Several songs have been composed as odes to strong, powerful women that help us understand that our 50 most popular women and many others are contributing much to growth all around the world.
And while some women are content with being in the background, doing their work behind a partition, and doing their work in anonymity, many are stepping into the spotlight, whether they want it or their work requires them to do so.
Below, we have a list of the 50 most popular women in the world. These women are doing important work, inspiring others around the world, no matter what field they work in or the work that they do.
Check out our list of 50 most popular women on the web below:
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Scarlett Johansson is an American actress who has been in a host of high profile movies and enjoyed extensive fame since she climbed into the spotlight.
She first appeared in a broadway play as a child. She made her film debut in the Fantasy Comedy, North. Her most high profile role was that of Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which she started with 2010’s Iron Man 2.
She was the world’s highest-paid actress in 2018 and has made several appearances on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list. Her movies have made over 14 billion dollars worldwide making her the third-highest-grossing box office star of all time.
She has won several awards including a Tony award and a BAFTA award. She has also received nominations for two Academy Awards and five Golden Globe awards.
49. Pamela Anderson
Pamela Anderson is a Canadian-American actress, model and activist who is on our 50 most popular women list. She is known for her work as a model on Playboy magazine and her appearances in the TV series Home Improvement, Baywatch and V.I.P.
She initially rose to fame when she was selected to be on her first Playboy cover in February 1990. After that, she was featured more frequently, and she now holds the record for the most Playboy appearances made by anyone.
She has been married four times to Kid Rock, Tommie Lee, Rick Salomon and most recently, Jon Peters, in a wedding which lasted only 12 days.
She also famously broke up with French footballer Adil Rami in 2019 after he asked her to marry him.
48. Jennifer Aniston
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Next on our list of 50 most popular women is Jennifer Aniston; An actress who was once married to Brad Pitt and is remembered mostly for her role as Rachael in the popular TV show Friends.
Jennifer Aniston was born to actors John Aniston and Nancy Dow and started acting at a very early age with an uncredited role in the 1987 film Mac and Me.
She then grew to major acclaim with the 1993 film, Leprechaun. Since then, Jennifer has been one of the most highly paid actresses in Hollywood.
She played the role of Rachel in the TV series, Friends (1994 – 2004) for which she earned Emmy, Golden Globes, and Screen Actors Guilds Awards.
She was married to Brad Pitt, but they were divorced after five years. She has now separated from the actor, Justin Theroux, who she married in 2015.
47. Kate Middleton
She is known officially as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge since she married Prince William of England and that made her one of the 50 most popular women in the world.
Her husband is expected to become King, and that means Kate Middleton will likely be Queen consort of England and 15 other commonwealth countries one day.
Kate Middleton grew up in Chapel Row, England, before she proceeded to the University of St Andrews to study Art History. It was there that she met Prince William, and the two struck up a romance.
She married him in April 2011 and after that, the couple welcomed three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis of Cambridge.
The Duchess of Cambridge has had an effect on British and American fashion that the media have dubbed the Kate Middleton effect.
In 2012 and 2013, TIME magazine named her as one of the most influential people in the world.
46. Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding is an English singer and songwriter who is considered one of the most popular women in the UK.
In 2010, she became the second artist to top the BBC’s annual Sound of… poll. The Sound of… is an annual poll of music critics and industry leaders who vote on the next most promising talent.
In the same year, Ellie also won the Critics Choice Awards at the BRIT awards.
Her debut album, Lights debuted at number one on the UK albums chart. Her second album, Halcyon debuted at number nine on the US Billboard 200 chart.
She earned her first Grammy nomination in December 2015 for her single, ‘Love Me Like You Do’.
Cher is a singer, actress, and television personality who was born Cherilyn Sarkisian. She is commonly referred to as the Goddess of Pop.
She is known for her distinctive contralto singing voice, for having worked in many areas of entertainment, and for her ever-changing singing styles and appearances.
Cher gained popularity as one half of the folk-rock band she formed with her husband, Sonny Bono. They were called Sonny and Cher and became super popular after their song, I Got You Babe reached the top of the American and British charts.
Following their success, she began her solo career simultaneously and quickly grew her career to make her one of the 50 most popular women now.
She became a television personality after the couple launched their television show, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour and Cher.
Cher has also sold over 100 million records, making her one of the world’s best selling artists. She has won several awards including a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, a Cannes Film Festival Award, and awards from the Kennedy Center Honors and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
She is also the only artist to have a number one song on the Billboard chart in six consecutive decades.
44. Halle Berry
Halle Berry is a model turned actress who has achieved huge feats in both areas.
She has won an Academy Award for her performance in 2011’s romantic drama Monster’s Ball, making her the only African-American woman to have ever won the award.
