Now that we’re in 2019, the latter half of the 20th century seems a million miles away. Yet, some women of the last six decades are still considered to be the most important cultural and historical figures ever to have lived. We’re talking about a whole host of actresses, models, singers, political activists, sportswomen, and anyone under the name of celebrity who has helped shape the world we know it as today….
Women of the ’60s
Actress, singer, and dancer Ann Margret first rose to prominence at the beginning of the 60s, and throughout the decade, Margret made a name for herself as “the female Elvis Presley”.
With her distinctive sultry voice and auburn hair, Margret was once one of America’s beloved entertainers. Her film credits include 1963’s ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ and 1971’s ‘Carnal Knowledge’.
After 60 years in showbiz, Streisand’s career is still going wonderfully strong. In fact, she recently managed to sell out a worldwide tour of her greatest hits in 2017, performing to a total of 200,000 audience members and earning over $55 million.
Although she first rose to fame with music by releasing her debut album way back in 1963, Streisand is generally known as an all-round talent. She’s sold over 68 million records worldwide and also received two Academy Awards along the way for her acting roles in 1976’s ‘A Star Is Born’ and 1969’s ‘Funny Girl’.
Italian-born actress Sophia Loren was one of the biggest female stars of the big screen in the 60s, and her film credits include starring roles in 1960’s ‘It Started in Naples’, and 1963’s ‘Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow’.
As well as being a fan-favorite amongst Hollywood’s audiences, she also received numerous prestigious awards too, including the ‘Best Actress’ Oscar for 1960’s ‘Two Women’. In 1999, Loren was also named one of AFI’s greatest female stars of classic Hollywood cinema.
British model and actress Twiggy is now considered a cultural icon of the 60s, with her big eyelashes and short-cropped hair perfectly encapsulating the fashion of the ‘swinging sixties’ at the time. She’s also often dubbed “the world’s first-ever supermodel”.
After finding success in the UK, she soon began modeling for the biggest fashion houses across the globe, including being on the cover of Vogue. Twiggy also tried her hand at acting too, starring in 1971’s ‘The Boy Friend’.
In 1963, New York’s Newsday described actress and model Jane Fonda as a rising star – “One of the most gifted and loveliest young actresses in a long time.” Then, throughout the 60s, Fonda’s career in entertainment exploded.
She became the most desired actress in Hollywood, starring in hit films such as 1965’s ‘Cat Ballou’, 1968’s ‘Barbarella’, and 1969’s ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’ In total, Fonda has received seven Oscar nominations, winning two of them for 1971’s ‘Klute’ and 1978’s ‘Coming Home’.
Everyone knew the name Brenda Lee back in 60s America, and what’s more, everyone was humming the whimsical tunes of her hit records. Dubbed ‘Little Miss Dynamite’, Lee’s biggest hits of the decade included 1960’s ‘I’m Sorry’ and 1962’s ‘Break It To Me Gently.’
In total, she had 47 chart hits during the 60s. Since then, she has received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and has also been inducted into both the Country Music and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
Actress and singer Raquel Welch was once one of the most recognizable faces during the 60s. Even now, she is still considered one of the most beloved icons of beauty ever to have lived.
On top of her beauty symbol status, she was also a highly-regarded actress and popular star amongst the red carpet glamour of 60s Hollywood. She starred in hit movies such as 1966’s ‘Fantastic Voyage’, 1967’s ‘Bedazzled’, and 1968’s ‘Bandolero!’
Singer Dionne Warwick first rose to fame in the late 50s, but the 60s was when she truly shot to superstardom, mostly thanks to her extraordinary vocal talents.
Her catalog of greatest hits include tracks we all still know and hold dear to our hearts, such as 1965’s ‘Walk On By’, 1968’s ‘I Say A Little Prayer’, and 1969’s ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’. In total, Warwick has sold over 75 million albums and 25 singles worldwide.
At the start of the decade, all eyes were on the first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and her president husband John F. Kennedy, and Jacqueline herself soon became a beloved public role model. She was a staple part of American culture, particularly because of her stylish fashion and the grace she carried herself with.
