We all know that women run the world. First, there is that old cliché that behind every powerful man is a woman. That is still true today. But in the 21st century, more than ever, women are harnessing that power for themselves, from building a business empire to running a country.
We are in awe of what women have achieved in the last few decades, with some doing it at a young age. Take for instance, Billie Eilish, one of the most famous women singers today. At 19, Eilish has already won seven Grammys, is considered one of the most successful artists of 2010s and has nabbed the “most searched female on the internet” title, according to the Guinness World Records.
Another great example is Greta Thunberg, who is the seventh most searched person on Google (Eilish being sixth). The 18-year-old Swedish environmental activist hasn’t figured in any top 50 popular women list yet, and she may not have reached the mind-blowing popularity of Justin Bieber, oddly enough the 7th most popular “girl” in the world it turns out. But Thunberg is still the tops in our book.
In the 2010s, the top 50 most popular women on the internet are a good mix of celebrities, singers and actors. Some of the most popular actresses have turned into successful entrepreneurs, from Jessica Alba to Jessica Simpson; others have used their popularity to highlight social issues, actively participating in changing things. Then there are the iconic political figures who have embraced leadership, making them land in the 50 most famous women.
And here they all are:
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #50 Eva Longoria
Actress, talk show host, and philanthropist, Eva Longoria shot to fame after the runaway success of the TV show ‘Desperate Housewives’. She’s also been recognized for her charity work, with the American Civil Rights Museum awarding her the Freedom Award back in 2010.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #49 Marilyn Monroe
A perennial role model for many women, Marilyn Monroe’s meteoric rise to fame and her tragically short life continue to dazzle people decades after her untimely death. She has become a fashion and beauty icon, and it’s clear that her influence will extend to a new generation of women.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #48 Carrie Underwood
A finalist in the 2005 season of “American Idol”, Carrie Underwood has gone on to become one of the most successful country singers and songwriters in America. She’s also lent her songwriting prowess to a few singles by other artists and is a mainstay in Billboard’s top 100.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #47 Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson started her career starring in indie films, like “Lost in Translation” and “Her.” The 2010’s, however, saw her rise to the top of Google searches for her black spandex wearing role as Black Widow in the Marvel cinematic universe, triggering her own flick, the spy thriller “Black Widow.”
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #46 Jessica Simpson
Starting off her career in the late ‘90s, Jessica Simpson became a household name in the mid-2000s when she starred in her own reality TV show called Newlyweds with then-husband Nick Lachey. She also starred in a few movies during that time, and while her career slowed down in the 2010s, she still piqued the internet’s interests enough to put her on the Top 50 list. Even without being in the limelight, this famous female singer’s business, The Jessica Simpson Collection is worth about $1 billion.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #45 Jennifer Aniston
Rising to fame as ‘Rachel’ on Friends in the mid-’90s, Jennifer Aniston continued to be an active and popular actress all throughout the 2000s and 2010s, starring in various movies and has been a mainstay in numerous “top celebrity” lists since 2003.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #44 Fergie
Finding fame as a member of ‘The Black Eyed Peas’, Fergie, real name Stacy Ann Ferguson, has since become an iconic solo artist and fashion designer from the late-00’s to the mid-2010s. She’s not as iconic as she was before, but she’s still in the top 50 list thanks to a few runaway tracks and a controversial rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” in the 2018 NBA All-Star Game.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #43 Jessica Alba
A teen sensation back in the late-90’s and early-00’s thanks to her role as the titular Dark Angel in the show of the same name, Jessica Alba quickly dominated mainstream media, starring in one hit movie after another in the late-00’s. She slowed her role in the 2010s, mostly to focus on her billion-dollar business the Honest company, but she still holds the hearts and interests of internet users well into the 2020s.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #42 Kate Middleton
The Duchess of Cambridge entered the public eye when she and Prince William started dating way back in 2001, with the two enthralling the world with their fairytale romance. Kate Middleton officially became the Duchess of Cambridge in 2010 with her wedding to Prince William. Apart from her royal duties, the Duchess is also a fashion icon, inspiring thousands of women with her subtle, yet powerful wardrobe choices.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #41 Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama is more than just a former First Lady: she’s a veteran lawyer, an advocate for various social programs, and one of the most important and iconic role models women have had over the past decade. After her husband’s stint as the most powerful man in the world, Michelle Obama launched her career as an author and speaker, touring the country giving speaking engagements and putting her book “Becoming Michelle Obama” at the top of the NYT Best Seller’s list. In my opinion, she should have ranked higher!
