Who is the most powerful woman in America right now? Viral Mag's definite list of the top ten most powerful and famous American women might be the answer to this question. This list includes female business leaders, entertainers, politicians, entrepreneurs and investors ranging from Oprah Winfrey down to Taylor Swift.

Who is the most powerful woman in America right now?

Top 10 Most Powerful & Famous American Women at Glance:


  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama
  • Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter
  • Madonna Louise Ciccone
  • Robyn Rihanna Fenty
  • Ellen Lee DeGeneres
  • Serena Jameka Williams
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Taylor Swift

1. Oprah Winfrey


Oprah Winfrey

Net worth: 2.6 billion USD (2020)
Born: 29 January 1954, Kosciusko, Mississippi, United States

Born in rural poverty, and raised by a mother dependent on government welfare payments in a poor urban neighborhood, Winfrey became a millionaire at the age of 32 when her talk show received national syndication. Winfrey negotiated ownership rights to the television program and started her own production company. At the age of 41, Winfrey had a net worth of $340 million and replaced Bill Cosby as the only African American on the Forbes 400. By 2000, with a net worth of $800 million, Winfrey is believed to have been the richest African American of the 20th century.

There has been a course taught at the University of Illinois focusing on Winfrey's business acumen, namely: "History 298: Oprah Winfrey, the Tycoon". Winfrey was the highest paid television entertainer in the United States in 2006, earning an estimated $260 million during the year, five times the sum earned by second-place music executive Simon Cowell. By 2008, her yearly income had increased to $275 million.

Oprah Winfrey's swift rise to host of the most popular talk show on TV

Forbes' list of The World's Billionaires has listed Winfrey as the world's only black billionaire from 2004 to 2006 and as the first black woman billionaire in the world that was achieved in 2003. As of 2014, Winfrey had a net worth in excess of 2.9 billion dollars and had overtaken former eBay CEO Meg Whitman as the richest self-made woman in America.

Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness. Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough. Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher - Oprah Winfrey.

2. Hillary Rodham Clinton


Hillary Rodham Clinton

Born: 26 October 1947, Edgewater Hospital, Chicago
Net worth: $45 million

Clinton was U.S. secretary of state in the Obama Administration from 2009 to 2013. During her tenure, Clinton responded to the Arab Spring by advocating military intervention in Libya. She was harshly criticized by Republicans for the failure to prevent or adequately respond to the 2012 Benghazi attack. Clinton helped to organize a diplomatic isolation and a regime of international sanctions against Iran in an effort to force it to curtail its nuclear program; this effort eventually led to the multinational Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement in 2015. Her use of a private e-mail server during her time as Secretary of State was the subject of intense scrutiny; while no charges were filed against Clinton, the e-mail controversy was the single most covered topic during the 2016 presidential election. Upon leaving her Cabinet position after Obama's first term, she wrote her fifth book and undertook speaking engagements.

The challenges of change are always hard. It is important that we begin to unpack those challenges that confront this nation and realize that we each have a role that requires us to change and become more responsible for shaping our own future - Hillary Clinton.

3. Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama


Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama

Born: 17 January 1964, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Net Worth‎: ‎$70 Million

Michelle campaigned for her husband's presidential bid throughout 2007 and 2008, delivering a keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. She returned to speak for him at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. During the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, she delivered a speech in support of the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, a former first lady.

As first lady, Obama served as a role model for women and worked as an advocate for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, physical activity, and healthy eating. She supported American designers and was considered a fashion icon.

"You cannot take your freedoms for granted. Just like generations who have come before you, you have to do your part to preserve and protect those freedoms... you need to be preparing yourself to add your voice to our national conversation," Mrs. Obama said during her final speech as First Lady of the United States in 2017.

4. Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter


Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter

Born: 4 September 1981, Houston, Texas, United States
Net worth: US$470 million (2019)

Beyoncé is one of the word's best-selling music artists, having sold over 100 million records worldwide. Her success during the 2000s was recognized with the Recording Industry Association of America's Top Certified Artist of the Decade, as well as Billboard magazine's Top Radio Songs Artist and the Top Female Artist of the Decade. Beyoncé is the most nominated woman in the Grammy Award's history, with a total of 24 wins.

She is also the most awarded artist at the MTV Video Music Awards, with 24 wins, including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. In 2014, she became the highest-paid black musician in history and was listed among Time's 100 most influential people in the world for a second year in a row. Forbes ranked her as the most powerful female in entertainment on their 2015 and 2017 lists. She occupied the sixth place for Time's Person of the Year in 2016, and in 2020, was named one of the 100 women who defined the last century by the same publication. Beyoncé was also included on Encyclopædia Britannica's 100 Women list in 2019, for her contributions to the entertainment industry's history.

The more successful I become, the more I need a man. Y'all are so cute and y'all talk so proper over here. I love England. I get nervous when I don't get nervous. If I'm nervous I know I'm going to have a good show - Beyoncé.

5. Madonna Louise Ciccone


Madonna Louise Ciccone

Born: 16 August 1958, Bay City, Michigan, United States
Net worth: U.S. $570–$800 million

Having sold more than 300 million records worldwide, Madonna is certified as the best-selling female recording artist of all time by Guinness World Records. According to Billboard, Madonna is the most successful solo artist in its Hot 100 chart history. She holds the record for the most number-one singles by a female artist in Australia, Canada, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. She remains the highest-grossing solo touring artist of all time, accumulating U.S. $1.4 billion from her concert tickets. Madonna was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, her first year of eligibility. VH1 ranked her atop the 100 Greatest Women in Music, while Rolling Stone listed her among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.

Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another. I'm tough, I'm ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay. I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art - Madonna.

6. Robyn Rihanna Fenty


Robyn Rihanna Fenty

Born: 20 February 1988, Saint Michael, Barbados
Net worth: $600 million

Having sold over 250 million records, Rihanna is one of the world's best-selling music artists. She has earned 14 number-one singles, 31 top-ten singles in the US, and 30 top-ten entries in the UK. Her accolades include nine Grammy Awards, 13 American Music Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, and six Guinness World Records.

Forbes ranked her among the top ten highest-paid celebrities in 2012 and 2014, and Time named her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012 and 2018. Alongside a successful music career, Rihanna is well known for her involvement in humanitarian causes, entrepreneurial ventures, and the fashion industry. She is the founder of the nonprofit organization Clara Lionel Foundation, cosmetics brand Fenty Beauty, and fashion house Fenty under LVMH. In 2018, the Government of Barbados appointed her as an ambassador with duties promoting education, tourism and investment.

According to a business insider's estimate, Rihanna now has a net worth of $600 million, making her the world's wealthiest female musician. She's made millions from music but most of her money comes from brand partnerships and her Fenty Beauty brand. Rihanna most recently launched Fenty, a luxury fashion house with LVMH.

I want to give people a taste of the Caribbean, and show them the fun side of me. I'd love to date somebody cool, fun, funny. Dancing was always part of my culture growing up in Barbados. When I shot my 1st video I worked really hard with my choreographer to perfect the routines - Rihanna.

7. Ellen Lee DeGeneres


Ellen Lee DeGeneres

Born: 26 January 1958, Metairie, Louisiana, United States
Net Worth: $490 Million
Source of Wealth: Professional TV Host/Comedian

DeGeneres has hosted the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and the Primetime Emmys. She has authored four books and started her own record company, Eleveneleven, as well as a production company, A Very Good Production. She also launched a lifestyle brand, ED Ellen DeGeneres, which comprises a collection of apparel, accessories, home, baby, and pet items. She has won 30 Emmys, 20 People's Choice Awards (more than any other person), and numerous other awards for her work and charitable efforts. In 2016, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. On January 5, 2020, DeGeneres won the Golden Globes Carol Burnett Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sometimes you can't see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others. Procrastinate now, don't put it off. Nothing says holidays, like a cheese log - DeGeneres.

8. Serena Jameka Williams


Serena Jameka Williams

Born: 26 September 1981, Saginaw, Michigan, United States
Net Worth: $180 million

Serena is an American professional tennis player and former world No. 1 in women's single tennis. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any man or woman in the Open Era. The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) ranked her world No. 1 in singles on eight separate occasions between 2002 and 2017. She reached the No. 1 ranking for the first time on July 8, 2002. On her sixth occasion, she held the ranking for 186 consecutive weeks, tying the record set by Steffi Graf. In total, she has been No. 1 for 319 weeks, which ranks third in the Open Era among female players behind Graf and Martina Navratilova.

Serena Williams

Earning almost $29 million in prize money and endorsements, Williams was the highest paid female athlete in 2016. She repeated this feat in 2017 when she was the only woman on Forbes' list of the 100 highest paid athletes with $27 million in prize money and endorsements. She has won the 'Laureus Sportswoman of the Year' award four times (2003, 2010, 2016, 2018), and in December 2015, she was named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine. In 2019, she was ranked 63rd in Forbes' World's Highest-Paid Athletes list.

Tennis just a game, family is forever. Family's first, and that's what matters most. We realize that our love goes deeper than the tennis game. I definitely have found a balance. I've had so many offers in the past to do different movies or different things and I always choose tournaments over it - Serena Williams.

9. Angelina Jolie


Angelina Jolie

Born: 4 June 1975, Los Angeles, California, United States
Net Worth in 2020‎: ‎$150 million

As a public figure, Jolie has been cited as one of the most influential and powerful people in the American entertainment industry. For a number of years, she was cited as the world's most beautiful woman by various media outlets, and her personal life is the subject of wide publicity. She is divorced from actors Jonny Lee Miller, Billy Bob Thornton and Brad Pitt; she and Pitt have six children together, three of whom were adopted internationally.

What nourishes me also destroys me. Oh, God, I struggle with low self-esteem all the time! I think everyone does. I have so much wrong with me, it's unbelievable! I don't see myself as beautiful, because I can see a lot of flaws. People have really odd opinions. They tell me I'm skinny, as if that's supposed to make me happy - Angelina Jolie.

10. Taylor Swift


Taylor Swift

Born: 13 December 1989, Reading, Pennsylvania, United States
Net worth: $360 million (2020 estimate)

Having sold more than 50 million albums—including 37 million in the US, Swift is one of the world's best-selling music artists and the highest-earning female musician of the 2010s. She has won 10 Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, six Guinness world records and is the most-awarded act and woman at the American Music Awards (29 wins) and Billboard Music Awards (23 wins), respectively. As a songwriter, Swift has been honored by the Songwriters Hall of Fame and was included in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time list in 2015. 

Taylor Swift

She appeared in Time's list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010, 2015 and 2019, and was ranked first in the Forbes Celebrity 100 in 2016 and 2019. She was honored with International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)'s Global Recording Artist of the Year in 2014 and 2019. In 2019, Swift placed at number eight on Billboard's list of greatest artists of all time and was named the Woman of the Decade by the magazine and the Artist of the Decade by the American Music Awards.

Just be yourself, there is no one better. I'm intimidated by the fear of being average. In a relationship each person should support the other; they should lift each other up - Taylor Swift.

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