While she was a model, she also entered several beauty contests, finishing as the first runner up in the Miss USA pageant and placing sixth at the 1986 Miss World pageant.
She also won an Emmy Award and the Golden Globe Award for her role in the TV series Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.
She has also played several high profile roles such as Storm in X-Men, the sequels, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and John Wick: Parabellum.
She also played the lead role in 2004’s Catwoman, which earned her a Razzie Award for worst performance in a movie.
Kesha (former stylised at Ke$ha) is an American singer, songwriter and rapper. Despite getting almost perfect SAT scored in high school, she dropped out of college after three months to pursue her music career.
In 2015, aged 18, she was signed to Kemosabe Records. Her big break came four years later when she was featured in Flo Rida’s number-one single, Right Round.
She has earned two number-one albums on the US Billboard 200 chart with her 2010 and 2017 albums, Animal and ‘Rainbow.
Between her 2010 and 2017 albums, she had some legal issues with her former producer, Dr Luke. Kesha accused him of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and employment discrimination, while he claimed she breached her contract and defamed him.
After the case, she launched a 2020 album called High Road.
42. Hilary Duff
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Hilary Duff is an American actress, businesswoman, singer, songwriter, producer and writer. She started a career at a young age and secured her first high profile role in the television series Lizzie McGuire.
She has served as an executive producer on According to Greta and The Haunting of Sharon Tate.
She became a prominent musician after the release of her debut album, Santa Claus Lane, which she released in 2002. After that, she has released five other albums which have done well, reaching gold, silver and platinum status.
Hilary Duff has been married twice, first to ice hockey play, Mike Comrie, and later to Mathew Koma. She married the latter in 2019.
She has also been cited as an inspiration by fellow Disney breakout stars, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Bridgit Mendler and Selena Gomez, some of who are on this list of 50 most popular women.
41. Heidi Klum
Heidi Klum is a German-American model, television personality, businesswoman, fashion designer, singer, television producer, author and actress.
She is the first German model to become a Victoria’s Secret angel. She also appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 1998.
After her super successful modelling career, she transitioned into a television host. She was a host and a judge on Germany’s Next Top Model as well as Project Runway. The latter earned her an Emmy nomination in 2008 and a win in 2013 alongside co-host, Tim Gunn.
She has been nominated for six Emmy Awards. From 2013 to February 2019, she was a judge on America’s Got Talent.
In 2011, she was ranked second on Forbes’ list of highest-earning models with an estimated net worth of 20 million dollars.
40. Vanessa Bryant
Vanessa Bryant is a former model and video vixen. She began her career as a teenager but retired when she met and married the late football player, Kobe Bryant.
She is of Mexican and Irish, English, German descent. She was originally named Vanessa Cornejo Urbieta but took her stepfather, Stephen Laine’s last name in 2000.
On 18 April 2001, she married Kobe Bryant and changed her name to Vanessa Marie Bryant. The couple had four children together – Natalia Diamante, Gianna Maria-Onores, Bianka, and Capri.
On 26 January 2020, she lost her husband, Kobe Bryant, and her daughter, Gianna Maria-Onores, in a helicopter crash in California.
39. Lana Del Rey
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, professionally known as Lana Del Rey is an American singer, songwriter and record producer.
Her music is known for its themes – tragic romance, glamour and melancholy, and is noted for its references to pop culture.
She moved to New York in 2005 to begin her music career and her debut single, Love Games launched her into the spotlight after it went viral.
In 2013, she wrote and starred in the short music film, Tropico. She also released the song Young and Beautiful that same year, which was the official theme song for the film, The Great Gatsby.
Del Rey has received two Brit Awards, two MTV Europe Music Awards, a Satellite Award and nine GAFFA Awards, and has been nominated for six Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.
38. Emma Watson
Emma Watson is an English actress, model and activist, most recognised for her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter franchise.
She was born in Paris, went to school in England, and trained to become an actress at the Oxford branch of the Stagecoach Theatre Arts.
Since the Harry Potter franchise wrapped up, Emma has been quite busy, flitting in and out of the spotlight. She has starred in movies like Perks of Being a Wallflower, My Week with Marilyn, The Bling Ring and Beauty and the Beast.
Most recently, she played Meg March in the latest adaptation of Little Women, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
In May 2014, she graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. In the same year, she was appointed the UN Women Goodwill ambassador.
She helped the UN launch the HeForShe campaign, which encourages men to join the fight for gender equality.
37. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan is an American actress, singer-songwriter, businesswoman and producer who started her career in Hollywood when she signed with Ford Models at the age of three.
While she appeared in TV shows, her big break came when she starred in the Disney movie The Parent Trap (1998). The 2004 movie, Mean Girls cemented her place as a teenage idol.
