Everyone will have different opinions on how to gauge who the most famous person in the world is. Although it’s hard to understand truly who owns the title, we can get a good idea from their Instagram following.
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Instagram has over 1.3 billion users, who, of course, follow all their favorite celebrities, heroes, and idols. So, who can we classify as some of the most famous people in the world? And why have they even ranked so high anyway? Let’s find out below!
Instagram Tells Us Who Is Famous
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Fame is a strange concept, and there are many ways to determine what is fame and what makes someone famous. However, in the modern world, social media reigns as the deciding factor in who is famous.
It is a consistent measure of current interests. Going on something as fluctuating as the most googled person only really gives you an idea of immediate fame or infamy instead of identifying true fame.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
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Cristiano Ronaldo takes the lead as the most followed person on Instagram. The Portuguese soccer sensation has racked up over 408 million followers and has an estimated net worth of roughly $500 million.
He quickly rose to fame after his Manchester United debut in 2003 and is regarded as one of the best people ever to play soccer.
His fame doesn’t just end on the pitch. Ronaldo became the third person to earn a lifetime contract with the world-famous Nike. Slotting in just behind basketball superstars Michael Jordan and LeBron James. He is now one of the highest-paid endorsers in sports history.
Age: 37 years old (February 5, 1985)
Net Worth: $500 million
Instagram Followers: 408 million
Fun Fact: Did you know that Cristiano even has a galaxy named after him?
2. Kylie Jenner
Although she may be the youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner bunch, she has overtaken her reality TV star sisters. According to Forbes, Jenner became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire in 2019. Self-made or from a privileged background? That’s for you to decide.
But, the famous personality didn’t stop there. In August 2015, she launched Kylie Cosmetics, a brand specializing in lip kits, eyeshadows, and make-up.
Following on from this, Instagram’s most-followed woman has gone on to launch three more brands. Kylie Skin, Kylie Swim, and Kylie Baby.
Age: 24 years old (August 10, 1997)
Net Worth: $700 million
Instagram Followers: 315 million
Fun Fact: Kylie previously lied about having lip fillers. Her significantly different appearance from when she first starred on KUWTK inspired the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge challenge. People would blow up their lips to twice their normal size using a glass. Some even were injured in the process.
3. Lionel Messi
We mentioned before that soccer is the world’s most known sport. So, it is no wonder that another soccer player makes it onto the list of the most famous people in the world.
This time, we have Lionel Messi. An Argentinian soccer player who not only plays for the Paris Saint-Germain but is also the captain of the Argentina national team.
Messi is considered to be one of the greatest football players of all time.
Age: 34 years old (June 24, 1987)
Net Worth: $400 million
Instagram Followers: 309 million
Fun Fact: Messi’s professional soccer career was threatened when he was diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency at just ten years old. After four years of treatment, he became a part of Barcelona’s “baby dream team.”
4. Dwayne Johnson
The American Hollywood movie star rose to fame as one of the most popular and charismatic professional wrestlers before turning to acting in 1995.
Dwayne, also known as The Rock, has been in 43 movies and 17 television series. His appearances range from the Fast and Furious franchise to Disney movies such as Moana.
His movies and TV appearances have grossed over $3.5 billion in North America and $10.5 billion worldwide. These figures make him the second-highest-paid actor in Hollywood.
Dwayne takes his health seriously and is always quick to offer health and diet tips. We’re all just waiting for this superstar to launch his own range of workout videos!
Age: 49 years old (May 2, 1972)
Net Worth: $320 million
Instagram Followers: 300 million
Fun Fact: The Rock is a third-generation WWE champion wrestler, with his father and grandfather before him being champions. His daughter, Simone Johnson (20), signed with WWE, making her the first-ever fourth-generation wrestler in WWE history.
5. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez ties in with the Rock, as they both have 300 million followers on Instagram. The American-born singer, actor, and producer began her career on Barney and Friends when she was ten years old.
Her teenage years were when she saw an increase in popularity after landing the lead role on the Disney Channel TV series Wizards of Waverly Place.
Gomez released her first album, “Kiss & Tell,” in 2009 and followed with a further two in 2010 and 2011. Selena is the most followed singer and actress on Instagram and has served as a UNICEF ambassador since she was 17 years old.