After her husband’s assassination in 1963, Kennedy withdrew from public life along with the rest of her family. Yet, to this day, she still stands as an important cultural and historical figure of the 60s.
Shirley MacLaine has the kind of versatile talent that doesn’t come around often. Over her 60 years in showbiz, she refined her skills as an actress, singer, and dancer, and she’s most known for her expertise in musicals across TV, film, and on stage.
Her most notable film credits include 1960’s ‘The Apartment’, 1963’s ‘Irma la Douche’ and 1967’s ‘Woman Times Seven’. She finally won her first and only Best Actress Oscar for 1983’s ‘Terms of Endearment’.
British actress and singer Julie Andrews first rose to fame in the late 50s, making her Broadway debut with 1954’s ‘The Boy Friend’. However, it was the 60s when Andrews truly started to shine as the musical star she was always meant to be.
Her biggest films of the decade were, of course, 1964’s ‘Mary Poppins’ and 1965’s ‘The Sound of Music’. Andrews is often named the greatest musical star of stage and film, winning an Oscar, a BAFTA, two Emmys, and three Grammys throughout her seven-decades long career.
Julie Newmar is known to be an all-round entertainer who wowed audiences of stage, film, and TV all throughout the 60s. After starring in several stage productions in the 50s, Newmar’s Hollywood breakthrough came with starring as Catwoman in 1996’s ‘Batman’ TV series.
Her other notable film credits include 1969’s ‘The Maltese Bippy’, 1969’s ‘Mackenna’s Gold’, and 1961’s ‘The Marriage-Go-Round’, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe for ‘Most Promising Newcomer’.
Women of the ’70s
Susan Dey was a beloved TV actress during the 70s, and her first major role was on the family musical sitcom, ‘The Partridge Family’, in which she played Laura Partridge. During her time on the show, Dey was even nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a TV series.
After the sitcom ended in 1974, Dey then went on to star as Grace Van Owen in the crime-drama series, ‘L.A: Law’. For this role she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV series drama.
Sadly, legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin passed away in 2018 from a pancreatic tumor. Franklin was widely considered one of the most successful soul singers ever to have lived, and was often dubbed ‘The Queen of Soul’.
Across the span of her career, Franklin sold over 75 million records and won 18 Grammy awards. With her big heart and even bigger bellowing voice, in 2010, Rolling Stone magazine ranked her as the number one greatest singer of all time.
Actress Faye Dunaway is another star who took the 70s by storm, lighting up the big screen with her impeccable talents in whatever film she starred in. Across the decade, Dunaway starred in hit movies such as 1973’s ‘The Three Musketeers’, 1974’s ‘Chinatown’, and 1978’s ‘Eyes of Laura Mars’.
Her performances were always critically acclaimed, and over her career, Dunaway has received three Oscar nominations for Best Actress, one of which she earned from her role in the 1977 movie, ‘Network’.
Even now in the 21st century, Cher is still regarded as one of the most beloved musicians. She first rose to fame as part of the husband and wife duo ‘Sonny and Cher’ during the late 60s, but after their divorce in 1975, Cher’s solo career is what took her to even greater heights.
She’s sold a total of 150 million records worldwide, and she’s the only musician to ever reach number one in six consecutive decades, from the 1960s to 2010s. Cher also received a Best Actress Oscar for her role in 1987’s ‘Moonstruck’.
Actress and model Farrah Fawcett is perhaps most known for her role in the hit comedy-action series ‘Charlie’s Angels’. Although she starred in the show for only the first season in 1976, Fawcett is still considered the fan-favorite out of all the angels.
On top of her acting career, Fawcett also had a high profile marriage to fellow actor Lee Majors, and let’s not forget the iconic red bikini poster that still remains the biggest selling poster of all time, selling 20 million copies to be exact.
Sadly, actress Carrie Fisher passed away unexpectedly in 2016. Her passing came just months after the filming wrapped for 2016’s ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’, and as a result, the film is Fisher’s last ever movie appearance.
Fisher first rose to superstardom in the 70s, playing the role of Princess Leia in the hit blockbuster ‘Star Wars’ franchise, and over the years, she made a name for herself in other movies such as 1975’s ‘Shampoo’ and 1980’s ‘The Blues Brothers’. She also worked behind the scenes as a scriptwriter and producer too.
Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell was another important musical voice in the 70s, and even now she’s still listed as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.
With her distinctive vocal range and talents in composing beautiful piano melodies, Mitchell became a hugely popular artist after her debut album ‘Song to a Seagull’ was released in 1968. Since then, she’s won nine Grammys and has been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
The 80s was when Olivia Newton-John’s career really picked up its pace, and it goes without saying that her role as Sandy in 1978’s musical ‘Grease’ was what put her on the mainstream map.
Throughout the 70s, Newton-John had a string of hits as a recording artist, but after her role in Grease, she became the name on everyone’s lips. Her greatest hits include 1974’s ‘Honestly I Love You’, 1978’s ‘A Little More Love’, and 1980’s ‘Xanadu’. In total, she’s sold over 100 million records worldwide.
Country music legend Dolly Parton is another female artist who’s sold a record-breaking number of records, 160 million to be exact. The 70s is when Parton was arguably at the peak of her career, and her greatest hits include 1973’s ‘I Will Always Love You’, 1973’s ‘Jolene’, and 1980’s ‘9 to 5’.
Parton has been nominated for 47 Grammys, and she’s also an established actress, starring in hit movies such as 1984’s ‘Rhinestone’ and 1989’s ‘Steel Magnolias’.
Meryl Streep is now considered to be one of the greatest actresses of all time, having been nominated for a total of 21 Oscars, three of which she won. She first rose to fame in 1977, with her big screen debut in war-drama ‘Julia’.
Then, in the years soon after, Streep gave us some exceptional performances in movies such as 1979’s ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’, 1982’s ‘Sophie’s Choice’, and 1984’s ‘Falling In Love’. On top of her numerous accolades in TV, film, and on stage, Streep was also the recipient of 2014’s Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Singer Diana Ross started her musical career in the 60s Motown group ‘The Supremes’. Then, following her departure from the group in 1970, she began her incredible solo career, during which she released many hit singles including 1970’s ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, 1973’s ‘Touch Me In The Morning’, and 1976’s ‘Love Hangover’.
Ross also ventured into acting in the 70s too, including her critically-acclaimed performance in 1975’s ‘Lady Sings The Blues’, which earned her an Oscar nomination for ‘Best Actress’.
Women of the ’80s
By the time the 1980s came around, model Christie Brinkley had one of the most recognizable faces on the planet. After appearing on her first cover of Sports Illustrated in 1979, Brinkley soon achieved international fame and became one of the world’s most sought-after models throughout the decade.
In total, Brinkley has appeared on over 500 magazine covers, and she was the face of CoverGirl for over 25 years. She also worked as an actress, fashion designer, and animal rights activist.
Actress Nancy McKeon first rose to fame by starring in the hit NBC sitcom ‘The Facts of Life’. In this show, McKeon played the fan-favorite character Jo Polniaczek, and in total she starred in 189 episodes.
On top of this, she starred in the show’s numerous spin-off TV films including 1982’s ‘The Facts of Life Goes to Paris’ and 1987’s ‘The Facts of Life Down Under’. McKeon recently stepped back into the spotlight by starring in the 2018 season of ‘Dancing With The Stars’. She was eliminated in the third episode.
Singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper catapulted to stardom immediately after the release of her debut album ‘She’s So Unusual’ in 1983. This album alone earned her four top 5 hits on the Billboard charts, including ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ and ‘Time After Time’.
This album also earned her a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1985, and in total, Lauper has sold over 70 million records worldwide. She has also gained recognition for writing the Tony-winning soundtrack for Broadway show ‘Kinky Boots’.
Despite being the youngest sibling, Janet Jackson is the second most successful member of the Jackson clan, second to big brother Michael of course. However, there’s no doubt Janet has made a name for herself in her own right.
