In this article we will take a look at the top 20 most popular people in the world.

Around the world, many people are famous, but only a few have the power to grab the attention of millions. These are the most famous people out there, known for their big achievements. We picked them based on how much people follow them on social media, how often they pop up in search engines, and how much the media talks about them.

The measure of popularity can be assessed by various criteria, including social media following, search engine trends, media appearances, and public impact.

Business magnates like Elon Musk, with their revolutionary ideas, have become household names, while entertainers like Dwayne Johnson captivate millions with their performances. Politicians, such as Joe Biden, influence international policies and domestic conversations. These people are most famous personalities in the world and have achieved great success in their respective fields.

What is the Criteria for Popularity?

When one considers who makes it to the list of the most popular persons in the world, several distinct criteria come into play.

  • Social Media Following: The number of social media followers.
  • Media Coverage: Presence in various media outlets.
  • Public Searches: Frequency of searches on the internet.
  • Accomplishments: Awards and recognitions received.
  • Influence: Impact on trends and public opinion.
  • Longevity: Duration of prominence in the public eye.

These measures can help quantify a person’s popularity, but remember, the essence of popularity can be subjective and may vary across different global cultures and communities.

20 Most Famous Persons in the World

Sr. No. Names Instagram/Twitter Following Achievements
1. Elon Musk 170 million Founded SpaceX, CEO Tesla Motors
2. Jeff Bezos 4.2 million Founder of Amazon
3. Dwayne Johnson 396 million Highly successful actor and Pro-wrestler
4. Joe Biden 38 million President of the United States
5. Bill Gates 64.5 million Co-founder of Microsoft
6. Kylie Jenner 399 million Founder of 818 and Kylie Cosmetics
7. Robert Downey Jr. 57 million Portrayal of Iron Man
8. Cristiano Ronaldo 619 million 5 Ballon d’Or and 873 goals
9. Lionel Messi 498 million 2022 FIFA World Cup
10. Donald Trump 23.7 million 45th President of the United States
11. Oprah Winfrey 22.8 million Host of “The Oprah Winfrey Show”
12. Barack Obama 36.5 million First African American US Pres.
13. Taylor Swift 279 million 12 Grammy Awards
14. Narendra Modi 86.5 million 14th Prime Minister of India
15. Kim Kardashian 364 million Keeping Up with the Kardashians
16. Sam Altman 5866 CEO of OpenAI (ChatGPT and Dall-E)
17. Rihanna 152 million Singer of Umbrella and Diamonds.
18. Will Smith 64.9 million Lead Actor in Men in Black
19. Johnny Depp 28.8 million Role as Captain Jack Sparrow
20. Vladimir Putin 0 President of Russia

Now let’s see list of most famous personalities in the world:

1. Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Elon Musk, born on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa, is a pioneer in the world of technology and space exploration. As an entrepreneur and business magnate, he is best known as the founder of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla, Inc. He is the ambitious mind behind endeavours like The Boring Company and Neuralink.

Early Beginnings:

His extraordinary journey began with his migration from South Africa to Canada, and eventually to the United States. Gaining citizenship through his Canadian-born mother, Musk’s path led him to pursue a dual Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Business Ventures:

Throughout the early 2000s, Musk embarked on numerous ventures. Notably, he co-founded PayPal and sold it to eBay, which resulted in a substantial financial gain.

Utilizing this capital, he founded SpaceX with the vision of reducing space transportation costs.

Moreover, his early investment in Tesla Motors saw him later assume roles as the chairman and product architect, and CEO. Under his leadership, Tesla emerged as a key player in the electric vehicle industry.

Current Endeavours:

With SpaceX, he is working on projects that may enable space travel for humans beyond Earth. In 2023, SpaceX launched the first upgraded version of the Cargo Dragon 2 spacecraft. This spacecraft has increased payload capacity and autonomous docking to the ISS.

His role at Tesla now includes a focus on sustainable energy solutions. Tesla opened over 11,000 new supercharger stalls, bringing the total number of superchargers worldwide to 50,000.

Tesla repeatedly cut prices on its offerings in 2023, including a $1,250 reduction in the Model 3. These prices may fall further as the company opened its first office space in India and is in advanced talks to enter the country and may invest nearly $30 billion in a manufacturing plant over the next five years.

Additionally, The Boring Company aims to tackle urban traffic congestion by making tunneling faster and cheaper through new technologies. The company’s Prufrock machine can currently mine about one mile per week. The Boring Company has completed three projects: the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), the Hyperloop Test Track, and the R&D Tunnel.

In 2023, Neuralink, a brain-chip startup founded by Elon Musk, received approval from the FDA to conduct human testing of its brain implant. On September 19, 2023, Neuralink opened up its first human trials for recruitment. The first human trial will focus on paralysis caused by spinal cord injuries or ALS.

