here are approximately 2 trillion Google searches conducted in a single year, 100 billion per month, 5.6 billion per day, 228 million per hour, and 3.8 million per minute. Needless to say, Google conducts a hefty amount of searches, and when it comes to what people are searching about, well that’s a whole different topic. One thing we can hone in on though is the fact that 2020 is coming to an end. Not only the year 2020, but it’s also the end of a decade. There’s one thing in particular that gets searched for, and that’s the 50 Most Popular Women. Who run the world? Girls! After all, behind every powerful man is a woman to support him. From female leadership increasing drastically, all the way to the recent #metoo movement, now more than ever, women have learned to grasp power for themselves. Some focus energy on building a business empire, being a superhero mom, or running a country, and each and every day, we find a new appreciation for what women have achieved in the last decade. As 2020 comes to an end, let’s shine a spotlight on the 50 Most Popular Women who led the pack.
50. Eva Longoria
Eva’s rise to fame all started with her role as Gabrielle Solis on the television series Desperate Housewives; however, her fame has come a long way since. The American actress, producer, director, activist, and businesswoman holds many strengths, which led her to pursue the role of executive producer for social issue documentaries, such as Food Chains and The Harvest. Eva has repeatedly been named one of Hollywood's most beautiful women by People magazines, and currently holds modelling contracts with L'Oréal and New York & Co. It’s no surprise this multi-talented star is a popular Google search, which is why she’s landed a spot on the 50 Most Popular Women.
49. Scarlett Johansson
The woman who’s made it to 49 on the list of the 50 Most Popular Women has been a recipient of several accolades, including a Tony Award and a BAFTA Award, as well as nominations for two Academy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards. She’s been named one of the highest-paid actresses in the last two years and was recently announced the ninth-highest-grossing box office star of all time. This woman is Scarlett Johansson. What started as a passion eventually led her to appear on stage in an Off-Broadway play as a child actor. Fueling from that fire, Scarlett kept the momentum going and began more and more recognition each year, leading her to where she is now.
48. Marilyn Monroe
Though her life, unfortunately, ended too soon, actress Marilyn Monroe is still a widely-known American actress and model. With beauty and grace like no other, her iconic appearance still shines a bright light on the world and has become what some would call iconic. Marilyn Monroe overcame a difficult childhood and made her way to become one of the world’s biggest stars. She’s well-known for her relationships with Arthur Miller, Joe DiMaggio and some believe even President John F. She died of an overdose in 1962 in Los Angeles, California; however, is still greatly remembered to this day, and still extremely worthy of a spot on the 50 Most Popular Women.
47. Carrie Underwood
What all started as an entry on the 2005 season of American Idol, Carrie Underwood has made her way to become an extremely successful American country singer and songwriter. Her debut single, "Inside Your Heaven", made her the only country artist to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the only solo country artist in the 2000s to have a number-one song on the Hot 100. Aside from being the lyricist behind her own songs, Carrie’s also lent her writing skills to generate several singles by other artists in the country genre.
46. Jessica Simpson
American singer, actress, fashion designer, and author Jessica Simpson is truly a woman of many talents. Her career took off at a young age after performing in church choirs as a child. At age 16, she signed with Columbia Records and by the early 2000s, she was an extreme commercial success. She became well-known for her relationship and marriage to Nick Lachey, who she also starred in her own reality TV show called Newlyweds. Today, many know Simpson for her film debut as Daisy Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard (2005), for which she recorded a cover of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" for the film's soundtrack. Though she hasn’t had much of a spotlight on her in recent years, she’s still a hot spot on the Internet, coming in at number 46 on the 50 Most Popular Women.
45. Jennifer Anniston
The list wouldn’t be complete without actress, producer, and filmmaker Jennifer Anniston making an appearance. Her career all began with her role as Rachel on the sitcom TV series Friends. Since then, she’s continued to gain extreme recognition in the acting world and has started in a number of popular movies throughout the 2000s. Since 2003, Jennifer has been consistently named a top celebrity and was even ranked number one on the Celebrity 100 list in 2003 by Forbes. Aside from acting, Jennifer also recently donated $500k to the anti-harassment campaign.