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #40 Ellie Goulding
Singer, songwriter, and composer, Ellie Goulding won over pop music fans with her debut album Lights back in 2010. Since then, she’s been at the forefront of the EDM scene and a vocal advocate of mental health issues, with the singing constantly urging her fans to take care of their mental health, either with therapy or with wholistic practices.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #39 Hillary Clinton
An American political giant in her own right, Hillary Clinton entered the public eye as the first wife of then-President Bill Clinton. Since then, she has served the American public as a Senator and as a Secretary of State. She ran against Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential race, and again in 2016 against Donald Trump. She is an advocate for various social programs, known especially for her involvement in funding the educational needs of underprivileged girls in the United States.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #38 Halle Berry
Oscar, Emmy, and Golden-Globe winning actress, Halle Berry has had an amazing career extending from emotional dramas like “Monster’s Ball” and the not-so hit “Cat-Woman.” Halle Berry has been on the list of the most beautiful women on the planet for over 20 years, owing to the actress’ strict workout and diet regimen.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #37 Kesha
Born as Kesha Rose Sebert, Kesha (formerly known as Ke$ha) exploded into the music scene with hits like “Tik-Tok” and “Right Round”. Her debut album topped worldwide charts back in 2010, but it was her personal drama involving her legal troubles with an abusive manager and a studio that tried to take advantage of her that turned her into an inspiration for women everywhere. Her struggle against people who wanted to capitalize on her success, not to mention abuse her emotionally, sexually, and psychologically became public in a series of lawsuits now collectively referred to as Kesha vs. Dr. Luke.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #36 Hilary Duff
Known for her role as ‘Lizzie Mcguire’, Hillary Duff successfully transitioned from child star to a legitimate actor, singer, entrepreneur, fashion model, and producer. For most of the 2010s, however, Lizzie Mcguire stayed out of the spotlight to focus on her personal life with her husband and kids.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #35 Kate Moss
One of the most highly-paid and sought after models in the fashion world, Kate Moss has been a catwalk institution for over 20 years, and it seems that a new generation of women looks up to her in the 2020s.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #34 Kylie Minogue
Since debuting in the late-80s, Kylie Minogue has been a music and fashion icon, with her tracks constantly topping the charts every time she releases a new album. Kylie Minogue is also an inspiration to millions of cancer survivors after she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer at the age of 36. Since then, she has advocated for breast cancer awareness and encouraging young women to do regular breast checks.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #33 Heidi Klum
Before becoming one of the iconic hosts of ‘Project Runway’ (which earned her an Emmy nomination in 2008 and an Emmy win in 2013), Heidi Klum was gracing catwalks around the world, representing top fashion brands and becoming the first German Victoria’s Secret Angel in 1998.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #32 Vanessa Hudgens
Rocketing to fame after her work in the High School Musical series, Vanessa Hudgens is now a well-respected actress and singer, releasing her debut album “V” in 2006. She has since starred in numerous movies and Broadway plays.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #31 Jessie J
Born as Jessica Ellen Cornish, Jessie J is one of the most popular singers and songwriters of the past decade, penning such hits as ‘Price Tag’, ‘Domino’, ‘Laser Light, ‘Nobody’s Perfect’, and ‘Who You Are’, among other modern classics.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #30 Carly Rae Jepsen
One of the most iconic pop singers of the 21st century, Carly Rae Jepsen started out her career as a contestant in the 6th season of ‘Canadian Idol’. Since then, she has become one of the most important songwriters of this generation, and becoming an instant international hit with singles like “Call Me Maybe” and “I Really Like You”.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #29 Emma Watson
Introduced to the world as Hermoine Granger in the “Harry Potter” series, Emma Watson has become one of the most sought after actresses of her generation, not to mention an important advocate for social change: she was honored by the United Nations back in 2014 as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Year thanks to her work lobbying for women’s rights and a wider awareness of climate change.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #28 Lindsay Lohan
One of the most iconic teen actresses in the early 2000’s, Lindsay Lohan’s career took a sharp turn downwards because of health and personal problems. While the mid-00s and the early 2010s weren’t her best years, she has since returned to the small and big screens to critical acclaim and has worked on returning to her music career as well.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #27 Alicia Keys
Known for her neo-soul and traditional rhythm and blues melodies, Alicia Keys is a highly influential musician whose career stretches back to the late-90s. She has since won 15 Grammy Awards and is widely considered one of the most important female musicians of this era.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #26 Kristen Stewart