Social Media Influence:

As of January 2024, Elon Musk has the most-followed account on Twitter with over 170 million followers.

Through these channels, he shares insights, company updates, and his views on various subjects, impacting public Opinion.

Musk’s tweets can even cause the financial market to move as he provides his unbiased opinions on a variety of stocks and cryptocurrency.

2. Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos - Top 20 Most Popular People in the World

Born on January 12, 1964, Jeff Bezos is widely recognized for founding the e-commerce colossus, Amazon, in 1994. His entrepreneurial venture, which started in a humble Seattle garage, has since grown rapidly into a global powerhouse in online retail.

Early Ventures and Achievements:

  • Founder of Amazon
  • Transitioned to Executive Chairman in 2021
  • Owns The Washington Post
  • Founder of Blue Origin, aerospace manufacturer and sub-orbital spaceflight services company

Having graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts/Science, Bezos’s career trajectory is one of true self-made success, with a diverse portfolio that extends beyond Amazon, including media ownership and space exploration.

Current Endeavors:

Currently, his focus is divided between his role at Amazon as Executive Chairman and his aerospace company, Blue Origin.

In 2023, Amazon won an award for Best Career Growth and in 2022, it won awards for Best Product & Design Teams and Best Places to Work in Seattle.

Amazon has invested more than $530 billion in the US over the past decade, supporting nearly 1.6 million indirect jobs.

His brief tour into space in July 2021 placed him among the few pioneers pushing the boundaries of private space travel.

In a significant move on May 19, 2023, NASA enlisted the services of the Blue Origin to create, trial, and implement the Blue Moon landing system for the upcoming Artemis V mission. This mission aims to explore the Moon and lay the groundwork for future human expeditions to Mars. The venture involves an initial unmanned test mission, with plans for a crewed Moon landing scheduled for 2029. The contract’s total worth is $3.4 billion.

In September 2023, the Bezos Earth Fund announced $22.8 million to restore the Greater Rift Valley in Kenya and the Lake Kivu and Rusizi River Basin.

Established by Jeff Bezos in 2018, Bezos Academy is a series of preschools situated in economically disadvantaged areas. The academy is dedicated to fostering creativity, leadership, and lifelong learning in children through enhanced accessibility to early childhood education.

Digital Footprint and Influence:

  • Instagram Followers: Over 4.2M followers (As of January 2024)
  • Twitter Followers: Over 6.3 million (As of January 2024)

Now, at the age of 60, Bezos is focused on a trajectory that includes investing in future-oriented technologies and humanitarian causes. In his personal life, he got engaged to news anchor Lauren Sánchez and is a father to four children, residing in Medina, Washington, and maintains a simple but profound personal philosophy: the importance of trying over the regret of inaction.

3. Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson

Born on May 2, 1972, in Hayward, California, Dwayne Johnson is not just a globally recognized icon in the wrestling world but also a highly successful actor.

Early Ventures and Achievements:

With roots deeply embedded in the wrestling industry—his father, Rocky Johnson, and grandfather, Peter Maivia, were both professional wrestlers—Johnson naturally gravitated towards the sport.

Despite an initial foray into football, where his potential in the University of Miami’s national championship team was seen, an injury led him to pursue wrestling.

In the WWF (now WWE), he swiftly rose to fame as ‘The Rock’, a persona that won fans over with his imposing in-ring presence and magnetic mic skills. Beyond the wrestling ring, Johnson transitioned into a film career with remarkable aplomb. His early roles in The Mummy Returns and The Scorpion King were just the beginning of a prolific acting journey.

Filmography

Johnson’s filmography is extensive, featuring high-octane action movies like Fast & Furious franchise entries.

  • Fast & Furious Franchise:
    • Fast Five (2011)
    • Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
    • Furious 7 (2015)
    • The Fate of the Furious (2017)
    • Fast X (2023)
  • Jumanji Franchise:
    • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
    • Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)
  • Spin-off Film:
    • Hobbs & Shaw (2019)
  • Other Notable Films:
    • The Mummy Returns (2001)
    • The Scorpion King (2002)
    • Moana (2016)
    • Rampage (2018)
    • Skyscraper (2018)
    • Jungle Cruise (2021) [1]

Dwayne Johnson has several upcoming projects, including:

  • Red One: Post-production, 2024
  • Moana: In production, 2025
  • Doc Savage: In development
  • Red Notice 2: In production, late 2025

Social Media Influence:

With over 396 million followers on Instagram and 17.1 million on Twitter, his influence extends far beyond traditional media.

His recent return to WWE when he interrupted Jinder Mahal on the first show of 2024 and appearances in the reality TV series The Titan Games and the comedy series Young Rock, based on his life, keep him firmly in the public eye and solidify his status as one of the world’s most popular figures.