In 2005, she became the subject of media attention when she started having legal and personal problems. She also had a number of stints in rehabilitation facilities because of substance abuse.
She currently appears on the TV shows, Lindsay and Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club. She has also launched her career in music, releasing two albums – Speak (2004) and A Little More Personal (Raw) (2005).
Since 2016, she has developed a number of clubs and resorts in Greece.
36. Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys, whose real name is Alicia Augello-Cook is an American singer, composer and actress.
She was born in Hell’s Kitchen, New York and has frequently spoken about the dangers she was exposed to, which made her carry a homemade knife with her and start to dress in gender-neutral clothing in order to avoid notice.
At the age of 12 years old, Alicia Keys was composing songs. She was signed at 15 by Columbia Records but after some disputes with the record label, she signed with Arista Records.
She has sold over 65 million records worldwide and received several accolades including 15 competitive Grammy Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, 12 ASCAP Awards and an award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the National Music Publishers Association.
She is considered a musical icon and has been included in Time’s most influential people list in 2005 and 2017. She is married to Swizz Beatz and has two children.
35. Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart is an American actress and director as well as the first American actress to win a César Award, which is the national French award.
In 2010 and 2012, she was the highest-paid actress in the world. She started acting at a young age, taking on several movies and winning a BAFTA Rising Star award.
The role that thrust her into the limelight though was that of Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga film series which lasted from 2008 to 2012.
However, scandal rocked her career when she was photographed having an affair with her Snowman and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders, in 2012.
At the time, she was dating her Twilight co-star, Robert Pattinson. Sanders was also married at the time. The duo offered a public apology when the news broke.
After the scandal, she laid low and ignored big-budget movies in favour of Indie movies. She only recently returned to making mainstream movies with Charlie’s Angels and Underwater.
34. Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, actress and entrepreneur, who was dubbed the songbird supreme by the Guinness World Records.
She broke into limelight in 1990 after signing with Columbia Records and releasing her debut album which spent 11 weeks on the American Billboard 200 chart.
Throughout her career, Carey has sold more than 200 million records, making her one of the best selling singers of all time. She also holds the record for the most number-one singles by a solo singer, a female songwriter, and a female producer, with 19 of her songs having topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
She has earned a number of accolades for her work including five Grammy Awards, 19 World Music Awards, 10 American Music Awards and 15 Billboard Music Awards.
33. Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera is an American singer, songwriter, actress and television personality. She has earned a number of awards for her music including five Grammy Awards, one Latin Grammy Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2008, she was included in Rolling Stone’s list of 100 greatest singers of all time and was also included in Time’s list of the most influential people in the world.
She has sold over 75 million records so far, which makes her one of the best selling artists of all time.
She has starred in the movie Burlesque and was a coach on the reality singing competition, The Voice.
32. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato (Demetria Devonne Lovato) is an American singer, songwriter, actress and television personality, who rose to fame after playing Mitchie Torres on the Disney movie Camp Rock and its sequel, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.
Demi has released six studio albums: Don’t Forget (2008), Here We Go Again (2009), Unbroken (2011), Demi (2013), Confident (2015), and Tell Me You Love Me (2017) which all achieved success and debuted in the top five places on the Billboard top 200 chart.
She has served as a judge and a mentor on The X Factor USA for two seasons.
Her struggles with addiction are well documented and she almost died from an overdose in August 2018.
She has earned several accolades for her work including an MTV Video Music Award, 14 Teen Choice Awards, five People’s Choice Awards, two Latin American Music Awards, one American Music Award nomination, four Billboard Music Award nominations, three Brit Award nominations, and two Grammy Awards nominations.
She also holds a Guinness World Record for the youngest judge on The X Factor.
31. Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton is an American media personality, businesswoman, socialite, model, singer, actress, fashion designer and DJ. She is a great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton hotels.
Paris Hilton’s background and her connections have helped her rise up in the ranks to become one of the 50 most popular women in the world.
30. Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie is an American actress, filmmaker and humanitarian. For her work, she has earned Academy Award and three Golden Globe Awards and has been named the highest-paid actress in the world many times.
She made her movie debut alongside her father, Jon Voight, in the 1982 film Lookin’ to Get Out. She made a proper debut ten years later in the 1993 movie Cyborg 2.
She went on to appear in the movies George Wallace and Gia and won an Oscar Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film Girl, Interrupted.
She has been named the most beautiful woman in the world multiple times.
Angelina Jolie is also a humanitarian and has received accolades for her work including the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and was made an honorary Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George.
She has married and been divorced from Jonny Lee Miller, Billy Bob Thornton and Brad Pitt. She also has six children with Brad Pitt, three of whom were adopted internationally.
