(Image source from: res.cloudinary.com)
Women have made big moves and impacted so many of us who live today. When it came to pop culture, women had to pave the way to help female icons today be who they want to be and embrace the success. Taking over the next 40 years, here are women who were considered icons in the pop culture for each year.
1980- Dolly Parton, singer songwriter and an actress who stood for feminism in her films.
1981- Princess Diana- One of the most loved and popular woman in the world and is known for her icon status and humanitarian efforts. Her style and fashion was timeless and still worn and inspired till date.
1982- Meryl Streep- One of the most iconic and best actresses in Hollywood of all time. She has won 3 Academy awards; 2 for Best Actress and one for best supporting actress.
1983- Jessica Lange - An iconic actress of this year and even a winner of an Academy Award for best Actress.
1984- Shirley Maclaine- Although this actress has recieved multiple nominations for several awards before, this was her year where she won an Academy Award for best Actress for her role in Terms of Endearment.
1985- Madonna- A pop icon who was topping Billboard charts and invented the iconic dance style vouging. 1985 and onwards her music has become widely popular till date.
1986- Betty White- Considered the late iconic bloomer who became famous from the show The Golden Girls which aired this year and even won an Emmy for her performance on the show.
1987- Nancy Reagan- If you have heard the slogan “Say No to Drugs” and thought it was a common statement, well then you’re wrong. This iconic first lady campaigned against illegal substances and created a movement and normalized rehabilitation services.
1988- Glenn Close - The most iconic performance in the Fatal Attraction was what the world witnessed this year. She was a cultural reset and icon for years.
1989- Oprah Winfrey - I mean, who does not know Oprah? This was the year her show, The Oprah Winfrey Show become widely popular.
1990- Julia Roberts - One of the most popular actresses in the world, this was the year she made her well known debut in the movie Pretty Woman and became an icon in Hollywood and in the world of fashion.
1991- Naomi Campbell- If there is a queen for cat walking, Naomi takes the prize. After her iconic Versace debut this year, she turned heads for everyone in the fashion industry. She even featured in Wham’s and Michael Jackson's music videos. She was one of the first black woman to create history during her time in the fashion world.
1992- Whitney Houston- This singer turned heads by topping billboard charts and making everlasting hits. She is yet another black woman to create history in the music industry.
1993- Celine Dion- If you have watched the movie Titanic, you will obviously know who Celine is. Her songs have become widely popular from this year onwards and this was the year she released her album “The Colour of My love” which set a mark for her in the music industry.
1994- Jennifer Anniston- The adored and most beautiful actress has everyone’s head turning when she featured on the set of the most popular TV show “Friends”. Her haircuts and outfits on and off TV shows were and are still style inspirations for multiple women all around the world till date.
1995- Mariah Carey- This musical icon become widely popular during this year. She is well known for her whistle tones and popular Christmas music.
1996- Aishwarya Rai- After winning her Miss World crown in 1994, this actress became widely popular in Bollywood for her stunning looks. She is also known as the Barbie Doll of the Bollywood industry. She still features in movies til date and even made a few appearances in Hollywood movies as well. Despite her being a Hindi actress, she is popular worldwide.
1997- Kate Winslet- Known for her iconic role in the movie Titanic directed by James Cameron in 1997, this actress become widely popular during this year for her first debut itself!
1998- Sarah Jessica Parker- After the series Sex and The City became widely popular, this actress became a style icon and inspiration to multiple woman throughout the world.
1999- Jennifer Lopez- In the year 1999, J-Lo made her debut on the billboard charts and took the No 1 spot for five weeks which was considered a feat during that time. She also featured in multiple movies and is a dance, pop and even a style icon.
2000- Priyanka Chopra- This Indian actress became famous when she won the miss World Title during this year. After her win, she continued to feature in movies and even won national awards for her performances. She is even the main lead in an English series called Quantico.
2001- Alicia Keys- In 2001, the Grammys called Alicia Keys the Best New Artist and she wrong multiple hit songs for movies which even won Academy Awards without even having any experience! Till today, she is considered a musical legend.