Also Read: Top 50 Richest People in the World

4. Joe Biden

Joe Biden - Top 20 Most Popular People in the World

Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on November 20, 1942, Joe Biden is the President of the United States a significant political figure who has dedicated much of his life to public service.

Early Life and Career:

His early career was marked by personal tragedy yet notable achievements. Some people may recall his entrance into the U.S. Senate at the young age of 29.

Shortly after Biden won the senatorial election, tragedy struck when his wife Neilia and one-year-old daughter Naomi lost their lives in a car accident while Christmas shopping in Hockessin, Delaware, on December 18, 1972.

  • 1953: Moved to Claymont, Delaware
  • Education: University of Delaware, Syracuse Law School
  • Political Office: New Castle County Council, U.S. Senator from Delaware, 47th Vice President of the United States

Over his extensive career, Biden is known for his influential role in domestic policy, including his pivotal work on the Violence Against Women Act.

Internationally, he left his mark as either Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, playing a crucial part in shaping foreign policy.

As Vice President:

  • Key Achievements: Supported the Recovery Act, Affordable Care Act, and troop withdrawal from Iraq
  • Awards: Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction

Current Endeavors:

  • Foundations: Biden Foundation, Biden Cancer Initiative
  • Academia: Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, Biden Institute at the University of Delaware
  • Presidency: Focused on national issues and working towards progressive goals

Social Media Influence

With over 38 million followers on Twitter and 17.2 million on Instagram, his reach confirms his position as one of the most recognized global leaders.

5. Bill Gates

Bill Gates

William Henry Gates III, born on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington, is a figure of immense significance in the technological world and philanthropy. He is best known as the co-founder of Microsoft, a leading force in the software industry.

Education and Early Life

His time at the private prep school, Lakeside is where his passion for computing first took shape. Though he dropped out from Harvard University, his innate affinity for software development led to the creation of a company that would become synonymous with personal computing.

Early Ventures and Achievements:

His journey began in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1975, where he established Microsoft with Paul Allen.

Gates’ role at Microsoft was multi-faceted – as chairman, CEO, and chief software architect.

Under his leadership, Microsoft reach heights of success, holding the position of the largest individual shareholder until 2014.

Despite stepping down as CEO in 2000, he continued to shape the company as chairman and later as a technology advisor.

Current Endeavors

As of now, Gates is focused on climate change, global health, and development through his philanthropic efforts.

His work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has marked significant strides in eradicating diseases and improving education systems worldwide.

The foundation has allocated more than $7.8 billion, with over $2 billion dedicated to combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

Additionally, they have supported vaccination efforts and projects related to Global Grand Challenges in Health (GCGH).

Social Media Influence

Gates’ influence extends to social media. His 8.9 million Instagram followers connect with his life and philanthropic work, while his Twitter presence with 64.5 million followers allows him to share his insights on global issues and technology trends.

6. Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner

Born on August 10, 1997, Kylie Jenner gained fame through the television show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Early Ventures and Achievements:

Her early exposure to fame set the stage for her to become a formidable presence in the world of business and on social media platforms.

At the young age of 18, she entered the beauty industry with the launch of what is now known as Kylie Cosmetics.

The brand’s debut was nothing short of phenomenal, quickly selling out and setting Jenner on a path to business success.

Current Endeavors

Kylie Cosmetics joined forces with The Grinch for a Christmas collection in 2020 and teamed up with A Nightmare on Elm Street for Halloween in 2021. In 2022, they introduced a collaboration with Batman, unveiling the Batman x Kylie collection.

Jenner introduced her tequila brand, 818, in 2021 without revealing her involvement. By 2022, she had sold over 123,000 cases, with projections to reach 160,000 cases in 2023.

Besides cosmetics, Jenner has ventured into fashion alongside her sister Kendall, with the Kendall + Kylie clothing line launched in 2016.

In 2017, Forbes crowned Jenner the highest-earning model globally, surpassing Gisele Bündchen, who had held the top spot since 2002.

Social Media Influence:

  • Instagram: Breakthrough as the first woman to accumulate 300 million followers, as reported by the BBC.
  • Twitter: Kylie has around 40 million followers, contributing to her overarching social media influence.

Her activities often make headlines, and she continues to influence trends and sales across the industries she touches.

7. Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr

Born on April 4, 1965, Robert Downey Jr. is celebrated for his enduring impact on both the film industry and popular culture. One might recognize him from his iconic portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man in the hugely successful Marvel Cinematic Universe or his award-winning role as Charlie Chaplin in the film “Chaplin.”

Early Life Challenges

Robert Downey Jr. faced a prolonged battle with substance abuse, enduring a challenging period he considers his lowest point.