While most of the world knows her by her stage name Fergie, her real name is Stacy Ann Ferguson. Fergie’s rise to fame started with her solo career of the hip-hop band The Black Eyed Peas and became a fashion trendsetter throughout the early 2000s. She’s been recognized for bringing the trend of tracksuits and other street-wear accoutrements to the 2000’s fashion world and was often found rocking variations of the b-girl chick for some time, sporting shell toes, Kangol visors, wife-beaters, and hoops. Though she hasn’t been as big in the Hollywood world in recent years, she’s still gained a spot on the 50 Most Popular Women.
43. Jessica Alba
American actress, model, and social activist Jessica Alba rose to fame following her role as the titular Dark Angel. Following her appearance, Alba truly dominated the media as she starred in one hit movie after another throughout the 2000s. After captivating each audience’s complete attention, it’s no surprise she’s been the recipient of many prestigious awards. Come 2010, she put the brakes on starring in major films so she could focus gears towards her billion-dollar business, the Honest Company.
42. Kate Middleton
The list of 50 Most Popular Women wouldn’t be complete without a royal appearance. As part of the royal family in Great Britain, Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton’s fame fired up after becoming the spouse of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. The couple began dating back in 2001, and fast-forward to today, Kate is a caring mother of two children and extremely well-known for her iconic fashion statements. She inspires thousands of women with her subtle and powerful wardrobe combinations.
41. Michelle Obama
Coming in hot at number 41 on the list of the 50 Most Popular Women is surprisingly not an actress, singer, songwriter, or producer. And no, she’s not another member of the royal family. She is, however, the wife of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. Throughout her legal career, Michelle Obama has built herself up to be a role model for many women today. Aside from being a former First Lady, she’s a veteran lawyer and an advocate for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy eating. She successfully launched her career as an author and speaker and even toured the country. Her book, Becoming Michelle Obama made its way to the top of the NYT Best Sellers.
40. Ellie Goulding
Okay, back to the singers and songwriters now. Rewinding back to 2010, Ellie Goulding brought a different musical appeal to fans with her debut album Lights. Nowadays, Ellie Goulding not only has a secure spot on the list of 50 Most Popular Women, but she’s also made her way to the forefront of the EDM music scene. Aside from her music, Ellie has become a prominent vocal advocate of mental health and always encourages fans to prioritize her mental health with the professional guidance of holistic practices.
39. Hillary Clinton
And, we’re back to the political lens as we shift our focus to American politician Hillary Clinton. Her rise to fame began in the early 2000s as the first wife of President Bill Clinton and has since then served America as a Senator and Secretary of State. She ran against Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election and proceeded to go it again in 2016 against Donald Trump. Feeding off her passion for female empowerment, she’s well known for her involvement in donating to the educational needs of underprivileged girls.
38. Halle Berry
She’s taken home Oscars, Emmys, and Golden Globes and is extremely deserving of spot number 38 on the list of 50 Most Popular Women. Not only is Halle Berry considered the most popular, but she’s also been consistently recognized for being one of the most beautiful women on the planet for over 20 years now.
Kesha’s popularity rose extremely fast after her unpaid and uncredited appearance in Flo Rida’s 2009 hit Right Round. It wasn’t long after, she released her first and most well-known single Tik Tok, which exploded in the music world. She topped worldwide charts back in 2010 and opened up several years later about legal troubles she’d experienced with an abusive manager. It was also noted that Kesha largely struggled with people who wanted to capitalize on her success and abuse her emotionally, sexually, and psychologically. The public series of lawsuits today is now known as Kesha vs. Dr. Luke. Today, she is an inspiration for women worldwide.
36. Hilary Duff
What all started as the star of Lizzie Mcguire led to so, so much more. Since the show’s debut, Hilary Duff transitioned her career from a Disney star to a talented actress, singer, fashion model, and producer. Though she spent the majority of the 2010’s focusing time and energy on her children and husband, Hilary Duff is an inspiration for many women today and is extremely worthy of her spot on the list of 50 Most Popular Women. Now THAT is what dreams are made of.
35. Kate Moss
A woman who loves a good cigarette coincidentally is also one of the most highly-paid supermodels today. For over 20 years now, Kate Moss has been a catwalk icon and inspiration to many women. At the young age of 14, she was scouted by a modelling agency and was shortly after, published in the youth style magazine, The Face.
34. Kylie Minogue
Shifting from the American stars we’ve highlighted, this Australian singer, songwriter, and actress have been a music and fashion icon since the late 1980s. After being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer at the young age of 36, Kylie Minogue has become an inspiration to millions of cancer survivors. She also advocates this day for breast cancer awareness and encourages young women to get regular breast checks.