Although well-known for her role in “The Twilight” trilogy, Kristen Stewart is actually a prolific actress, starring in numerous indie films, winning a Cesar Award for Best Actress for her role in ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #25 Mariah Carey
One of the most prolific and iconic musical artists of the past 30 years, Mariah Carey is known for her amazing register and vocal range. She has had Billboard topping hits almost every year, and she’s cited as being one of the richest artists of all time.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #24 Megan Fox
Rising to stardom after her role in the “Transformers” series, Megan Fox has gone on to find critical acclaim in independent films like “Jennifer’s Body” and “Zeriville.” She’s also a prolific model and a sex icon, thanks to her work with Vogue, Maxim and FHM.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #23 Avril Lavigne
One of the most commercially-successful pop-rock artists of the past 20 years, Avril Lavigne found mainstream success with her debut album “Let Go,” achieving platinum success almost overnight. She has since become one of the most prolific pop artists in the 2010s.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #22 Christina Aguilera
Achieving commercial success in the late-90s, Christina Aguilera has since become one of the most successful pop music artists of all time, garnering 6 Grammys and a Latin Grammy for her extensive body of work. She was also designated as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador back in 2010 for he philanthropic work with the World Food Programme.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #21 Demi Lovato
Finding commercial success as a teen star in various Disney TV shows, Demi Lovato has since transitioned to a full-fledged recording artist with over 6 albums and more than 200 awards nominations. Although Lovato has hit a few snags lately, from the frozen yogurt backlash to proclaiming her “fluid sexuality,” she’s still one of the most popular women singers.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #20 Paris Hilton
Socialite, actress, singer, and heiress to the Hilton family fortune, Paris Hilton skyrocketed to fame with her mid-00s show “The Simple Life” starring herself and fellow socialite Nicole Ritchie.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #19 Angelina Jolie
Actress, model, and philanthropist, Angelina Jolie is considered by many to be the epitome of beauty, grace, and talent, becoming a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador in 2001, a position she actively served in until 2012. She has won several acting awards and is well-known for her extensive filmography and philanthropic work. She is also one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #18 Kimberly Kardashian-West
One of the richest celebrities in the entire world, Kim Kardashian (and by extension the entire Kardashian family) rose to fame in the hit show ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ which ran for 20 seasons over 14 years. Since the show, Kim Kardashian has built a business empire that spans cosmetics and fashion, and she is considered to be one of the most successful businesswomen in the world.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #17 Miley Cyrus
Known for her role as ‘Hannah Montana’ in the mid-2000s, Miley Cyrus transitioned from teen actress to pop sensation in the past decade, becoming a pop music icon and a coach of the music reality show ‘The Voice’.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #16 Nicki Minaj
Cited as one of the most influential rap artists of all time, Nicki Minaj has sold over 100 million records worldwide, and won six American Music Awards, twelve BET Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, and two Billboard Women in Music Awards in just the past decade alone.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #15 Shakira
Born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, Shakira is considered to be the modern Queen of Latin Music, receiving numerous awards including three Grammy Awards, twelve Latin Grammy Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards, thirty-nine Billboard Latin Music Awards, six Guinness World Records and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2018, she became the best-selling Latin artist of all time.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #14 Katy Perry
Katy Perry became an overnight sensation with her breakout single “I Kissed a Girl” back in 2007, and since then, she has dominated the music charts with hit after hit, and has been cited as one of the highest-paid female artists from 2011 to 2019.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #13 Jennifer Lopez
One of the first Latin actresses to make it big as a Hollywood star, Jennifer Lopez has had a successful career as a businesswoman, philanthropist, singer, and movie star that spans over 3 decades. She is constantly cited by multiple media outlets as being one of the most powerful women in the world, one of the richest celebrities in the world, and one of the most successful Latin artists of all time.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #12 Beyoncé
One of the world’s most influential female artists of the past 20 years, Beyoncé is also one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 100 million records worldwide. She is the Grammy Award’s most nominated artist in history, and holds the record for being the second most awarded artist by the Grammy’s with 24 wins.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #11 Madonna
Madonna’s impact on pop music and culture goes all the way back to the early 1980s, where she became a mainstay of the charts and hasn’t left since. Madonna has had a successful and whopping 40-year career that has seen her be crowned the Queen of Pop, receiving multiple awards, and is listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the best-selling female artist of all time with a staggering 300 million records sold worldwide, and was ranked the number 1 greatest music video artist of all time by Billboard.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #10 Adele