During this time, he lost everything, including his family and financial stability. His life took a positive turn in 2003 when he met Hollywood producer Susan Levin on the set of Gothika.

Levin presented him with an ultimatum to choose between drugs and their relationship. Downey opted for a drug-free life, and they married in 2005, remaining together.

If you’re interested, Downey’s biography, titled “Robert Downey Jr.: The Fall and Rise of the Comeback Kid,” can be found on Amazon.

Rise to Stardom

Robert Downey Jr.’s inclusion in The Brat Pack, a collective of young actors prominent in 1980s coming-of-age films, was solidified by his role in Weird Science.

In the latter half of the 1980s and throughout the 1990s, he achieved significant success with movies like Less Than Zero (1987), Soapdish (1991), and Chaplin (1992).

Downey Jr. attained global acclaim by portraying Iron Man in ten films across the Marvel Cinematic Universe, commencing with Iron Man in 2008 and culminating in Avengers: Endgame in 2019.

His illustrious career has seen him achieve critical acclaim from a young age, evolve through personal challenges, and rise to become one of the globe’s highest-grossing actors.

With an array of performances that span four decades, Downey’s films have amassed over $14 billion worldwide, cementing his status at the pinnacle of Hollywood’s A-list.

Noteworthy Accomplishments:

  • Leading actor in films grossing over $14 billion globally
  • Named among the most influential people by Time magazine (2008)
  • Hollywood’s highest-paid actor (2013-2015)

Present Engagements:

  • After combating personal challenges, Downey has upheld his sobriety since 2003
  • Turned dramatic skills to play Lewis Strauss in “Oppenheimer” (2023), securing another Golden Globe Award

On Instagram, he captivates an audience of 57 million who are keen to glimpse into his life and latest ventures. Similarly, his Twitter feed showcases his wit and thoughtful observances, engaging 17.7 million followers.

Philanthrophic Efforts

Robert Downey Jr. is actively involved in philanthropy, supporting various charities and causes, including the Cancer Research Institute, Clothes Off Our Back, Communities in Schools, and DonorsChoose.org.

He is the founder of the FootPrint Coalition, a initiative dedicated to raising funds for climate-related projects. Downey is committed to environmental efforts, evident in his conversion of his classic car collection into eco-friendly vehicles.

Additionally, he contributes to the Orca Network, an NGO focused on endangered species. Notably, Social Work Helper, a digital magazine covering social work careers, education, and ethics, maintains archives featuring Robert Downey Jr.’s charitable contributions.

Born into a family embedded in the film industry—you might say the performing arts runs in his veins—Downey Jr. was guided into his career by his director father.

8. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo - Top 20 Most Popular People in the World

Cristiano Ronaldo was born on February 5, 1985 and is one of the most recognized figures in the world.

Early Life

Cristiano Ronaldo encountered numerous challenges in his early life, including poverty, an alcoholic father, and a mother working as a cook and cleaner.

Ronaldo faced difficulties in school, leading to expulsion for throwing a chair at a teacher, and despite being an average student, he showcased exceptional football talent.

At the age of 15, Ronaldo was diagnosed with tachycardia, a condition causing an elevated heart rate. Due to economic struggles, he had limited childhood friendships.

Opting to pursue football full time, he left school at the age of 14.

At the age of 23, Ronaldo secured his first Ballon d’Or, marking a significant milestone in his illustrious career.

Achievements on the Field:

Over the course of his illustrious career, Ronaldo has amassed an impressive collection of 33 trophies, including five UEFA Champions League titles, seven league championships, and a UEFA European Championship.

Among his numerous individual accolades, Ronaldo boasts five Ballon d’Or awards, three UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Awards, and four European Golden Shoes, making him one of the most decorated players in football history.

Additionally, he has earned recognition as a top goal scorer on 19 occasions and has been named Player of the Year eight times.

Ronaldo’s achievements extend to international competitions, where he secured the European Championship in 2016 with the Portuguese national team.

His remarkable career also includes winning the FIFA Puskás Award in 2009 and the UEFA Best Player in Europe award in 2017.

His knack for surpassing records is evident as he eclipsed the legendary Pelé in goals scored, notching up over 873 goals in competitive matches, marking a significant milestone in his football career.

Team Affiliations Date Remarkable Event
Manchester United 2003 – 2009 Initial rise to fame
Juventus 2018 – 2021 Continued success and growth
Manchester United 2021 – 2022 A nostalgic return
Al Nassr 2023 – Present Venturing into a new league

As of now, Ronaldo is showcasing his prowess with Al Nassr, located in Saudi Arabia. His impact on the pitch remains as influential as ever.

