From thought leaders and environmental activists to sports stars and musicians, the most popular people in the world couldn't be a more interesting bunch.
With social media, popularity can be an incredibly fleeting thing - a revolving door of sorts - so making it past a month at the top is an awesome feat. What makes these poeple so popular? Considering accomplishment, likability, social media followers, and Internet buzz, they top the world's radar. This list comes from entertainment, news, and political sites, such as Time Magazine, IMDB, and Biography Online. Whether you love to love them or love to hate them, these are some of the most popular people today.
As the 44th President of the United States and the first African-American to hold the office, Obama's cultural impact was immediately felt across the globe. His charisma and iconic vocal cadence have made him the subject of so many good-natured jokes - jokes he takes in stride. A man who's more in tune with pop culture and the people than most presidents makes him still many people's favorite politician in the world.
The co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates is one of the most recognized figures in the tech industry. But, he didn't limit his brilliance to Silicon Valley, and his philanthropic efforts through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have significantly contributed to so many efforts around the globe. This humanitarian interest makes him a beloved figure.
As the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk has been a face for advancing space travel and electric vehicular technology. His ambitious ideas and innovation make him a popular among an internet-savvy community, and his current, easily memed, tenure with Twitter has kept his name in the press.
Known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah is a significant media executive, interviewing pioneer, and philanthropist. Her influence extends to various arenas, such as promoting literature through her book club. She's globally recognized as a powerful advocate for self-improvement and spirituality, and continues to do great work in front of and behind the scenes.
BTS (Bangtan Boys)
Of the massive KPop industry, BTS was the most recent band to have taken the world by storm. Their global fanbase, known as the "ARMY," is incredibly engaged and diverse, and can mobilize at a moment's notice.
An American singer-songwriter known for her narrative, emotional lyrics, Taylor Swift has cemented herself as one of the most famous musicians of all time. She's received numerous awards and is one of the best-selling music artists to date. She's used her platform to speak beyond music to cultural discussions on feminism, cancel culture, and artists' rights.
And if the Eras World Tour Ticketmaster debacle is anything to go off of, her popularity's not slowing down anytime soon.
A professional footballer from Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo is considered one of the greatest players of all time. His skills, coupled with his significant social media presence and iconic facial expressions, make him a global icon.
As the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis has made headlines for his progressive stances on climate change, economic disparity, and the need for mercy in religious matters. He's a man of many firsts: the first Jesuit pope and the first Latin American pope. His soft demeanor has made him well-liked by Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern is known for her compassionate and decisive handling of crises, including the Christchurch mosque shootings and the COVID-19 pandemic, has won global admiration. Her gracious resignation from her position as Prime Minister in 2023 only made people like her more.
LeBron James is an American professional basketball player and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in NBA history. His off-court activities, including philanthropy and activism, add to his global popularity. The Lakers are the stuff of legend, and LeBron James continues to strut his stuff on and off the court.
Best known for her role as Hermione in the beloved Harry Potter film series, Emma Watson is more than just an actor. She's also a vocal advocate for women's rights and gender equality, serving as a UN Women Goodwill ambassador. Through her hard work towards supporting gender equality, she's gained fans the world over.
Greta Tunberg is a young environmental activist from Sweden who's inspired millions to rally around the world for governmental action on climate change. Her speeches and school strike for climate have made propelled her into media fame. Yet, despite the intense public scrutiny in her teens years, she continues to put her body and voice on the line for environmental action.
Our Eyes Are Turned Towards Them
Popularity is a bit of a game, and if you play it right, you can sail for decades on the tips of everyone's tongues. Whether for positive or notorious reasons, all of the people on this list have become a mainstay in the public eye. And we're not likely to cancel them anytime soon.