She once dominated the 80s pop scene, with huge record-breaking hits such as 1986’s ‘Nasty’, 1987’s ‘Let’s Wait Awhile’, and 1989’s ‘Miss You So Much’. In total, Jackson has sold 26 million records worldwide, and she’s also won five Grammys.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis landed her breakthrough role in the critically acclaimed 1978 slasher, ‘Halloween’. Then, in 1980, Curtis became known as the ‘ultimate scream queen’ due to her numerous roles in horror flicks such as ‘The Fog’, ‘Prom Night’, and ‘Terror Train’.
Throughout the decade, Curtis went on to become one of the decade’s most popular actresses, starring in other hit movies such as 1983’s ‘Trading Places’ and 1988’s ‘A Fish Called Wanda’, both of which earned her BAFTA nominations.
Jessica Lange is another actress who’s been awarded numerous accolades in her career, and the 80s was when she really started to prove just how talented she is. She made her movie debut in 1977, with the remake of 1933’s ‘King Kong’, and from then on, her career in Hollywood started soaring.
Her other notable film credits include 1979’s ‘All That Jazz’ and 1991’s ‘Cape Fear’. Throughout the 80s, five of her ten movies earned her Oscar nominations, two of which she won.
Madonna is another female artist who dominated the music scene in the 80s. In fact, even now, Madonna is still considered one of the most famous musicians of all time.
After the release of her debut album in 1983, Madonna then went on to release a string of number one hits, including 1984’s ‘Like A Virgin’, 1989’s ‘Like a Prayer’, and 1990’s ‘Vogue’. In total, she’s sold a staggering 300 million records worldwide, and she’s also sold $1.4 billion worth of concert tickets. Madonna is often dubbed the ‘Queen of Pop’.
Brooke Shields first rose to fame as a child model and actress in the 70s, starring in the critically-acclaimed film ‘Pretty Baby’ in 1978. However, it was during the early 80s when Shields truly became a star.
As well as continuing her modeling, she also starred in numerous drama films, including 1980’s ‘The Blue Lagoon’, and 1981’s ‘Endless Love’. In 1983, Shields took a brief hiatus from the entertainment business to graduate in Romance Languages at Princeton University. She then returned to acting in the 90s.
Singer and actress Tina Turner first stepped into the spotlight during the late 60s with chart-topping smash hits such as 1966’s ‘River Deep Mountain High’ and 1969’s ‘Proud Mary’. Then, 14 years later in 1983, Turner made one of the biggest comebacks that music has ever known.
Her fifth studio album ‘Private Dancer’ was released in 1984 to worldwide success, and Turner has since been known as one of pop’s greatest ever stars. In total, she’s sold 200 million records and also received twelve Grammys.
Actress, model, and producer Anjelica Houston became part of Hollywood’s circle at an early age due to her father, John Houston, and grandfather, Walter Houston, being an integral part of Hollywood’s success in previous decades.
Then, in the 80s, Houston became the third generation of her family to win an Oscar. She received the Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in 1985’s ‘Prizzi’s Honor’. Then, four years later, she received her second and third Oscar nominations for 1989’s ‘Enemies: A Love Story’ and 1990’s ‘The Grifters’.
With her mesmerizing vocal range and huge beaming smile, Whitney Houston will forever remain one of the most beloved singers ever to have lived, and the 80s was when she first rose to superstardom.
With the success of her first two studio albums, Houston still to this day is the only solo artist ever to have achieved seven consecutive number ones. Her greatest hits include 1985’s ‘How Will I Know’, 1986’s ‘Greatest Love Of All’, and 1987’s ‘So Emotional’. In total, Houston has sold over 200 million records worldwide.
Women of the ’90s
With her unprecedented success during the 90s, Canadian singer-songwriter Shania Twain is often described as the ‘Queen of Country Pop’. Her third studio album ‘Come On Over’ sold a record-breaking 40 million records worldwide, which at the time was the biggest selling album by a female.
Her greatest hits include 1997’s ‘You’re Still The One’, 1998’s ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’, and 1999’s ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman’. In total, Twain has sold over 100 million records.
Has there ever been a greater smile in Hollywood than the one which belongs to Julia Roberts? Roberts is often considered one of the most beloved leading ladies ever to grace the big screen, with her breakthrough role in 1990’s ‘Pretty Woman’ truly putting her on the map.
