2008 Power List: 17. Larry Rudolph

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Star Resuscitator (Age: 45)

In 2004, Britney Spears made a mistake far worse than marrying K-Fed: She dumped longtime manager Larry Rudolph, who had taken her from Mouseketeer to Sex Empress of the World. Seemingly overnight her life became chum for a tabloid feeding frenzy: almost-dropped babies, custody battles, stretchers, electric clippers, pink wigs, Cheetos, and psych wards. The public implosion was so complete that this year Britney's father lobbied Rudolph to commandeer the sinking ship. Rudolph established strict rules: no drugs, no drunken nights, and lights out at 11 P.M. When Britney released "Womanizer" in September, Rudolph's turnaround magic was evident: For the first time since 1999, Spears was No. 1 on the Billboard charts. And the video, dripping with bedroom scenes, put her back on the sex throne, too. "Larry made Britney," says E! gossip columnist Marc Malkin. "Now he's guiding her in all the right ways. He's making people want more." They'll get it—not only Brit's much-hyped album, Circus, but an MTV documentary on her epic comeback. It's all about keeping up appearances—and that's Rudolph's specialty.


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