Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, referred to as the King Khan of the Indian film industry, has topped a UK list of the ‘Top 50 Asian Celebrities in the World’.
The 58-year-old actor, who had double box-office success this year with action thrillers ”Pathaan” and ”Jawan”, is currently preparing for the Christmas release of comedy drama ”Dunki”. Khan beat off tough competition to make it to the annual list published by UK weekly Eastern Eye on Friday.
”By the time 2023 ends, King Khan will become the first leading man from the modern era to have three huge Bollywood blockbuster hits in a calendar year,” said Eastern Eye entertainment editor Asjad Nazir, who compiled the list previewed in London on Wednesday.
”By drawing big audiences back into cinema halls with global juggernauts, the actor gave a movie industry in 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,” he said.
The Top 50 list celebrating South Asian stars who shone the brightest in 2023 is based on their impactful work, breaking boundaries and being generally inspiring over the course of the year. It is compiled as a result of public inputs, with readers and social media users nominating their favourites.
Popular actor Alia Bhatt came in second for her impact in Bollywood and Hollywood and also for being a strong role model for working mothers.
Third placed Priyanka Chopra Jonas, the most famous Indian on the planet, has been recognised for her ground-breaking work on the international stage, including with big-budget series ”Citadel”, Hollywood film ”Love Again”, humanitarian work and lighting up the red carpet globally.
Fourth placed Diljit Dosanjh confirmed his place as the biggest Punjabi star, with stunning work as an actor and singer, which included cinema, major crossover international music collaborations and a path-breaking performance at the prestigious Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California.
Fifth placed Charli XCX from the UK was the biggest singing star internationally of a South Asian heritage and accomplished a lot this year, from super single releases to blockbuster live performances globally. She is followed by Ranbir Kapoor (sixth) for delivering the year’s most impactful movie performance with blockbuster hit ”Animal”.
Singer Shreya Ghoshal comes in at number seven with another award-winning year, which included magnificent songs in multiple languages, global arena shows and her turn as a judge on the popular singing reality series ”Indian Idol” (season 14). Eighth placed Vijay is the biggest South Indian cinema star of 2023 with two hits (”Leo” and ”Varisu”) and for being an inspiration to countless fans with his humility.
The highest placed Pakistani on the list is actor Wahaj Ali (ninth), who delivered strong performances all year round, including in the record-breaking serial ”Tere Bin”. Canadian actor Iman Vellani is at 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 (35th) and the youngest is 20-year-old television star Sumbul Touqeer (44th), 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.”