As the year draws to a close, we take a look back at the 2010 Forbes list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women and round up 10 of its hottest celebrities, politicians and business moguls.
10. Rachael Ray (#78)
American television personality and celebrity chef Rachael Ray is famed for her 30 Minute Meals recipes and Daytime Emmy-winning television shows. Born in New York of Italian heritage, she received her own talk show as a spin-off of The Oprah Winfrey Show, and has not only been consistently named as one of the most influential women in the world, but also one of FHM’s 100 Sexiest.
9. Queen Rania of Jordan (#76)
Queen Rania Al Abdullah is known for her dedicated to a variety of causes home and abroad, not to mention her elegance and style. Current queen consort of Jordan, much of her work focuses on the quality of education for Jordanian children. She is also noted for her use of social media to encourage cross-cultural dialogue, with over 1 million followers of her Twitter account @QueenRania.
8. Gisele Bündchen (#72)
According to Forbes, Gisele Bündchen is the highest-paid model in the world with an estimated $150 million fortune. Discovered while eating at McDonald’s with friends in her home country of Brazil, she has graced more than 500 magazine covers throughout the world and is married to NFL star Tom Brady.
7. Heidi Klum (#39)
Best-known for her modelling career, German-born Heidi Klum has also found success as a television host, business woman, fashion designer, producer, actress, artist and even singer. Host of Project Runaway and Germany’s Next Topmodel, she has had endorsement deals with brands such as H&M and McDonald’s and launched multiple women’s clothing lines.
6. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (#35)
Born in Turin, Italy, and heiress to the fortune of Italian tire company CEAT, this former model married French president Nicolas Sarkozy in February 2008 and quickly became a favourite of tabloids and international press. She quit the world of fashion to devote herself to music in 1997, releasing three albums, and is currently collaborating with Lenny Kravitz on her fourth release.
5. Madonna (#29)
Listed in the Guinness World Records as the world’s top-selling female recording artist of all time, Madonna Ciccone is considered one of the most influential figures in contemporary music. Her success in the 80s gave her style icon and sex idol status, and she has continued to reinvent her image and release new material to this day.
4. Angelina Jolie (#21)
Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie made her screen debut as a child alongside father Jon Voight, later achieving widespread fame for films such as Girl, Interrupted and a widely publicised relationship with Billy Bob Thornton. Having shed her bad girl reputation, Jolie is mother to six children along with husband Brad Pitt, and is noted for her dedication to humanitarian causes.
3. Sarah Palin (#16)
Ex-Governor of Alaska, former beauty queen and lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, Sarah Palin caught the public’s eye in 2008 after being chosen as John McCain’s running mate, making her the first female vice-presidential nominee of the Republican Party. With a best-selling autobiography under her belt, Palin has also announced plans to host her own TV show – and rumours abound of a possible bid for United States presidency in 2012.
2. Beyoncé Knowles (#9)
Former lead singer of R&B girl group Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé Knowles launched a solo career in 2003 and has become one of the most honoured artists by the Grammys. Her appearance in the film Dreamgirls earned her two Golden Globe nominations, and she has also enjoyed high-earning endorsement deals with brands like Pepsi and L’Oreal, securing her place in the Forbes Top 10.
1. Michelle Obama (#1)
Topping the 2010 Most Powerful Women list, the wife of 44th President of the United States Barack Obama has become a fashion icon and role model for women since becoming the first African-American First Lady. She is only the third presidential wife with a postgraduate degree (from Harvard Law School), and has become famed for her good sense of style, in particular her penchant for sleeveless outfits that expose her toned arms.