Then, throughout the decade, Roberts starred in numerous hit movies such as 1991’s ‘Sleeping With The Enemy’, 1997’s ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’, and 1998’s ‘Stepmom’. She also received her first and only Oscar for her starring role in 2000’s ‘Erin Brockovich’.
After rising to fame in the 80s, Cindy Crawford soon became one of the highest-paid models during the 90s. During her career, she featured on the cover of the most prestigious fashion magazines, including Vogue and Cosmopolitan.
She also became the face of numerous fashion campaigns, including Calvin Klein, Chanel, and Versace. As one of the most famous international supermodels, Crawford even tried her hand at acting too – although they were mostly cameo roles playing herself.
The Spice Girls
We couldn’t speak about 90s girl power without a mention of the Spice Girls, could we? After their debut single ‘Wannabe’, the Spice Girls soon became an unstoppable force in pop music. Some of their other greatest hits include 1996’s ‘Say You’ll Be There’, 1997’s ‘Spice Up Your Life’ and 1998’s ‘Viva Forever’ – all of which went straight to number one in the UK.
Although their success was short-lived following the premature departure of Geri, the Spice Girls are still considered the greatest girl band of all time, selling a total of over 85 million records.
Another beloved supermodel of the 90s is Australian-born Elle Macpherson. After her first cover for Sports Illustrated in 1989, Macpherson was soon nicknamed ‘The Body’. Then, throughout the 90s, her popularity grew even more.
As well as working with the biggest fashion houses and appearing on the most honorable magazine covers, Macpherson also succeeded in acting. She had supporting roles in 1996’s ‘The Mirror Has Two Faces’ and 1997’s ‘Batman and Robin’.
Comedian and actress Whoopi Goldberg first rose to prominence in the 80s, with her Academy Award nominated performance in 1985’s ‘The Color Purple’. Then, in 1990, she became the second black woman ever to receive an Oscar with her role in romantic fantasy movie ‘Ghost’.
Her success continued throughout the decade with movies such as 1992’s ‘Sister Act’, 1993’s ‘Made In America’, and 1998’s ‘Girl, Interrupted’. In total, Goldberg has won 13 Emmys, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony!
In 1998, fashion designer Donatella Versace became one of the most talked-about women in the world, but unfortunately, it was for extremely devastating reasons. After the fatal shooting of her brother and world-renowned fashion designer Gianni in 1997, a year later, she announced she would be taking over the business.
Ever since, she has become one of the most beloved designers of all time. In 2008, she was the recipient of the FGI’s Superstar award.
Meg Ryan is another actress who took Hollywood by storm in the 90s. After gaining international fame and critical recognition for her performance in 1989’s ‘When Harry Met Sally’, Ryan then went on to become one of the most sought-after actresses, particularly in the rom-com genre.
Her other hit movies include 1993’s ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, 1995’s ‘French Kiss’, and 1998’s ‘You’ve Got Mail’. Ryan recently made her directorial debut with 2015’s drama ‘Ithaca’.
Over the course of her career, singer and actress Mariah Carey has sold over 200 million records worldwide. After her debut single ‘Visions of Love’ in 1990, Carey then became one of the most popular singers of the decade, with her other hits including 1991’s ‘Emotions’, 1993’s ‘Hero’, and 1996’s ‘Always Be My Baby’.
With her incredible five-octave vocal range and a total of 18 US number one singles, Carey is often nicknamed the ‘Songbird Supreme’.
Another female musician who rose to fame in the 90s was none other than Gwen Stefani. She was, of course, the lead singer and co-founder of the hugely successful punk-pop band No Doubt. They had many hit singles such as 1995’s ‘Don’t Speak’.
Then, during the band’s hiatus in the mid-noughties, Stefani had success as a solo artist, too. Her greatest solo hits include 2004’s ‘Rich Girl’ and 2006’s ‘The Sweet Escape’. Including her material with No Doubt, Stefani has sold over 30 million records worldwide.
With her iconic blonde hair, actress and model Pamela Anderson is known as one of the world’s most beloved models. After rising to fame in the early 1990s as one of Hugh Hefner’s Playboy bunnies, Anderson then catapulted to international fame with her role as C.J Parker in the hit TV series ‘Baywatch’.
