Forbes most powerful women list: Taylor Swift makes history
Merkel still reigns supreme, but Hillary Clinton is 'just a breath and a ballot away' from the top spot
Taylor Swift has made history by becoming the youngest person ever to be included on the Forbes 100 most powerful women list.
The 25-year old pop star comes in at number 65 and is among 17 women under the age 45 to make it onto the rankings. "The current era of female empowerment is stronger and better than ever, and the growing number of younger influences on the list is enough proof that age is nothing but a number," says Forbes.
The list is billed as the magazine's "definitive annual audit" of the foremost heads of state, iconic entrepreneurs, celebrity role models, billionaire activists and pioneer philanthropists, all ranked by money, media, impact and sphere of influence.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel tops the list for the fifth consecutive year, but the magazine is confident that Hillary Clinton is hot on her heels. The presidential hopeful has appeared on the list every year since it launched more than a decade ago and is "just a breath and a ballot away from the Most Powerful Woman crown". Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff also made it into the top ten as the first female leader of her country.
At a time when the number of women-owned businesses in the US increased by 68 per cent in the last eight years, "there's never been a better moment to champion these women who've helped pave the way," says Forbes. Elizabeth Holmes, the 31-year old founder of the blood testing company Theranos, made her debut on this year's list as the world's youngest self-made billionaire. In total, seven Silicon Valley executives made it into the top 25, reports The Guardian.
The women in this section have a combined social media imprint exceeding six billion followers and fans and include the comedian Ellen DeGeneres (57), actress Angelina Jolie (54) and singer Shakira (81). While Taylor Swift may be the newest arrival, Beyoncé still reigns supreme, with her latest tour raking in more than £100m.
Melinda Gates tops the list at number three for championing women's reproductive and education rights in the developing world. "If you want to unlock the most progress for the most people, start by investing in women and girls," she said on a recent trip to India.
The top 10 women on the list
1. Angela Merkel, German chancellor
2. Hillary Rodham Clinton, US presidential candidate and former Secretary of State
3. Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
4. Janet Yellen, Chair of the US Federal Reserve Bank
5. Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors
6. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
7. Dilma Rousseff, Brazilian president
8. Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook
9. Susan Wojcicki, CEO at YouTube
10.Michelle Obama, US First Lady