33. Heidi Klum
Beauty, brains, and impeccable manners - what more could you ask for? Aside from being the whole package, Heidi Klum became widely famous after appearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In 1988, she became the first German Victoria’s Secret Angel and has since worked closely with Victoria’s Secret as a host for several of their fashion shows. The German model is also known for her role as the judge of America’s Got Talent.
32. Vanessa Hudgens
After rising to fame from playing the role of Gabriella Montez in Disney’s High School Musical, Vanessa Hudgens has seen huge mainstream success. Since her role in the movie, she began recording content with Hollywood Records and released two popular studio albums. Hudgens was raised Catholic, but since has grown away from that branch of Christianity and now identifies as a non-denominational Christian.
31. Jessie J
Born as Jessica Ellen Cornish, she’s known in the media world as Jessie J. The British pop singer and songwriter became famous after signing with Republic Records and releasing her debut single Do It Like A Dude. Some of her most popular songs include Price Tag, Domino, and Nobody’s Perfect.
30. Carly Rae Jepsen
Coming in at number 30 on the list of 50 Most Popular Women is the iconic Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen. Her career began as a contestant in the 6th season of Canadian Idol and she has since become widely recognized for her catchy international singles like Call Me Maybe and I Really Like You. The artist is known as an extremely gifted vocalist and actor.
29. Emma Watson
While she was introduced to the world as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series, Emma Watson has made her way to global fame as a British actress and model. Today, Emma is one of the most sought after actresses of her generation and has starred in several different movies aside from Harry Potter. Aside from her acting career, she was designated to be the United Nations Goodwill ambassador in 2014 for the year due to her passion for lobbying for women’s rights and raising awareness for climate change.
28. Lindsay Lohan
Originally from New York, Lindsay Lohan was one of the most iconic actresses in the early 2000’s. Her fame rocketed after her performances in The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, and Herbie. Though she stepped down from her career due to health and personal issues, she has since returned to some small screens and is supposedly making an effort to return to her music career.
27. Alicia Keys
Bringing a different melody to the musical world, Alicia Keys is highly recognized for her neo-soul and blues melodies. Growing up, Alicia became a classically-trained pianist who began composing songs by age 12. By age 15, she was signed by Columbia Records. Since the late ’90s, she has won 15 Grammy Awards and aside from making it to number 27 on the list of 50 Most Popular Women, she’s also been named one of the most important female musicians of this era.
26. Kristen Stewart
While the majority of the world knows her for her lead role as Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga film series, Kristen Stewart first gained recognition at age 12 for her role as the daughter of Jodie Foster’s character in the 2002 thriller, Panic Room. It was this role that earned her a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Leading Actress in a feature film.
25. Mariah Carey
An artist with an amazing vocal range and billboard topping hits every year ranks number 25 on the list of 50 Most Popular Women. Mariah Carey’s unique voice and charisma have helped her pave the way to making an amazing singing career. She has also been named one of the richest artists of all time.
24. Megan Fox
It all started with her role in Transformers and the rest was history. Okay, not exactly how the story went but it’s true that after her role in that popular series, Megan Fox went on to find critical acclaim in many other films. Aside from her work in acting, she’s also become an iconic model and sex icon over the years through her work with Vogue, Maxim Rolling Stones, and FHM.
23. Avril Lavigne
The second Canadian to make the list of the top 50 Most Popular Women is Avril Lavigne. Also known as one of the most successful pop-rock artists in the early 2000’s Avril found extreme success following her debut album Let Go. In October 2020, Avril live-streamed a concert to raise awareness and funds for fighting Lyme Disease with her #FightLymeconcert. All proceeds from ticket sales were donated to the Global Lyme Alliance and her charity Avril Lavigne Foundation.
22. Christina Aguilera
She’s landed spot number 22 on the list of 50 Most Popular Women, but that’s not all. Since rising to commercial fame in the late 1990s, Christina Aguilera has been named one of the most talented singers in the world. Her melodic voice has helped her receive six Grammy awards and one Latin Grammy award. In 2010, she was chosen to be a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for her work with the World Food Programs.
21. Demi Lovato
Believe it or not, Demi’s career began when she was a child actor on the popular show Barney & Friends. Later on, she found success as a teen when she starred in several Disney shows. Since then, she’s truly become a mature woman and well-rounded recording artist with over six albums and 200 award nominations. Most recently, Demi has publicly announced her diagnosis for bipolar disorder and other difficulties.