She’s also starred in numerous B-movies such as 1994’s ‘Raw Justice’ and 1996’s ‘Barb Wire’. Nowadays, Anderson is a PETA activist for animal rights.
Women of the ’00s
Christina Aguilera’s career in music began with her 1999 debut single ‘Genie in a Bottle’, and in the decades since, she’s grown to become one of the most recognizable voices in pop. Her other hit number one tracks include 2002’s ‘Beautiful’ and 2006’s ‘Ain’t No Other Man’.
On top of being a renowned recording artist, she has also turned to TV and film, becoming a coach on NBC’s hit talent contest ‘The Voice’ and starring in the Golden Globe nominee movie ‘Burlesque’ in 2010.
After the break up of girl group Destiny’s Child, no one could have expected the explosive career that Beyonce would carve for herself in the coming decades. Her debut solo single ‘Crazy In Love’ catapulted her into huge superstardom, and since, she’s sold over 100 million records worldwide and won 22 Grammys.
You’ll also often find her at the top of Forbes’ or Time’s list of the most influential and powerful people. No one messes with Queen B.
Comedic actress and playwright Tina Fey has a multitude of talent in entertainment, and since her rise to fame in the late 90s, Fey has helped shape what it means to be a female comedian at the top of her game in the 21st century.
Until 2006, she was a staple actress in the comedy sketches of ‘Saturday Night Live’, and then came ‘30 Rock’, a multi-award winning sitcom created and written by Fey that ran for seven years until 2013. Don’t forget her production of 2004’s teen cult-classic ‘Mean Girls’, too.
‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ first debuted in 1986, and it ran for 25 years until 2011. However, Winfrey’s award-winning talk show is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her success in showbiz. She’s now also a well-established actress, philanthropist, and multi-media executive and producer.
Winfrey is often considered one of the most influential people of all time, especially regarding her status as the wealthiest African-American in the 20th century. In 2013, President Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
After rising to stardom in the late 90s, it was during the noughties that J-Lo really started to shine brightly. At the peak of her career, she was the world’s most popular female pop star, with hit tracks to her name such as 2001’s ‘Love Don’t Cost a Thing’ and 2002’s ‘Jenny from the Block’.
In total, Lopez has sold over 80 million records and is often regarded as the most powerful Latin-American woman in music. She’s also established herself as an actress, producer, and businesswoman.
After the underground success of her debut jazz album ‘Frank’ in 2003, the world’s ears soon perked up and realized how much of talent Londoner Amy Winehouse was as a singer-songwriter.
Next came her sophomore Grammy-winning album ‘Back to Black’ in 2005, and this made her one of the most famous women of the decade, on both sides of the pond. However, the world was then forced to witness the tumultuous spiral of a very vulnerable young woman’s mental health. She sadly passed away in 2011 at the age of just 27.
As the daughter of Aerosmith leading man Steve Tyler, some would say Hollywood success was somewhat handed to Liv Tyler on a plate, but her string of hit movies in the noughties proved she was worthy of stardom in her own right.
During this decade, she was one of the most sought-after actresses in the business, landing roles in hit movies such as the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, 2004’s ‘Jersey Girls’, and 2008’s ‘The Strangers’.
Renee Zellweger was arguably the biggest actress in Hollywood during the noughties, giving incredible performances in movies such as 2000’s ‘Nurse Betty’ and 2006’s ‘Miss Potter’.
However, her best performances came with 2002’s ‘Chicago’ and 2001’s ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’, which both earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Then, a year later in 2003, her role in ‘Cold Mountain’ saw her finally grab the win. She was the world’s highest-paid actress in 2007, too.
Could we really have written this noughties list without the mention of the one and only Britney Spears? After her debut album at the turn of the millennium, Spears seemingly created a new formula for female pop superstardom, providing the charts with hit after hit including 2002’s ‘Oops I did it Again’, 2003’s ‘Toxic’, and 2007’s ‘Gimme More’.
In total, she has sold over 150 million records, making her one of the biggest-selling musical artists of all time.
