CNBC Names Porn’s Most Popular Stars for 2012

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from – Fame, in any part of the celebrity world, is a fleeting thing – but that’s especially true in the porn industry.

A new generation of porn stars is on the rise and while the old guard is certainly not stepping out of the spotlight, there are a lot of up-and-comers eager to take their place.

With the industry’s annual expo under way in Las Vegas Jan. 16-19, we’ve once again assembled a list of the most popular porn stars. This year, however, only four of the actors who appeared on last year’s list make a return.

While well-known stars like Jesse Jane are still sure bets,a younger crop of performers is starting to capture fans’ eyes – and earning nominations in the annual AVN and Xbiz awards (the industry’s two highest profile awards shows), which we used as the basis for this year’s rankings.

Their drawing power is especially important to the multi-billion dollar industry as sales of video content continue to fall.

Chanel Preston [pictured] – Preston had a rapid rise in the adult entertainment world, but not one that’s so fast it risks a quick burnout. She captured 16 total nominations this year, including female performer of the year nominations from both AVN and Xbiz. She has also represented the industry on several newscasts. In addition to her onscreen talents, Preston is a good writer, spinning sometimes insightful (and often hilarious) tales of the industry from an insider’s perspective.

Also, in 2012, she was named a Penthouse Pet, a distinction which increases a performer’s recognition factor – and the price they can charge per scene. She also appeared in a music video, further boosting her fame.

Brooklyn Lee – Lee boasts female performer of the year nominations from AVN and Xbiz, but she also popped onto the mainstream world’s radar for her cameo in Pink’s 2010 music video “Raise Your Glass.” And when the porn industry decided to make a parody of the 1980s film “Revenge of the Nerds,” cast members from the original film took a picture of themselves holding a sign endorsing her work in the film.

She’s also a popular feature dancer at major strip clubs around the country, including Sapphire in New York – which can be a much more lucrative source of income than films.

Lily Carter – Carter got her start in porn two years ago by Googling “how to become a porn star.” She started as a Webcam model, but quickly moved into feature films, where she gathered a fan base.This year, she earned 17 nominations, including best actress and female performer of the year nominations from both Xbiz and AVN.

Lily LaBeau – LaBeau was a fashion model before entering the world of porn a little over three years later. She didn’t jump in with both feet, either. Before becoming a hardcore performer, she took an interim step as a non-nude model, running her own site. Since making the move to true porn star, she has built an impressive resume, garnering nine nominations this year.

Her background as a fashion model is rumored to make her fees a bit higher than people with equal levels of experience.

Remy LaCroix – LaCroix was all set to be porn’s next “it” girl, but in June she surprised the adult entertainment industry by announcing that she was “gracefully backing out of porn.” Saying that “it just doesn’t feel right anymore…physically, mentally, or emotionally,” she took her leave, but still managed to rack up 11 nominations among this year’s awards.

Will the retirement last? Only she can say, but she has remained active on Twitter, telling industry insiders she misses them and posting nude pictures. The time away could only build up demand, raising her asking price.

Allie Haze – A one-time contract performer for Vivid Entertainment, Haze is now a free agent in the industry, a situation that allows her to set her own price per scene. Ans she’s racked up 16 nominations this year. She’s also a hit in the soft-core porn world, having signed a nine-film deal to play the French soft-core sex icon Emmanuelle (which will likely make her more familiar to Cinemax viewers).

Bobbi Starr – Starr (who also made CNBC’s Dirty Dozen in 2011) has widened her reach in the industry. While she’s still acting, she also has become a director for Evil Angel and launched a specialty Website for diverse resume boosts her earnings potential and gives her increased longevity in the industry. Not bad for someone who failed to win the 2007 pay-per-view reality show “America’s Next Hot Porn Star.”

Asa Akira – This Japanese-American porn star is one of the most sought-after performers in the industry (and, rumor has it, makes her one of its highest-paid stars). She’s got 18 award nominations and will also be co-hosting the AVN awards ceremony this year.

Gracie Glam – After winning AVN’s best new starlet in 2011, Glam has seen her career really take off. A former student at LA’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, she had to drop out as fan and industry demand for her increased. This year, she’s nominated for 12 awards.

Joanna Angel – Angel is one of a handful of women who not only act and star in films, but also own the studio that releases them. She developed a niche by appealing to fans of girls with punk rock and gothic appearances and established a significant following in the process. Today, her firm control of that niche makes her not only popular among fans, but also respected among other porn titans.This year, she has been nominated individually for a dozen awards.

Lexi Belle – Belle has a huge following online and has expanded her film work this year, earning three nods from AVN and Xbiz. Another 2011 member of the Dirty Dozen, she has won at least one major AVN award each year since 2010. And between AVN and Xbiz she has 20 nominations this year.

James Deen – While women are typically the faces of porn, Deen has broken through to the mainstream world this year, snagging a co-starring role with Lindsay Lohan in the mainstream film “The Canyons.” His atypical look has made him especially popular with teenage girls and led ABC News to dub him “Porn’s Boy Next Door.” If there’s one star with the potential to break out of porn into mainstream fame, like Jenna Jameson before him, Deen is it. And that could add millions to his bottom line.

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