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, whose stage name is simply Shakira, is a Colombian singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer and actress, who is mostly known for her belly dancing.
At the age of 13, she made her recording debut with Sony Music Colombia. Her first two albums, Magia and Peligro were commercial failures. However, she launched her next albums Pies Descalzos (1995) and Dónde Están Los Ladrones? (1998) to success in Spanish speaking countries.
Her fifth album, Laundry Service sold over 13 million copies and launched her career in English peaking countries. The singles Whenever, Wherever and Underneath Your Clothes established her as a singing sensation.
Her songs, La Tortura, Hips Don’t Lie, Beautiful Liar, Waka Waka (This Time for Africa), Loca, and Chantaje solidified her place as a worldwide superstar.
She has received several accolades for her work including three Grammy Awards, thirteen Latin Grammy Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards, thirty-nine Billboard Latin Music Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
28. Katy Perry
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer and songwriter.
She started singing in church and pursued a career in gospel music as a teenager. She signed with a record label and released her debut gospel studio album in 2001, which was commercially unsuccessful.
Afterwards, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in secular music. She adopted the stage name Katy Perry and was signed by Capitol Records in 2007.
Her second album One of the Boys, which contained the singles I Kissed a Girl and Hot n Cold, was commercially successful.
Her third album, Teenage Dream was her first project to top the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. The album also became the first one by a female artist to have five number-one songs in the U.S.
She has received the following awards for her work: four Guinness World Records, five American Music Awards, a Brit Award and a Juno Award.
She has also been included in Forbes’ highest-earning musicians’ list from 2011 to 2019. She currently serves as a judge on American Idol.
Madonna Louise Ciccone is professionally known as Madonna and is an American singer, songwriter, actress and businesswoman, who is called the Queen of Pop.
She is often reinventing her music and her work and style have often caused controversy. She has been cited by many singers as an inspiration in music.
Madonna was born in Michigan but she moved to New York City to pursue a career in modern dance. She switched to music in 1982 and released her debut album the next year.
She won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1996 movie Evita. Many of her other movies received poor reviews though.
She has sold more than 300 million records worldwide, which makes her the best selling artist of all time, with a Guinness World record to prove it.
Rolling Stone listed her among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.
26. Serena Williams
Serena Williams is an American professional tennis player who has won 23 single Grand Slams titles, which is the most by any man or woman in the Open Era. She has also won other numerous professional tennis titles.
The Women’s Tennis Association has ranked her as the number one player eight times between 2002 and 2017. She also has 39 Grand Slam titles which put her at a joint third on the all-time list. She has 23 in singles, 14 in women’s doubles, and two in mixed doubles.
Serena Williams has also won four Olympic gold medals – one in women’s singles and three in women’s doubles alongside her sister, Venus.
She was named the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year four times in 2003, 2010, 2016, and 2018.
Serena is among the highest-paid athletes ever, earning 29 million dollars in prize money and endorsements in 2016. In 2019, she was ranked in the 63rd place on Forbes‘ world’s highest-paid athletes list.
25. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez is an American singer, songwriter and actress, who gained popularity after appearing on the Disney television series Wizards of Waverly Place, which aired from 2007 to 2012.
She went ahead to star in other movies including Another Cinderella Story, Princess Protection Program, Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, Ramona and Beezus, among others.
She has served as an executive producer on a number of projects including the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.
She has released three albums, For You, Revival and Rare, which have all reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 2017, Billboard reported that Selena Gomez has sold over seven million albums and 22 million singles worldwide.
She has received accolades for her work; she currently has the most Teen Kids’ Choice Awards for a woman with 11 awards. In 2017, Billboard named her the Woman of the Year.
She has a large following on social media, and was the most followed person on Instagram before she was surpassed by football player Cristiano Ronaldo.
24. Britney Spears
Britney Spears is an American singer, songwriter, dancer and actress, who is often referred to as the Princess of Pop.
Her first two albums were global successes and made her the best selling teenage musician of all time. She is regarded as a pop icon and is credited with reviving teen pop in the 90s and 2000s.
She released seven more albums before signing on for a four-year residency in Las Vegas.
However, her erratic behaviour caused her to be put on a conservatorship. In 2019, she announced an indefinite career hiatus and was involuntarily admitted into a mental health facility by her conservator.
Britney has sold more than 150 million records worldwide and earned numerous accolades for her work including a Grammy Award, seven Guinness World Records; six MTV Video Music Awards including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. She has also won seven Billboard Music Awards including the Millennium Award, the inaugural Radio Disney Icon Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
She has also topped the list of the most searched celebrities seven times in 12 years, which is the most since the inception of the internet.
23. Hilary Clinton
Hilary Rodham Clinton is a former First Lady of the United States as well as a politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer and public speaker.
