In all, the death of the princess earned 18 points, not even counting the special tribute issues offered by a handful of publishers. The story made double appearances during the month on People, Time and Newsweek, and triple plays by the National Enquirer and Star. Even staid U.S. News & World Report devoted a cover to the story.
The royal tragedy scored triple the points of the nearest competition, with Jada Pinkett and Oprah Winfrey both racking up 6 points. Close behind was Demi Moore, at No. 4 with 4.5 points. Fifth place was a four-way tie, with Kirstie Alley, Goldie Hawn, Rosie O'Donnell and JonBenet Ramsey each attracting 3.5 points.
The race for ninth place attracted 23 contenders, all with 3 points, including Patricia Arquette, Mel Gibson, Courtney Love, Keanu Reeves, Sean Penn and Sigourney Weaver.
Cover Story is Ad Age's monthly ranking of celebrities' popularity as reflected by their appearances on the covers of more than 30 of the nation's leading publications.