2002- Halle Berry- Speaking of iconic black woman, Halle Berry is a must add to the list. She is one of the first Black Woman to win an Academy Award for best Actress.
2003- Britney Spears- Since the age of 15 Britney has been an icon in the music industry. In 2003, she released her first single and one a Grammy for it as well. Her music defined the early 100’s and not only is she a great singer but a entertaining performer as well.
2004- Rachel McAdams- When the Notebook movie released, it was a cultural reset for romantic movies. Staring Rachel McAdams, she had become so popular after this film. She also featured in other pop culture setting films including Mean Girls. Her diversity t act in any genre is what makes her truly, so iconic.
2005- Amy Winehouse- During the 50th Grammys held this year, Amy won five Grammys which was considered an iconic moment during this era. Her style and hair were a cultural reset for woman in fashion to embrace the grunge look.
2006- Angelina Jolie- In 2006, Angelina Jolie became popular worldwide for her staggering looks, outfits and adopting multiple children, as well as marrying the one and only Brad Pitt.
2007- Deepika Padukone- When the movie Om Shanti Om was released this year, it was Deepika’s first movie debut as the main lead and she had everyone turning heads. Till date, she is one of the most successful and highest paid actresses in Bollywood. She even featured in a couple of Hollywood movies and is one of India’s proudest icons to look up to.
2008- Tina Fey- You might not know Tina Fey but her movies and TV Shows are more popular than you think. She wrote and featured in multiple skits for Saturday Night Live (SNL), she wrote and directed the movie Mean Girls, Baby Mama, the TV show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and even hosted the Academy Awards with Amy Poehler.
2009- Adele- This was the year when Adele released the heartbreak album of the decade. She even won two Grammy’s for her debut album and although she was only 20 years old, most of her songs have more than 1 billion views or streams on music platforms.
2010- Rihanna- One of the most loved and honored woman in the world, Rihanna has created history in music, fashion and makeup. She is also one of the richest woman in the world. She became popular at the age of 17 and is still going strong till date. In 2010, she was declared as Woman of the year and the decade.
2011- Beyonce- It is hard to really break down how many records this legendary pop icon has broken. She is considered one of the most popular woman in pop culture and has had more than a few hits.
2012- Jennifer Lawrence- From bloopers, to the Academy Awards to Interviews, this was J-laws year. Her characters in movies were role models for all the viewers in person.
2013- Miley Cyrus- Although she was infamous this year, from Hannah Montana, she turned into a whole different person. She embraced her wild side and gave a banging person at the MTV VMA awards with Robin Thicke which became widely popular.
2014- Emma Watson - The Harry Potter star became famous this year not just for her movies but for her feminist initiatives and speeches toward social causes. She was also called the Most Beautiful and Inspiring Woman of the year by Times Magazine.
2015- Indra Nooyi - She was called one of Time Magazine’s most influential woman of the year 2015. She is known for her good judgment in all her work and collegiality. She was the CEO of Pepsi Co and has done a ton of charity work for social causes and for women.
2016- Ellen DeGeneres - In this year, this LGBTQ+ icon became popular for supporting victims all around the world and bringing out talented people on her show. She also received a Medal of Freedom from the USA’s former President Barack Obama.
2017- Serena Williams- During this year, Serena won the Australian Open even though she was eight weeks pregnant. She is an icon for woman in sports and all over the world. She stands up for her rights and is a black icon.
2018- Meghan Markle- From starring in the hit TV series , she became the first American to marry into the royal family since 1930’s. Currently, her and her husband Prince Harry have left the royal family and live in Calabasas.
2019- Lady Gaga - Although this pop icon has been famous since 2012, this was the year where she won an Academy Award for her song in A star is Born. She is the winner of multiple Grammys’, BAFTA’s, Golden Globes. Her style, music videos and songs are a cultural reset in the pop industry.
2020- Ariana Grande- One of the most popular pop icons in history, Ariana Grande has broken records with her music and albums. She first made her debut on the Nickelodeon show Victorious and her singing career has been successful ever since. She is one of the only music artists to have all her album songs on the billboard charts. She is also the most followed woman on Instagram and the third most followed person on Instagram.
By Meena Atmakuri