She served as the First Lady of the US from 1993 to 2001, a United States senator from New York from 2001 to 2009, and as the 67th United States secretary of state from 2009 until 2013.
She became the first woman to be nominated for the position of President of the United States when she won the Democratic party nomination in 2016. She, however, lost the election to Donald Trump.
Ellen DeGeneres is an American comedian, show host, actress and writer who has had her own talk show Ellen since 2003.
As an actress, she has acted in Mr. Wrong, EDtv, and The Love Letter and voiced the character Dory in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.
She was awarded the Saturn Award for Best Supporting actress for Finding Nemo – the first time an actress had ever won the award for voice acting.
In 2010, she was a judge on the ninth season of American Idol.
Ellen has hosted the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards and the Primetime Emmys and has won 30 Emmy Awards, 20 People’s Choice Awards, and many other awards for her work. In 2016, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
21. Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell is an English model, actress and supermodel, who started her modelling career when she was discovered at the age of 15 and rose to become one of the 50 most popular women in the world.
She became one of the most in-demand models in the 1980s and 1990s and was named one of the supermodels of her generation, a title she still holds on to.
The 49-year-old has also ventured into other businesses as celebrities are wont to do, including an R&B album, acting appearances and collaborations.
Recently, she has started to become more outspoken about fashion and music in Africa. After the 2020 Grammy Awards, she wrote an open letter to the Grammys, lauding the brilliance of Afrobeats and asking that it is given its own category.
20. Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union-Wade is an American actress, voice artist, activist and author, who began her career in the 1990s with small roles in sitcoms.
She followed that up with supporting roles in popular movies including She’s All That and 10 Things I Hate About You. She, however, burst into the spotlight with the 2000 film, Bring it On, which brings her attention even now.
She went on to star in the movies Deliver Us from Eva, Daddy’s Little Girls, Think Like a Man and Think Like a Man Too, Top Five, among others.
She has also starred as a lead actress in the BET series, Being Mary Jane, a role that earned her an NAACP Award.
She is the author of a successful memoir We’re Going to Need More Wine. Gabrielle Union is also an activist who focuses on women’s issues.
She married basketball player Dwayne Wade in 2014 and the two have four children.
19. Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa Hudgens is an American actress who made her film debut in the 2003 movie Thirteen.
Her big break came, however, when she played Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical franchise, which lasted from 2006 to 2008.
The success of the first film helped Vanessa to secure a recording contract with Hollywood Records after which she released her first two albums, 2006’s V and 2008’s Identified.
Since her success in High School Musical, she has appeared in other movies like Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012), Spring Breakers, Netflix’s The Princess Switch, Second Act and Bad Boys for Life.
Apart from her acting life, Vanessa Hudgens keeps her life relatively private, and that could be because of the series of nude pictures of hers that leaked in 2007, 2009, and 2011.
18. Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra Jonas is the next woman on our list of the top 50 most popular women in the world in 2020.
She is an Indian actress, singer, film producer and the winner of the Miss World 2000 pageant, which she recently shared a throwback to.
She is one of the 50 most popular women in India. She is also one of the highest-paid celebrities in India. In 2016, the Government of India honoured her with the Padma Shri, which is the fourth-highest award that can be bestowed on a civilian.
In the same year, Time named her as one of the 100 most influential women in the world. In 2018 and 2019, Forbes also named her as one of the world’s most powerful women.
Priyanka originally wanted to study Aeronautical Engineering, but after her pageant wins, she received offers to join the Indian film industry, which she accepted. She made her film debut in 2003’s The Hero: Love Story of a Spy.
She broke into Hollywood in 2015 with the TV series Quantico, which aired until 2018. The role made her the first South Asian to headline an American network drama series.
She is also an activist and has worked with UNICEF since 2006. She is vocal about gender equality and feminism.
17. Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle is a member of the British Royal Family and a former actress. She started playing small roles in television while she was attending Northwestern University.
She scored her big break when she played Rachel Zane on the legal drama, The Suits, which aired from 2011 to 2017.
Meghan Markle is an outspoken feminist, which she has shown through her various projects both as an actress and now as a Duchess. Her lifestyle website, The Tig, profiled women such as those on our list of 50 most popular women.
In 2011, she married actor and producer, Trevor Engelson, but the two divorced in 2013.
Four years later, in 2017, she announced her engagement to Prince Harry of England. The two got married in a lavish ceremony in London, after which Meghan Markle retired from acting, closed her social media accounts and settled into her new role as the Duchess of Sussex.
Following a series of rumours of a rift in the Royal Family and public bashing from Meghan’s family and some members of the general public, Meghan and Harry announced in January 2020 that they would step back from being senior members of the Royal Family.
16. Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon is an actress, producer and businesswoman who is one of the highest-paid actresses in the world.
Reese Witherspoon attended Stanford University to study English Literature but left the school before she completed her studies in order to pursue her acting career.
She has won several awards for her work including an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, A BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award.
She made her acting debut as a teenager in the 1991 movie, The Man in the Moon. Her big break, however, came after she did the movie, Legally Blonde and its sequel.
Following a career decline, she dove into producing, acting as producer on Gone Girl and Wild under her production company, Hello Sunshine.
Reese Witherspoon is married to Jim Toth, with three children. She received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010.
15. Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama is an American lawyer and writer, who served as the American First Lady from 2009 to 2017 beside her husband, Barack Obama.
Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Michelle Obama attended Princeton University and is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
During the early days of her legal career, she worked at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met Barack Obama.
As First Lady, Michelle advocated for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, physical activity and healthy eating. She was also considered a fashion icon which made her one of the 50 most popular women in the world.
In 2018, after she left office, she published a memoir called Becoming, in which she spoke about a range of subjects including her background, her time in the white house, being a mother and many more things.
Becoming sold more copies than any other memoir that has been published in America and it broke the record in only 15 days.
14. Eva Longoria
Eva Longoria is an American actress, producer, director, activist and businesswoman, who is most known for her portrayal of Gabrielle Solis on the television series Desperate Housewives.
Her performance in the series earned her Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations. Afterwards, she took on the role of executive producer with the TV series, Devious Maids and the social issue documentaries Food Chains and The Harvest.
She has been named one of the most beautiful women in the world by several publications, an honour which has no doubt helped her rise to become one of the 50 most popular women on the web.
Adele is one of the most popular singers in the world. She is an English singer and songwriter, who is known for flitting in and out of the spotlight while managing to remain immensely popular.
She signed a recording contract with XL Recordings in 2006 when she was 17. Two years later, she released her debut album, 19, which became hugely successful and won her Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
It also instantly made her one of the 50 most popular women on the web, a title she has held on to.
Her next album, 21, which she released in 2011 was also critically successful, earning her numerous awards including six Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards and three American Music Awards.
’21’ also helped Adele break some records, putting her name in the Guinness Book of Records. The song, Skyfall, which she released as the original soundtrack for the 2012 James Bond film won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, and a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, as well as the Brit Award for British Single of the Year.
Her third album, ’25’ earned her five Grammy Awards and four Brit Awards.
12. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez is an American actress, singer, dancer and businesswoman. For her first lead role in the movie Selena, she earned a Golden Globe nomination and became the first Latin actress to earn one million dollars for appearing in a film.
She starred in more films after that, climbing to the top to become the highest-paid actress in Hollywood.
She made a splash into music with her 1999 album, ‘On the 6’. In 2011, she appeared as a judge on American Idol and soared back into the limelight after a short downtime.
In 2019, she was praised for her performance in the film Hustlers, which is about strippers fleecing wall street brokers. The film earned her Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.
She is regarded as the most influential Latin singer in the United States and has received the Billboard Icon Award and the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award among other honours for her efforts.
11. Nicki Minaj
Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty, known professionally as Nicki Minaj, is an American rapper, actress, singer and songwriter.
She signed with Lil Wayne’s Young Money entertainment in 2019, after which she released her first album, Pink Friday. Her subsequent albums have been successful, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
As an actress, she has appeared in the films The Other Woman and Barbershop: The Next Cut.
For her music, she has earned numerous accolades including six American Music Awards, 11 BET Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, two Billboard Women in Music Awards, and 10 Grammy Award nominations.
She is currently married to Kenneth Petty, whom she says she has known for a long time.
10. Cardi B
Cardi B rose through the ranks: from a stripper to an Instagram sensation, to a reality TV star, to one of the biggest musicians in the world.
Cardi, whose real name is Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, was born in The Bronx, New York (as she has always said).
She signed with Atlantic Records and released the single Bodak Yellow, which became an instant hit and made Cardi B the second female rapper to top the Billboard Hot 200 with a solo song since Lauryn Hill in 1998.
Her debut album, Invasion of Privacy, enjoyed similar success and has been certified triple platinum by the RIAA. It also won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, making Cardi B the only woman to win the award as a solo artist.
She is considered one of the most influential female rappers of all time. Her accolades include a Grammy Award, seven Billboard Music Awards, five Guinness World Records, four American Music Awards and eleven BET Hip Hop Awards.
She is currently married to Migos member Offset and the couple have a child together, Kulture Kiari Cephas.
9. Ariana Grande
Next on our 50 most popular women in the world list is Ariana Grande who made a super successful transition from Nickelodeon to becoming one of the biggest pop stars in the world.