Tennis champ Serena Williams holds the record for the third most Grand Slam titles of all time, with a total of 39 across singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. Yet, even now in 2019, 24 years after her professional debut in 1995, Williams still continues to tear up the court with power and finesse like no other.
As well as her talents in the sport itself, Williams is often considered one of the most beloved sports personalities too. This year, she was ranked on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid athletes.
It was a struggle not to put all three of the ‘Friends’ female stars on this list, including Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, and Lisa Kudrow, but with Aniston’s incredible career post-’Friends’, she made the cut on her own.
After the sitcom ended in 2004, Aniston has undeniably had the most success in her acting career – throughout the noughties, she starred in hit rom coms such as 2003’s ‘Bruce Almighty’, 2006’s ‘The Break Up’, and 2008’s ‘Marley and Me’. Although she’s not necessarily a critic’s choice, Aniston is still considered an absolute fan favorite.
Alongside J-Lo, Shakira is also one of the world’s best-regarded Latin music performers. After success within the Spanish-speaking market during the 90s, the noughties was when her name really started to make waves in American music.
Her biggest hits include 2006’s ‘Hips Don’t Lie’, 2007’s Beyonce collab ‘Beautiful Liar’, and 2010’s official FIFA world cup song ‘Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)’. In total, Shakira has sold over 75 million records worldwide, and has also been awarded three Grammys.
The entertainment world and the music industry were married together during the noughties, all thanks to the introduction of TV singing competitions such as ‘American Idol’. Kelly Clarkson was the winner of 2002’s inaugural season of ‘American Idol’…
And over the years, she’s proved to be one of the biggest stars to come out of the show, selling over 25 million records and earning herself three Grammys, too. She’s also become a judge on NBC’s ‘The Voice’, and recently starred in her own talk show titled ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’.
Women of the ’10s
Now that we’re in 2019, childhood Disney star Ariana Grande has officially blossomed into a self-empowered feminist icon, but it hasn’t come without a lot of anguish and heartbreak too. In 2017, her ‘Dangerous Woman’ tour in Manchester, UK, became the target of terrorist attacks.
Then, a year later in 2018, her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller lost his life. However, what Grande now stands for is total poise and inner strength, making her one of the most popular and successful musical artists of the last decade.
Some have dubbed the last decade as the ‘Kardashian era’, mostly down to the family’s unstoppable force across showbiz and both the fashion and cosmetic industries.
They certainly have their critics, but there’s no doubt the Kardashian clan has superpowers in knowing how to work fame and fortune to their own advantage. Kylie Jenner may be the youngest of the six siblings, but she’s also the wealthiest, recently being announced by Forbes as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.
Despite working in entertainment for 30 years since the early 80s, it seems Ellen DeGeneres’ name is only just starting to gain the true credit of excellence it deserves. Over the years, DeGeneres has mostly worked as a TV host, actress, comedian, and executive producer on most of her shows, including sitcom ‘Ellen’ that ran from 1994 to 1998.
Her Emmy-winning talk show has just been renewed for its 18th season, and will continue until at least 2022. She’s also been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
When Lady Gaga’s debut album ‘The Fame’ was released in 2008, the world stood still seemingly mesmerized by her eccentricity, innate star power, and most importantly, her knack for writing one heck of a catchy pop tune.
Since then, Gaga’s career in showbiz has gone from strength to strength, cementing her place as one of the most popular female musicians of all time. Last year, she also proved to have talents on the big screen too, earning an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in ‘A Star is Born’.
As currently one of the most desired actresses, all eyes are on Australian-born Margot Robbie in Hollywood. However, it was just eight years ago that Robbie was an actress in Australian soap opera ‘Neighbors’. It’s certainly not taken her long to climb up the ladder of Hollywood success.
She’s already bagged herself a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her role in 2017’s ‘I, Tonya’, and she’s also given critically-acclaimed performances in box-office smashes such as 2013’s ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, 2016’s ‘Suicide Squad’, and this year’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’.
World-class gymnast Simone Biles is another name on everyone’s lips, and it’s all down to her exceptional skills that she showcased three years ago at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. She was part of the team dubbed ‘The Final Five’ who won America the gold medal for artistic gymnastics.
