor added to a record breaking year by ranking ahead of international stars from global cinema, television, the music industry, arts, literature, and social media. His blockbuster hits Pathaan and Jawan, and a guaranteed third success with red hot release Dunki reignited a floundering Hindi cinema industry and reclaimed his crown as the king of Bollywood.
Eastern Eye entertainment editor, Asjad Nazir, who puts together the list explained why the 58-year-old actor made such a big impact. “By the time 2023 ends, the king
Khan will become the first leading man from the modern era to have three huge Bollywood blockbuster hits in a calendar year. By drawing big audiences back into cinema halls with global juggernauts, the actor gave a movie industry that has been in deep decline a much needed boost and had a transformative effect. The history-making superstar eclipsed everyone else with his brilliance and reminded global audiences what escapist Bollywood cinema is capable of.”
Khan astonishingly found success without media interviews before his films released and kept with that by not commenting on topping this year’s list. Sentiments he expressed to fans earlier this year on social media summed up his year, when Khan wrote: “Nothing makes me happier than the fact that I can entertain you a bit. I live in a dream of your love. Thank you for allowing me to entertain you all.”
The top 50 list celebrating Asian stars who shone the brightest in 2023, is based on brilliant work, positive impact, breaking boundaries, shattering glass ceilings, fan attention, and being inspiring in some way. There was also a big public input with readers and social media users nominating their favourite.
Alia Bhatt came in second for work in Indian cinema, Hollywood, business and being a strong role model for working mothers. Third placed Priyanka Chopra-Jonas was once again the most famous Indian on the planet and carried on breaking ground internationally, including with big budget series Citadel, Hollywood film Love Again, humanitarian work and lighting up the red carpet at international events.
Fourth placed Diljit Dosanjh confirmed himself as the biggest Punjabi star on the planet with stunning work as an actor and singer, which included cinema, major crossover international music collaborations and a path-breaking performance at the Coachella festival.
Fifth placed Charli XCX from UK remained the biggest singing star internationally with a South Asian heritage and did everything from super single releases to blockbuster live performances globally. Sixth place Ranbir Kapoor delivered the year’s most impactful movie performance with blockbuster hit Animal.
Seventh placed Shreya Ghoshal had another award-winning year that included magnificent songs in multiple languages, global arena shows and judging Indian Idol. Eighth placed Vijay was the biggest South Indian cinema star of 2023 with two hits and being an inspiration to countless fans with his humility.
The highest placed Pakistani is actor Wahaj Ali (9), who delivered strong performances all year, including in record-breaking serial Tere Bin and said: “Even though it’s nice to be recognised, my main focus continues to be giving my best every time for my fans. I am grateful to all the great people I have worked with, the amazing audience and my fans, who have given me so much support and humbled me with their unconditional love. I am looking forward to working even harder and crossing more creative horizons.”
Canadian actress Iman Vellani is number 10 for headlining Hollywood blockbuster The Marvels with a path-breaking role.
The oldest star in the list is 81-year-old Amitabh Bachchan (35) and the youngest is 20-year-old actress Sumbul Touqeer (44), who said: “Being included in the annual list with so many distinguished international names feels great. I am also proud to be the youngest in this list again and hope to inspire others starting out on their journey that anything is possible. I am grateful to be able to do what I love and so thankful for all the support.”
The highest placed Indian television star is Tejasswi Prakash (12). The highest placed comedian is Emmy Award winner Vir Das (28) and the only author to make the list is British writer Chetna Maroo (47), whose debut novel Western Lane received a Booker Prize nomination. The only social media star to make the list is Simran Balar Jain (49) for her taboo-busting and boundary breaking content creation.
Comedians, singers, a content creator, writer, and actors of all ages, from different backgrounds around the world in the list showed that 2023 was very much defined by diversity. “This year had exciting talents with South Asian roots from four different continents lighting up everything from literature, comedy and social media to music, television, and cinema. Many of them broke barriers internationally, which were unthinkable before and opened the doors for others following in their footsteps. That variety showed it is perhaps the most exciting time in popular culture where everything is possible. This will inspire the generations ahead,” said Asjad Nazir
Others in the 2023 list include Riz Ahmed (11), Arijit Singh (13), Sunny Deol (16), Deepika Padukone (19), Anil Kapoor (22), Arooj Aftab (24), Dev Patel (27), Simone Ashley (29), Yumna Zaidi (32), Zakir Khan (34), Armaan Malik (36), Geraldine Viswanathan (39), AP Dhillon (40), Ahad Raza Mir (42) and Ahir Shah (46).
The full list is published in Eastern Eye newspaper on December 15