She rose to prominence for her role as Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon TV series Victorious and its spin-off, Sam and Cat.
After she discovered her passion for singing, she actively pursued it until she signed a deal with Republic Records in 2011.
Her first album, The Way, was a Billboard top ten single and she never looked back after that. Her next album, 2014’s My Everything, gave Ariana her first number one Billboard Hot 100 album.
She has gained several accolades for her songs including one Grammy Award, one Brit Award, two Billboard Music Awards, three American Music Awards and eight Guinness World Records.
She is recognised as a streaming powerhouse, having amassed over 50 billion streams across Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music.
In February 2019, she was the most followed person on Instagram but was trumped by the footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo.
8. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus has had a very interesting life, with a lot of ups and downs both in her personal life and in her career.
Miley Cyrus is considered one of the most successful adult stars who transitioned from a child star. Her music ranges across different styles including pop, country pop, and hip hop.
She is known for playing the iconic character of Hannah Montana in the Disney movie of the same time, but her popularity often comes from her tumultuous relationship with her ex-husband, Liam Hemsworth.
The two met on the set of The Last Song in 2010 and sparked a relationship. After dating on and off for eight years, the pair suddenly got married, sharing a set of adorable pictures that warmed the hearts of their fans.
In 2019, however, a few months after they got married, they announced that they were separating, with rumours of drugs and abuse flying around. This increased Miley Cyrus’ popularity, making her one of the 50 most popular women.
She has now moved on and is in a relationship with Australian singer Cody Simpson.
7. Taylor Swift
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? I enjoy nights in Brixton ? …but especially when they’re like last night – @nmemagazine you really know how to have a good time. Met @clairo @radvxz and @fkatwigs who are amazing. Got to tell @robynkonichiwa she’s the melody queen of my musical heart. I got sprayed by champagne when people won & got to take another middle finger trophy home to the felines. Thanks for having me!! ???? ?: @gettyentertainment @hogieaaa__
Aged 14, Taylor Swift became the youngest artist ever to be signed by the Sony/ATV Music Publishing house, and at 15, she signed her first record deal.
She has gained a huge number of fans because her songs are usually about her personal experiences, which many people (man or woman) can usually relate to.
Her first album made her the youngest person to ever write and perform a number-one Billboard Hot 100 song. Her second album, Fearless, also made her the youngest artist to ever win the award for Album of the Year.
She is one of the world’s best-selling music artists and the highest-earning female musician of the 2010s.
She has earned the following accolades for her work: 10 Grammy Awards, one Brit Award, an Emmy Award and six Guinness world records. Taylor Swift is also the most-awarded act at the American Music Awards with 29 wins as well as the most-awarded woman at the Billboard Music Awards with 23 wins.
In 2019, she was embroiled in some controversy after she took to social media to seek help after her former record label sold the rights to all her albums before 2019’s Lover to Scooter Braun, who she claims bullied her in the past.
6. Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish is known for her beautiful voice, brooding music and appearance. She gained notoriety when she uploaded the song Ocean Eyes to Soundcloud and was subsequently signed by Interscope Records.
Her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 200 and was the best performing album in America in 2019.
She has received five Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, two Guinness World Records, three MTV Video Music Awards and one Brit Award.
In 2020, she received all four top awards at the Grammys (Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year) and became the youngest person to do so.
She has previously revealed that she wears baggy clothes because of the sexualisation she is exposed to. She only turned 18 in December 2019.
5. Oprah Winfrey
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My next @oprahsbookclub pick is going in a completely different direction than the last one: “Olive, Again” by Elizabeth Strout. As cranky as Olive is, she teaches us so much about loneliness, judgement, empathy, and loss…all the things that make us human. Tap the link in my bio to get a copy and follow @oprahsbookclub to join the conversation. Be ready to discuss with me starting 11/18! #ReadWithUs ???
Oprah Winfrey is an American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, philanthropist, and one of the 50 most popular women in the world.
She is best known for her talk show and for giving away 276 cars to everyone in her talk show audience in 2004. Each car was reportedly worth $28, 500.
She was the richest African American of the 20th century and has been ranked the greatest philanthropist in history. She has also been dubbed the Queen of all Media.
Oprah Winfrey was born and raised in poverty and has spoken about how she was molested as a teen and gave birth aged 14 to a son who died in infancy.
She rose through her hardships until she founded her own production company, Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
In 2013, Oprah was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama. She also has honorary degrees from Duke and Harvard universities.
Since their early twenties, she has been friends with the journalist Gayle King.