Since then, she’s been taken under the wing of the nation, and has continued to compel us with her astonishing talents on the floor. She’s also the gymnast who has won the most amount of ‘world medals’ – 25 to be exact.
Amazingly enough, Barbadian singer Rihanna has sold over 250 million records worldwide, making her one of the biggest selling musicians of all time. Her greatest hits include 2010’s ‘Only Girl (In the World)’, 2012’s ‘Diamonds’, and 2016’s ‘Work’.
On top of her record-breaking music sales and nine Grammys, Rihanna has also ventured into other career realms, including establishing her own million-dollar fashion house, Fenty. She’s also starred in numerous Hollywood movies such as 2012’s ‘Battleship’ and 2018’s ‘Oceans 8’.
Actress Emma Stone is another star whose astonishing Hollywood career continues to shine far brighter than most. After numerous TV credits, her 2007 film debut ‘Superbad’ quickly established her as someone to watch.
Then, in the years since, Stone has been awarded accolade after accolade, including Best Actress for her extraordinary performance in 2016’s ‘Lala Land’, and nominations for Best Supporting Actress in both 2015’s ‘Birdman’ and 2019’s ‘The Favorite’. In 2017, Forbes ranked her as one of the year’s most influential people.
In the years of 2014 and 2015, Jennifer Lawrence was the highest paid actress in the world, with big blockbuster hits to her name including 2014’s ‘Serena’ and 2015’s ‘Joy’.
She has also received two Oscars, one for Best Supporting Actress in 2013’s ‘American Hustle’, and the other for Best Actress in 2012’s ‘Silver Linings Playbook’. As well as her success in films, she’s also a renowned feminist and civil rights activist, even establishing her own afterschool program, ‘Boys and Girls Clubs of America’.
Is there anyone who doesn’t have a little soft spot for British singer-songwriter Adele? In total, she’s earned over 120 million record sales from just three studio albums – 2008’s ‘19’, 2011’s ‘21’ and 2016’s ‘25’.
She’s also bagged herself five Grammys and even an Oscar for writing the title soundtrack for 2012’s Bond film ‘Skyfall’. With her soulful tones behind the mic and outstanding skills as a songwriter, there truly has been no success like Adele’s in the last decade. She’s often ranked as one of the most influential people in music.
Queen Elizabeth II
To conclude this list, we present to you a woman who has reigned as Queen of the United Kingdom for the entirety of the last 60 years – it is, of course, none other than Queen Elizabeth II.
In fact, in 2017, Her Royal Highness was appointed as the longest-reigning British monarch ever to have lived, and since then, our love and respect for Queen Elizabeth II has only grown fonder. She first sat on the throne way back in 1952, and we want to wish HRH many more happy years to come.
Rock ‘n’ roll band Fleetwood Mac dominated the music scene throughout the 70s. In total, the band has sold over 170 million records worldwide, and Stevie Nicks’ talents as both a songwriter and stage singer are a massive part of their incredible achievements in music.
Having earned eight Grammy nominations and always being ranked highly in the prestigious lists of music’s greatest songwriters, Nicks is often nicknamed the ‘Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll’.
French actress and model Brigitte Bardot was one of the most famous women in entertainment across both the 60s and the 70s, starring in hit movies such as 1970’s ‘The Bear and The Doll’, and 1971’s ‘The Legend of Frenchie King’.
As well as acting, Bardot was also a popular beauty symbol, and still to this day, she remains an iconic figure of popular culture. By 1973, Bardot retired from public life, and instead, she pursued a life of animal rights activism.
Actress and model Kelly LeBrock made her acting debut in 1984’s rom-com ‘The Woman in Red’, and throughout the 80s, she continued to light up the screen by becoming one of the decade’s most popular actresses.
Her other credits include 1985’s ‘Weird Science’ and 1980’s ‘Hard To Kill’. Since then, LeBrock has starred in numerous reality TV shows, including ‘Celebrity Fit Club’ in 2005 and 2009’s UK version of ‘Hell’s Kitchen’.