One of the most popular music artists of the 2010s, Adele holds the Guinness Book of World Records of best-selling artist of the 21st century with her breakthrough second album 21, which sold over 31 million copies worldwide. She was ranked as the number 5 greatest women in music by VH1 back in 2012 and is listed twice by Time as one of the most influential people on the planet.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #9 Selena Gomez
TV show actress, voice actress, composer, designer, model, poetess, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Selena Gomez first saw success as the lead in the Disney TV show “Wizards of Waverly Place’. Since then, she’s embarked on a highly successful music career, selling over 7 million albums and 22 million singles worldwide.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #8 Britney Spears
Pop and fashion icon Britney Spears rose to stardom in the late-’90s as one of the most successful pop artists of that era. Since then, she has sold over 100 million records worldwide. She went through a career slump in the mid-2000s all the way to the mid-2010s but came back with a bang after the release of her album Glory in 2016 and a 4-year concert tour called Pieces of Me. Spears once again became newsworthy because of her legal tussle with her dad, Jamie Spears, over conservatorship. In early November 2021, the court finally freed Britney from her controversial legal status.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #7 Justin Bieber
Obviously not a woman, but Justin Bieber is constantly cited as one of the most popular ‘women’ of the decade thanks to his boyish good looks and a large female fan base. He was both acclaimed and reviled when he came out with his single “Baby” back in 2010, but has since established himself as one of the world’s best-selling artists with over 150 million records sold worldwide.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #6 Taylor Swift
Having sold over 50 million albums and 150 million singles worldwide, Taylor Swift is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, receiving ten Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, and seven Guinness World Records; she is the most-awarded act and woman at the American Music Awards with 29 wins and at the Billboard Music Awards with 23 wins. She was named Woman of the Decade (2010s) by Billboard and the Artist of the Decade (2010s) by the American Music Awards.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #5 Lady Gaga
With over 125 million records sold worldwide, Lady Gaga is one of the world’s best-selling music artists and the fourth highest-earning female musician of the 2010s. She has set various Guinness World Records and won 11 Grammy Award. She was ranked number four on VH1’s Greatest Women in Music in 2012 and second on Time’s 2011 readers’ poll of the most influential people of the past ten years. In 2012, Gaga founded her nonprofit organization, the Born This Way Foundation, which focuses on empowering youth, improving mental health, and preventing bullying.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #4 Cher
With a successful career spanning over 6 decades, Cher is one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time. She has won a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, an Academy Award, three Golden Globe Awards, a Cannes Film Festival Award, the Billboard Icon Award, and awards from the Kennedy Center Honors and the Council of Fashion Designers of America. She is noteworthy for being the only artist to have a number one-single 60 years straight, from the 1960’s all the way to the 2010s.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #3 Rihanna
With over 250 million records worldwide, Rihanna is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with 14 number-one singles and 31 top-ten singles in the United States and 30 top-ten singles in the UK. She has won nine Grammy Awards, 13 American Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, and six Guinness World Records. In 2019, she was recognized as the wealthiest female musician, with an estimated net worth of $600 million.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #2 Lana Del Rey
Since her debut in 2005, Lana Del Rey has been credited as popularizing the ‘sadcore’ genre of music for mainstream audiences. She has been credited as an influence by a number of contemporary artists, and is credited by Billboard as “being one of the main catalysts for pop’s mid-2010s shift from brash EDM to a moodier, hip-hop-inflected palette”.
Top 50 Most Popular Women on the internet: #1 Oprah Winfrey
Best known for her talk show, ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and ran in national syndication for 25 years from 1986 to 2011, Oprah Winfrey has been called the “Queen of All Media”, not to mention the most influential person in both the 2000s and the 2010s. She was named the richest African American of the 20th century and North America’s first black multi-billionaire. Despite this, Oprah Winfrey has also been ranked the greatest black philanthropist in American history.
Oprah Winfrey has won 18 Daytime Emmy Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Chairman’s Award, 2 Primetime Emmy Awards, including the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, a Tony Award, a Peabody Award and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, and two additional Academy Award nominations. In 2013, Winfrey was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President Barack Obama and honorary doctorate degrees from Duke and Harvard.