20. Paris Hilton
Originally from New York, Paris Hilton's career took off not only because of her ties to the Hilton family, but after her 2000’s reality show The Simple Life, starring herself and Nicole Ritchie. Aside from being on the list of 50 Most Popular Women, she’s also supposedly one of the most popular socialites in the world. Critics commonly suggest that Paris exemplifies a celebrity not through talent or work, but more through inherited wealth and a lavish lifestyle. Regardless, she’s still secured a spot on the list!
19. Angelina Jolie
When we talk about a woman of many talents, Angelina Jolie is basically the definition. As a beauty icon, talented actress, philanthropist, mother of adopted children, and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, she truly does embody it all. As one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood, she has won several acting awards for her extensive filmography. In addition to the film, she also takes up modelling, directing, and writing film scripts.
18. Kimberly Kardashian-West
Truly one of the most popular women in the world, Kim Kardashian's rise to fame all began with the hit show Keeping Up With the Kardashians. The series ran for over 14 years, and ever since then, Kim has built upon her own business empire that ranges from cosmetics to fashion. Surprisingly, Kim first gained media attention as a friend and stylist of Paris Hilton. However, she received wider attention after her 2002 sex tape with her then-boyfriend Ray J was released in 2007.
17. Miley Cyrus
What all began as a teen role in the popular Disney show Hannah Montana led so much, much more. Following the series, Miley quickly transitioned from a teen Disney star to a global pop sensation over the last decade. Aside from pop music and acting, Miley has also taken on the role of coach for the music reality show The Voice. Today, she still continues to release extremely well-received music, landing her a spot on the 50 Most Popular Women.
16. Nicki Minaj
Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty, better known by her professional name Nicki Minaj, is a Trinidadian-American rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, and model. Since her rise to fame in the early 2000s, Nicki has been said to be one of the world’s most influential rap artists. She’s seen great success, selling over 100 million records worldwide, winning over six American Music Awards, 12 BET Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, and two Billboard Women in Music Awards… all in the last 10 years.
Also known for having hips that don’t lie, Shakira is not only number 15 on the list of 50 Most Popular Women, but she’s also considered to be the modern Queen of Latin music. Aside from her musical talents, she’s widely known and loved for her ability to the songwriter, dance, produce music, model and choreograph, and not to forget, her charisma. In addition, she also conducts charity work in Columbia.
14. Katy Perry
She kissed a girl and she liked it! Okay, well that’s what basically had Katy Perry become a star overnight, but since then, all of her tracks have seen immediate success. Hit after hit, Katy continues to dominate the music charts with her unique, awesome, and thrilling videos to accompany them. Some of her most prominent tracks include: Firework, Waking Up in Vegas, California Girls, Hot n Cold, and Last Friday Night.
13. Jennifer Lopez
Another woman of many, many talents appearing at number 13 is Jennifer Lopez, also known as J-lo. The Latin Hollywood star has quite a successful career, covering spheres from business, philanthropy, singing, dancing, and acting. Over the past three decades, she’s become what some have said to be one of the most powerful women in the world. Aside from powerful, she’s also one of the world’s wealthiest celebrities and one of the most successful Latin artists.
In the late 1990s, Beyoncé rose to fame as the lead singer of Destiny’s Child (one of the best-selling girl-bands of all time). Fast-forward to 2002, she debuted in the film Austin Powers and also began her solo music career. Today, she is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, having sold over 100 million records worldwide. She also holds the record for being the second most Grammy-awarded artist with 24 wins. Well done, Beyoncé. She wasn't kidding when she said girls run the world.
For over 40 years now, Madonna has had a whopping impact on pop music and culture, hence why she has crowned the Queen of Pop. Her first solo record deal took place in 1982 and since then, she has received multiple awards and has also been listed by the Guinness Book of World Records for being the best-selling female artist of all time, with 300 million records sold worldwide.
British singer, poet, and songwriter Adele has made her way to becoming one of the most popular music artists of the 2010s. Her fame happened quite fast after receiving two Grammy awards for Best New Singer and Best Vocal Performance in 2009. Her 2008 appearance on Saturday Night Live boosted her career in the US.