Social Media Presence: There are more than 619 million followers admiring his journey on Instagram, as he became the first individual to accumulate half a billion followers.

Business Ventures and Endorsements

Cristiano Ronaldo is involved in various business ventures and has secured lucrative endorsement deals with prominent brands such as Nike, Clear, Tag Heuer, Herbalife, and Pestana CR7 Lifestyle Hotels.

Additionally, he has partnerships with Armani, Egyptian Steel, PokerStars, and Castrol, and holds a lifetime contract with Nike. More recent collaborations include agreements with LiveScore, MEO, ZujuGP, Uniecampus, and Therabody.

Ronaldo established the CR7 brand, a line that encompasses a range of products including underwear, clothing, and home and leisure items. The CR7 brand extends to eyewear, footwear, and fragrances.

Furthermore, Ronaldo is a co-owner of the Pestana CR7 Hotel chain in partnership with the Pestana Hotel Group. The first hotel, opened in 2016 in Funchal, Madeira, Ronaldo’s hometown, has since been followed by establishments in Lisbon, Madrid, and New York City.

As one of the world’s wealthiest athletes, Ronaldo’s net worth was estimated at $500 million in 2023, underscoring the financial success he has achieved through his diverse business ventures and endorsements.

Also Read: Time’s 100 Most Influential Companies

9. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi was born on June 24, 1987 and is recognized as one of the most illustrious soccer players in the world. At age 36, he continues to make an impact both on and off the field.

Early Life

Lionel Messi encountered numerous challenges in his early life, such as dealing with a growth hormone deficiency and facing financial struggles.

Diagnosed at the age of 11, he required daily growth hormone injections in his leg, but his family found it difficult to afford the treatment. Fortunately, at 13, FC Barcelona offered Messi a place on their team and covered his medical expenses.

His unwavering determination and love for the sport kept him moving forward. Messi initiated his football journey as a young boy and joined Newell’s Old Boys’ youth team in 1995, garnering attention from prestigious clubs on both sides of the Atlantic.

Achievements on the Field:

He helped Argentina win the 2022 FIFA World Cup and played amazingly in the 2021 Copa América, scoring four goals and assisting five.

Back in 2008, he won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics.

Messi also won the FIFA Club World Cup four times in 2009, 2011, 2015, and 2018.

He’s really good at creating opportunities on the field, winning the IFFHS Playmaker Award five times, including in 2022.

When he was younger, Messi did great in the under 20 World Cup in Argentina, winning a gold medal, the Golden Boot, and the Golden Ball.

Business Ventures and Endorsements

Lionel Messi is involved in various business ventures and endorsements, including partnerships with more than a dozen brands like Adidas, Budweiser, Mastercard, Pepsi, and Saudi Arabia tourism.

In 2022, he secured a $20 million annual deal with the fan engagement app Socios.

In 2019, Messi inaugurated his inaugural retail outlet, the Messi Store, in Barcelona, complemented by a lifelong association with Adidas.

Instagram Followers: 98 million

Additionally, he ventured into the wine industry with his label, Leo or L10, showcasing a blend of five grape varieties. Messi also extends his influence to the hospitality sector, with a chain of five hotels in his portfolio.

Financials

As per Forbes, Lionel Messi’s total career earnings are roughly valued at $1.28 billion, and his net worth is estimated to be around $600 million. It’s important to note that these figures are speculative due to the limited public disclosure of his business interests.

In terms of social presence, Lionel Messi boasts a remarkable online following with

Currently, Messi continues to showcase his skills at PSG, where he is part of a high-profile squad, aiming to bring further success to the team.

10. Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Donald Trump, born on June 14, 1946, rose to prominence as a prominent real estate developer before becoming the 45th President of the United States.

Early Life

Donald Trump’s early life was marked by privilege rather than significant struggles. Born into a wealthy family in 1946, he received a comfortable upbringing and eventually joined his father’s real estate business.

A Wharton School graduate, Trump made a significant impact in New York real estate, his eponymous brand adorning some of the city’s most luxurious buildings.

Reality TV Showbiz

Donald Trump’s reality TV journey was highlighted by his role as the host of the popular show “The Apprentice,” which premiered in 2004.

The show featured contestants competing in business-related tasks, with Trump serving as the decision-maker, ultimately firing one contestant each week. Trump’s catchphrase, “You’re fired,” became synonymous with the show.

“The Apprentice” contributed to Trump’s public image and showcased his business persona. His time on the show enhanced his recognition and popularity, setting the stage for his eventual entry into politics. The show ran for several seasons, solidifying Trump’s presence in the entertainment industry.

Ascension to Presidency:

Donald Trump’s ascension to the presidency was marked by a unique and unconventional political journey. In 2015, he announced his candidacy for the Republican Party’s nomination, entering a crowded field of candidates. His campaign was characterized by a brash and unfiltered communication style, often bypassing traditional political norms.