4. Lady Gaga
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Celebrating Valentine’s Day wearing this badass ring designed by my friend @bcompleted for @klarna.usa. Did you know that an old tradition says that only during a leap year, on Feb 29th, are women allowed to propose to men? ???? It’s 2020, and any person of any gender identity can propose to anyone, anytime! So as we all celebrate love today, I put this ring on my own finger as a sign of my love for myself and for my fans – and a reminder that we are all born superstars. ? #getwhatyoulove
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, whose stage name is Lady Gaga, is a singer, songwriter and actress, who has earned accolades both for her singing and her acting, both making her one of the 50 most popular women on the web.
She started performing music as a teenager. She enrolled in art school but dropped out halfway to focus on her music.
She was working as a songwriter for Sony/ATV Music Publishing when Akon helped her sign a joint deal between Interscope Records and his own KonLive Distribution in 2007.
After that, Lady Gaga took off. She released her debut album, The Fame, which was a success. Her second album, Born This Way, was also successful, with more than one million copies sold.
Following the success of her music, Lady Gaga ventured into acting, making an appearance in the TV series American Horror Story: Hotel, which earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.
In 2018, she and Bradley Cooper starred in the remake of the Hollywood classic A Star Is Born. They also sang the film’s soundtrack, Shallow, which made Lady Gaga the first person to win an Academy, a Grammy, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe Award in one year.
Her accolades include several Guinness world records, 11 Grammy Awards, awards from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
She is also known for her eccentric style, including the very famous meat dress which she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards.
3. Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian took her background of famous people, her famous friends, sheer brilliance and a sex tape, and she turned it into a billion-dollar business.
For Kim, it all started with that sex tape with Ray J. Now, she is a reality TV star, model, businesswoman, socialite and actress. What’s more, her sisters also are also benefitting from her fame.
The reality TV star has millions of followers on social media and has capitalised on fame to release a series of products, mostly in the beauty industry.
In 2014, she married the rapper Kanye West in a lavish ceremony in Italy, which significantly boosted her popularity. The couple has four children together.
She has also recently become politically active, lobbying for the release of prisoners in a move that has earned her plenty of applause. She is also planning to become a lawyer.
Her beginning may have been rocky, but now, no one can say that Kim Kardashian does not deserve to be where she is, thanks to her determination, brilliance and her doggedness. All of these have ensured that she is one of the 50 most popular women in the world today.
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is many things to many people. She is a mother, daughter, a friend, an amazing singer, songwriter, and performer, an actress, a businesswoman, among other things.
To her fans though, she is a goddess and you will not get away with saying anything bad about Beyonce on her internet.
Beyonce rose to fame as a member of Destiny’s Child, one of the most popular girl groups of all time. Following the disbandment of the group, Beyonce fully launched her solo career.
As an actress, she has starred in the movies The Pink Panther, Dreamgirls, and Obsessed, among others.
She has released several albums, all of which charted at number on the Billboard Hot 200 chart. She has also released a collaborative album with her husband, Jay Z, called Everything is Love.
She has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the world’s best selling artists. Beyonce is one of the most nominated artists in the Grammy and MTV Video Music Awards, earning 24 wins each including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
Despite her fame, Beyonce prefers to live a private life with her husband and three children, Blue Ivy, Sir and Rumi Carter.
Nevertheless, she is still popular enough to have made it to second place on our list of 50 most popular women in the world.
Rihanna knows how to stoke the public’s interest, how to interact with her fans, banter with them and keep them wanting more. What’s more, her outfits are always a delight, something that people are always looking forward to.
Rihanna was born in Barbados but she moved to America in 2005 when she signed with Def Jam Recordings. It has been a journey watching her growth since then.
While her first two albums did very well and brought her popularity, it was her third album, 2007’s Good Girl Gone Bad that catapulted her to fame and cemented her place as a leading figure in the music industry.
She has sold over 250 million records and is one of the world’s best selling artist. She has also won nine Grammy Awards, 13 American Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards and six Guinness World Records.
In 2017, Rihanna launched her beauty company Fenty Beauty, which produces makeup and was lauded for its attention to diversity as it features a sizeable number of shades.
In 2018, she launched Savage X Fenty, which exclusively makes lingerie. Considering Rihanna’s extensive CV, it is unsurprising that she is at the top of our list of 50 most popular women in the world.
Those are the 50 most popular women in the world. The list is diverse, with singers, actresses, philanthropists, royals, and journalists making appearing on it.
What all the women have in common, though, is the sheer hard work that they all put into their passion.
Whether they had the fortune to be born into wealth or they had to abandon their schooling to pursue their dreams, these women identified their passions and did not stop until they got to where they wanted to be.
If there is anything to emulate about them, then it is probably this – their perseverance.
We hope you enjoyed the article. Drop us a comment about the selection or if you think of anyone who should have been on the list but isn’t. Don’t forget to share the article with your friends, family and other networks.