9. Selena Gomez
Another star who has come quite a long way since her Disney days is Selena Gomez, landing in the top 10 of 50 Most Popular Women. The American actress, singer, composer, designer, model, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador first saw success in Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place. Following the series, Selena ventured onto creating an extremely successful music career, and most recently, released her very own makeup line, Rare Beauty.
8. Britney Spears
Another star whose fame began in the late ’90s is still known as one of the 50 Most Popular Women to this day. Britney Spears is mostly known for her debut albums Baby One More Time and Oops!.. I Did It Again. She signed with Spear Records at the young age of 15 and is often referred to as The Princess of Pop. Though today, she’s not as active with her career, she’s still remembered and loved by her fans.
7. Kylie Jenner
Kylie Jenner has been surrounded by spotlights, well, for basically her entire life since the reality TV series aired - Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Since then, she's ventured into her own business expeditions, which have led her to be known as one of the the 50 Most Popular Women, and also one of the youngest millionaires in the world. She seems to constantly gaining more popularity, especially after the release of her signature Kylie Lip Kit, which has earned millions of sales.
6. Taylor Swift
This girl though. Where do we begin? Selling over 50 million albums and 150 million singles worldwide, Taylor Swift is well-deserving of spot 6 on the 50 Most Popular Women, and not to mention, she was named woman of the decade in 2010. Having seen musical success in genres such as pop, country, and most recently alternative, she continues to surprise her fans with each surprise album release, most recently, her surprise album Evermore. Her main singles from Fearless; Love Story and You Belong with Me became international hits. The album quickly became the best selling in the world. Nicely done, T-Swift.
5. Lady Gaga
“P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face”.” Discovered originally by R&B singer Akon while she was performing a burlesque show, Lady Gaga was quickly signed by Akon in the early 2000s and by 2007, she had recorded her debut album, The Fame. Today, she is the fourth-highest earning female musician of the 2010s and has ranked second on Time's 2011 readers’ poll of the most influential people of the past 10 years. In 2012, she founded her nonprofit organization, The Born This Way Foundation, which helps empower youth to improve mental health and prevent bullying.
So, she originally gained popularity back in 1965; however, she’s still known today as number 4 on the list of 50 Most Popular Women. She was widely recognized for being one-half of the folk-rock husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher after their song "I Got You Babe" peaked at number one on the US and UK charts. Cher is also the only artist to have a number one-single for 60-years consecutively...60 years! Talk about goals.
Born in Barbados, Rihanna is a true Barbadian beauty, with the brains to complete the ensemble. The well-known R&B pop singer and actress started her career at age 16 when she moved her life to the US. Her single Pon de Replay was rotating on the radio upon its release, and since then she continued to release Billboard hits one after another, such as: Don’t Stop the Music, Rude Boy, Hard, Umbrella and We Found Love. Her estimated net worth sits around $600 million and has been recognized to be the wealthiest female musician. A true powerhouse!
2. Lana Del Rey
Born as Elizabeth Woolridge Grant, Lana Del Rey became widely-recognized in 2011 after her hit “Video Games” was released. She’s primarily credited for popularizing the sadcore genre of music, being one of the main catalysts for the pop music shift from EDM to a moodier, hip-hop palette. In her songwriting, she is known to reference pop culture, particularly 1950s and 1960s Americana. Today, she is mostly known for her pop-hit remix, Summertime Sadness.
1. Oprah Winfrey
We’re almost at the end of the 50 Most Popular Women, and coming in hot at number 1 is the one and only, Oprah Winfrey. Though she’s best known for her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, she’s paved her way to show the world what she truly embodies. Throughout her career, she’s been known as the Queen of All Media. She’s been named the most influential person in the 2000’s and the 2010’s. She was named the richest African American of the 20th century, and North America’s first black multi-billionaire. Oh! And can we also highlight that Oprah has been ranked the greatest black philanthropist in American history? Oprah, now 66, continues to make business moves, but due to the pandemic, she announced she has canceled all of her plans through the end of 2020. Regardless, she’s still well-deserving of the number one spot on the list of the 50 Most Popular Women, and it’ll come as no surprise if she makes her way to number 1 in the following decade.
And just like that, we’ve covered the 50 Most Popular Women in the world from 2010 to 2020. From actresses, Disney sensations, singers, television hostesses, philanthropists, and businesswomen, each woman highlighted throughout the list is different in their own unique way. With a variety of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities, each female has overcome hurdles to achieve the success they celebrate today. You go, girls!