Trump’s populist message and appeal to disenfranchised voters resonated, and he secured the Republican nomination in 2016. During the general election campaign, he faced Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Despite controversies and unconventional campaign strategies, Trump won the Electoral College, securing an unexpected victory.

His presidency, which began in January 2017, was marked by a range of policy initiatives, controversies, and a distinctive communication style through social media. Trump’s tenure was polarizing, with supporters praising his economic policies and conservative judicial appointments, while critics raised concerns about his approach to issues like immigration and international relations.

The 2020 election saw a contentious battle for a second term, ultimately won by Joe Biden. Trump’s presidency left a lasting impact on American politics, stirring debates about populism, the role of media, and the future direction of the Republican Party.

Achievements:

  • Authored fourteen bestsellers, including The Art of the Deal
  • Initiated major policies and reforms during his presidency

Online Presence:

  • Instagram: 23.7 million
  • Twitter: 87.4 million

After his presidency, Trump continues to be actively engaged in political commentary and business endeavors. Also notable is his role as a family man, with five children and numerous grandchildren to his name.

11. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is renowned for her influential presence in the media, was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi.

Early Life

Her journey to success began in broadcasting during her college years, which propelled her to become a notable news anchor at the young age of 19. This early achievement marked the beginning of what would become a formidable career in television.

As a television host, she captivated audiences with her personal and genuine approach to talk shows. This earned her national acclaim when she took over the Chicago-based talk show “AM Chicago,” transforming it into the acclaimed “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Beyond her role as a talk show host, Winfrey expanded her repertoire as an actress with notable performances in “The Color Purple” and “The Butler“, and as a producer for important cinematic works like “Selma.”

Currently, Oprah Winfrey’s endeavors extend beyond the screen. She is a prominent figure on social media, sharing insights and connecting with a wide audience:

  • Instagram Followers: Over 22.8 million
  • Twitter Followers: Over 41.9 million

She is also a dedicated philanthropist, with a history of supporting educational initiatives and advocating for children’s rights, efforts that have rightfully earned her multiple honors and awards.

In her most recent pursuits, Winfrey engages with her audience digitally through Oprah Daily and maintains a significant presence with her trailblazing Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

Her influence in digital media continues to thrive, and her interviews, such as the notable conversation with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, resonate worldwide.

Winfrey remains a steadfast and influential figure in entertainment, publishing, and philanthropy, shaping conversations and inspiring millions around the globe.

12. Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Born on August 4, 1961, Barack Obama emerged from a career in law and academia to become a notable American politician. In 2009, he took office as the 44th President of the United States, making history as the first African American to hold this position.

Early Life and Career

After his parents’ divorce, Barack Obama’s mother remarried a man from Indonesia, shaping his early years spent there.

In 1961, they relocated to Seattle, where they resided for a year. Graduating high school in 1979, Obama continued his education at Columbia University.

He pursued majors in political science, international relations, and English literature, earning a J.D. magna cum laude.

Additionally, he held the position of president at the Harvard Law Review.

Achievements as President of the USA

During Barack Obama’s presidency, he accomplished significant milestones.

His signature achievement was the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aimed at expanding health insurance coverage.

He led the country through economic recovery post the Great Recession with measures like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Obama normalized relations with Cuba, played a key role in the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, and successfully ordered the operation leading to the death of Osama bin Laden.

He advocated for LGBTQ+ rights, repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and supported same-sex marriage.

The Iran Nuclear Deal, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform, and Consumer Protection Act were also crucial accomplishments, addressing nuclear concerns and regulating the financial industry. These achievements defined Obama’s impactful presidency from 2009 to 2017.

Current Endeavors

Post-presidency, Obama remains active in public life, focusing on civic engagement and young leadership programs through the Obama Foundation. He also engages in political commentary and public speaking.

Social Media Presence

Instagram Followers: Over 36.5 million

Twitter Followers: Over 131.9 million

Business Ventures and Publications

Alongside his wife, Michelle, Obama has ventured into media production with a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce films and series. He has also published highly successful books, including “A Promised Land,” which offers insights into his presidency and political beliefs.

13. Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift - Top 20 Most Popular People in the World

Taylor Swift was born on December 13, 1989, marking her as one of the most successful musicians born in the late ’80s. She is known for her narrative songwriting which often centers around her personal life and has received widespread critical praise and media coverage.

Early Life

Taylor Swift spent her early childhood on a Christmas tree farm with her parents and younger brother, Austin.

At the age of nine, the family relocated to Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, where she attended elementary and high school.

Swift commenced vocal and acting lessons in New York City at the same age, eventually choosing to concentrate on country music.