Age: 29 years old (July 22, 1992)
Net Worth: $75 million
Instagram Followers: 300 million
Fun Fact: Gomez was UNICEF’s first youngest ambassador and the first person to reach 100 million followers on Instagram.
6. Ariana Grande
Thanks to her four-octave vocal range, the American singer, songwriter, and actress Ariana Grande has received numerous awards throughout her career.
Grande’s career kicked off in a similar way to Selena Gomez’s after she played Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon TV series Victorious.
Since signing with her first record company in 2011, Grande has produced hit after hit. She even made the first solo artist to hold three spots on the hot 100 simultaneously.
Collaborations with other celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and the Weekend have also helped propel Grande’s fame even further.
Age: 28 years old (June 26, 1993)
Net Worth: $72 million
Instagram Followers: 297 million
Fun Fact: Ariana Grande is allergic to cats, so she has nine dog fur babies.
7. Kim Kardashian
Next on our list of the most famous people in the world is Kim Kardashian. The Kardashian-Jenner clan can actually thank the majority of their fame to their sister Kim.
If you know anything about the Kardashians, you’ll know that Kim climbed to fame because of a leaked sex tape with her ex-boyfriend and singer Ray-J.
Of course, they can also thank their Dad, famous attorney Robert Kardashian who represented OJ Simpson. But, in our opinion, we think Kim got everyone interested in the lives of the Kardashian bunch.
Twenty seasons of KUWTK, a marriage (and current divorce) to Kanye West, and four kids later, Kim Kardashian is still totally relevant and one of the most famous personalities of our time.
Age: 41 years old (October 20, 1980)
Net Worth: $1.8 billion
Instagram Followers: 289 million
Fun Fact: Kim first gained media attention after being seen with Paris Hilton.
8. Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter
Beyoncé was a former member of one of the best-selling girl’s groups of all time, Destiny’s Child. When the girl group called it quits in 2002, Beyoncé released her first debut solo album, Dangerously in Love.
Carter isn’t just known for her singing. She also starred in films such as The Lion King and Dream Girls before marrying one of the most successful rap artists Jay Z in 2008.
During her career, Queen Bee has received 28 Grammy Awards, 26 MTV Video Music Awards, including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, and 31 BET Awards. All of this success has had Carter recognized as the Top Female Artist of the Decade.
Age: 40 years old (September 4, 1981)
Net Worth: $500 million
Instagram Followers: 240 million
Fun Fact: Beyoncé and Mariah Carey and the only two solo artists to have hit No.1s in four different decades.
9. Khloe Kardashian
Yet another Kardashian pushing their way into the most famous person in the world’s top spots.
If you don’t know, Khloe Kardashian is the third Kardashian sister who, like her other siblings, appeared on Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
Since the launch of KUWTK, Khloe has also starred in the spin-off series and co-hosted the American X-factor. She now runs and actively promotes her clothing line, Good American, which made over $1 million on its very first day.
Age: 37 years old (June 27, 1984)
Net Worth: $50 million
Instagram Followers: 222 million
Fun Fact: Khloe originally had no desire to be on KUWTK. When E! said they’d only do the show if the entire family was involved, momager Kris Jenner took it into her own hands and did a whole lot of persuading. I’m sure Khloe’s now glad she took that opportunity.
10. Justin Bieber
From a bushy-haired teen singing on the streets of Canada to a heartthrob sensation, Justin Bieber took the world by storm.
Bieber became the youngest male artist to top the charts in 47 years after the release of My World 2.0. Remember his song “Baby”? Yeah, that’s probably why that album was such a hit.
From then on, Justin produced many albums, won numerous awards, and continued to charm his way into girls’ hearts everywhere.
With over 150 million records sold worldwide, Justin Bieber is one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
Age: 28 years old (March 1, 1994)
Net Worth: $285 million
Instagram Followers: 221 million
Fun Fact: Will Smith, also known as the Fresh Prince, is Bieber’s mentor. Justin regularly confides in Will and even involved his son, Jaden Smith, in his song “Never Say Never.”
Other Ways to Gauge Someone’s Fame
As we mentioned before, it’s hard to pinpoint who exactly is the most famous person in the world. We’ve spoken about Instagram followers, but what other ways can we dictate who the most famous people are? Let’s take a look.