When she turned 13, her parents sold the family farm, moving to Hendersonville, Tennessee, to support her pursuit of a career in country music. In 2004, Swift secured a songwriter deal with Sony/ATV.

Accomplishments

Taylor Swift has achieved remarkable success in the music industry, earning a staggering 12 Grammy Awards, 40 American Music Awards, 40 Billboard Music Awards, and 23 MTV Video Music Awards.

Notably, she holds the record for being the most-awarded artist at the American Music Awards and the Billboard Music Awards.

Swift is the first female singer to win three Grammys for Album of the Year. Her songwriting, exemplified by hits like “Lover,” has solidified her reputation as one of the industry’s best.

With chart-toppers like “Look What You Made Me Do” and “Blank Space,” she has left an indelible mark on the music scene.

Instagram Followers: 279 million

Current Endeavors

Her activism extends to philanthropy, artists’ rights, and women’s empowerment. As of 2024, Swift continues to be a major player in the industry, earning Grammy nominations for Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year.

14. Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi

You might recognize Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India, a position that reflects his significant influence not only in India but also globally. Born on September 17, 1950, Modi embarked on his political journey with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and has since been a pivotal figure in shaping contemporary Indian politics.

Early Life

Before venturing into politics, Modi had different occupational experiences, including working in his family’s tea stall. His journey from a railway station tea vendor to the nation’s Prime Minister is often mentioned to demonstrate the power of perseverance in Indian politics.

First Term as PM of India

Narendra Modi’s first term as Prime Minister of India, from 2014 to 2019, was marked by several key initiatives and developments.

He prioritized economic reforms, launching programs such as “Make in India” and “Goods and Services Tax (GST)” to boost manufacturing and streamline taxation.

The demonetization move in 2016, although controversial, aimed at curbing black money.

Modi also focused on infrastructure development with projects like “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” (Clean India Campaign) and the “Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana” for financial inclusion.

Instagram Followers: 86.5 million

In foreign policy, he worked to enhance India’s global standing. However, his term faced criticism on issues like farmer distress, unemployment, and religious tensions. Despite challenges, Modi secured a second term in the 2019 elections.

Recent Endeavors

India’s G20 presidency in 2023 under Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a significant power statement.

By assuming the leadership role in this major international forum, Modi showcased India as a key player on the global stage.

The presidency provided an opportunity for India to articulate the concerns of the Global South, emphasizing issues relevant to developing nations and ensuring their perspectives were integral to international discussions.

Social Media Influence:

As of now, Narendra Modi maintains an active presence on social media, which helps him connect with people of different demographics, both nationally and internationally. His Instagram account boasts over 50 million followers, while on Twitter, he is followed by more than 75 million people.

Also Read: Narendra Modi Net Worth, Salary, Assets

15. Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian - Top 20 Most Popular People in the World

Born on October 21, 1980, Kim Kardashian hails from Los Angeles, California. Initially gaining fame as a reality TV star, Kim expandes her fame into various business ventures, including her own beauty and shapewear lines, KKW Beauty and SKIMS.

Early Life

Kimberly Kardashian West, known to most as Kim Kardashian, first gained media attention as a friend and stylist to Paris Hilton, but she received wider notice after the 2007 E! reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians premiered. Her personal life soon became subject to widespread media attention.

Current Endeavors

Kim Kardashian is involved in various business ventures, including Skims, a shapewear brand established in 2019, valued at $4 billion, known for its body positivity and rapid sales, reaching $2 million within minutes of launch.

Her beauty line, SKKN by Kim, recently introduced a new cosmetics range.

Additionally, she co-founded Skky Partners, a private equity firm focusing on media and consumer investments, in collaboration with private equity executive Jay Sammons.

Kardashian’s estimated net worth is around $1.7 billion, with a substantial portion derived from the success of Skims.

Additionally, Kim is pursuing a career in law, having been a major advocate for prison reform in the United States. She continues to leverage her massive social media presence to promote her various endeavors and advocate for issues close to her heart.

Instagram & Twitter Followers:

  • Instagram: Considered one of the most-followed individuals on the platform, with reports indicating she has over 364 million followers.
  • Twitter: Garnering a large following there as well, with 75.1 million followers.

16. Sam Altman

Sam Altman

Sam Altman, an American entrepreneur, investor, programmer, and blogger, was born on April 22, 1985, in Chicago, Illinois.

He is a prominent figure in the artificial intelligence (AI) field, being the co-founder and CEO of OpenAI, the company responsible for innovations like ChatGPT and DALL·E.

Altman played a significant role in the AI boom and, in 2011, became part of Y Combinator, a startup accelerator, eventually serving as its president from 2014 to 2019.