Highest Net Worth
Now, the highest net worth doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is famous. But, if these people are worth this amount of money, they’ll have companies you know about.
Elon Musk – The founder and CEO of Tesla has an estimated net worth of $235 billion. Musk doesn’t just dabble in car technology. He co-founded Paypal, developed web software companies, and currently manufactures rockets.
Jeff Bezos – The second of the most famous persons, according to their net worth, is the Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos. After founding the company in 1994, Bezos has reached an estimated net worth of $177 billion.
Bernard Arnault- Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault is the chief executive and chairman of the world’s largest luxury goods company. His involvement of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has given him a net worth of $169 billion.
Bill Gates – Bill Gates is well known for being the founder of the world’s largest software company, Microsoft. His 1975 creation has landed him with a net worth of $129 billion.
Warren Buffett – Warren Buffett takes spot number 5. He is an American businessman and philanthropist who is considered the most successful investor of the 20th century.
The highest-paid actor title can be awarded for the amount they made in a single movie. Or the amount they have made over their entire acting careers. We’re going to look at the highest-earning actor for a single movie.
Keanu Reeves – If you class the most famous person in the world by the amount they’ve made on a single movie, Keanu ranks on top. The Matrix earned Reeves $156 million in total. That’s not a bad day in the office.
Bruce Willis – While he acquired many fans with his iconic performance as John McClain in the Die Hard movies, it was his 1999 movie The Sixth Sense that sees Bruce Willis ease in at joint second with $100 million of total income.
He won’t need to be moonlighting anymore!
Tom Cruise – Tom Cruise starred in two movies that earned him a total of $100 million. Mission: Impossible 2 and War of the Worlds bring Cruise tied in second place with Bruce Willis.
Will Smith – Will Smith also ties with Willis and Cruise for his role in the Men in Black 3. The series is one that many fans will instantly associate with Will Smith. The actor and rapper is also well known for his appearances on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and also the Bad Boys trilogy.
Robert Downey Jr. – Robert Downey Jr. earned $75 million for three different movies. Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Iron Man gave Robert the fifth spot. His role as Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made Robert Downey Jr. a household name.
After his early career was hindered by drug abuse, he rebuilt himself and is now one of Hollywood’s leading action stars.
Interestingly, the highest-paid actress is Scarlett Johansson, who earned $51 million, followed by Sofia Vergara – who happens to top the list of highest-paid Latin actresses
Best-Selling Music Artists
The music industry could also determine someone’s fame. With over 270 million daily music listeners, singers are some of the most-known people out there.
Elvis Presley – The King of Rock and Roll rightfully deserves his spot at the top. Elvis had over 500 million sales, making him the No.1 solo artist to date.
The king may be dead, but long live the king!
Michael Jackson – Respectfully followed with 400 million sales is the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. His hit songs “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” and “Rock with You” are known by generations everywhere.
After a career ridden with accusations and controversy, it is amazing to think of the contribution Michael Jackson made to the music world. His legacy lives on, even if he did pass away just as he was about to make a big comeback.
Elton John – Singer, pianist, and composer Elton John comes in at number three with 300 million sales. His career spans over six decades, so whether you were born in the 60s or more recently, you’ll most likely have listened to one of his songs.
Madonna – Madonna also ties with Elton John with a total of 300 million sales worldwide. Often considered the Queen of Pop, Madonna is an influential figure in the industry and one of the most famous celebrities alive.
Ever the controversial figure, Madonna is still shocking fans with her sexy look and alluring dance moves despite being in her 60s.
Rihanna – Rihanna takes the fifth and final spot. She has sold 250 million copies and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.
Rihanna has a long career ahead of her still, and if she carries on performing and producing hit after hit, surely she will go down in history as one of the twenty-first century’s greatest musical talents.
Final Thoughts the Most Famous Person in the World
Fame really can’t be measured. So whether you see it as Instagram numbers, net worth, or the most popular on Google, the answer will always be different.
As celebrities continue to work on new projects, we’re sure these answers will fluctuate and change.
Now that we’ve wrapped up, we’d love to know what do you rate fame by? And who springs to mind when asked, “who is the most famous person in the world?”? Let us know in the comments!