Approximately eight years ago, Altman, along with Elon Musk and others, established OpenAI with the goal of creating a nonprofit research lab dedicated to the ethical development of AI.

Apart from his involvement in OpenAI, Altman founded Loopt, a mobile social networking service, and an investment fund named Apollo.

While he may not be as widely recognized in the general public as some global celebrities, Altman’s influence in the tech industry, particularly in AI and startups, contributes to his standing as a prominent and respected figure in certain circles.

17. Rihanna

Rihanna

Rihanna, born Robyn Rihanna Fenty in Barbados in 1988, is a globally renowned singer, actress, and businesswoman.

She emerged onto the music scene in the early 2000s, she quickly became a chart-topping sensation with hits like “Umbrella” and “Diamonds.”

Beyond her musical accomplishments, Rihanna is celebrated for her entrepreneurial ventures, including the successful Fenty Beauty cosmetics line known for its inclusivity.

Social Media Reach:

Instagram: Over 152 million followers.

18. Will Smith

Will Smith

As a multi-faceted entertainer, Will Smith started his career with music and then transitioned into acting. He became a household name with his charismatic role in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and went on to lead in major blockbuster films.

  • Instagram Followers: Over 64.9 million
  • Twitter Followers: Over 10 million

He is most renowned for films like Independence Day and Men in Black, showcasing his ability to blend action with a unique comedic flavor.

The Slap Incident

During the 94th Academy Awards on March 27, 2022, actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock in reaction to a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.

A recent YouGov survey indicates that in the first quarter of 2023, 56% of respondents expressed a liking for Will Smith, while 24% had a negative opinion. This suggests a rise in Smith’s popularity over a year after the Oscars incident.

19. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Born on June 9, 1963, Johnny Depp is an American actor and musician famous for his unconventional portrayals, such as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series and Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

  • Instagram Followers: 28.8 million (as of early 2024)
  • Twitter Followers: Not actively using the platform

Depp began his acting career in the 1980s, but it was his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series that cemented his status as a household name. Over the years, Depp has been known for his versatility, embracing various characters that range from the eccentric Willy Wonka to the enigmatic Grindelwald.

Defamation Lawsuit

In 2019, Johnny Depp filed a defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, regarding a 2018 op-ed she wrote about domestic abuse.

Depp asserted that the article harmed his career, while Heard countersued, claiming defamation when one of Depp’s lawyers labeled her abuse allegations as a “hoax.”

The trial, beginning in April 2022, brought to light details about their marriage. In June 2022, a jury unanimously ruled in favor of Depp, stating that Heard couldn’t substantiate her abuse claims and knew they were false when publishing her essay.

The jury awarded Depp $15 million in damages, though he initially sought $50 million. In December 2022, Heard settled with Depp and was ordered to pay him over $10 million.

The lawsuit and its outcome had mixed effects on Depp’s popularity, with some supporting him due to the legal victory, while others continued to scrutinize the details surrounding the case.

Comeback

In 2023, Johnny Depp made a comeback to the Cannes Film Festival, marking his first appearance since the legal proceedings involving his ex-wife Amber Heard.

He presented his latest film, Jeanne du Barry, and the audience responded with a seven-minute standing ovation.

20. Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin, born on October 7, 1952, in Leningrad, now known as Saint Petersburg, is the President of Russia. Before embarking on his political ascent, Putin pursued a career in the KGB, the Soviet Union’s security agency.

On social platforms, like Instagram and Twitter, he doesn’t maintain personal accounts, but his activities are widely covered by media and official government accounts, garnering millions of followers globally.

Invasion of Ukraine

In February 2022, Putin initiated a significant invasion of Ukraine, resulting in worldwide criticism and the imposition of sanctions. By September 2022, Putin declared a partial mobilization and incorporated four Ukrainian oblasts into Russia through annexation.

2024 Presidential Election

Putin declared his candidacy for the 2024 Russian presidential election in December 2023. His eligibility for re-election stems from constitutional amendments implemented in 2020.

Conclusion

Deciding who the most popular people in the world are can be a debatable topic. We looked at various factors like social media and impact on culture to make this list of the Top 20 Most Popular People in the world.

It’s important to know that fame is complex and subjective, and these people stand out for their work in tech, entertainment, or making a positive change. Keep in mind that popularity changes, and this list is just a glimpse of those who’ve made a big impact in our connected world.

sushma
Sushma is a dynamic and knowledgeable personal finance expert and entrepreneur with a rich background in business and finance, holding a bachelor's degree in the field. Her passion for financial empowerment and a drive to teach others how to navigate the world of online money-making, create passive income streams, and achieve financial freedom sets her apart. With a focus on user-friendly apps and engaging games, she guides readers through the most profitable and enjoyable digital earning opportunities.

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