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HBO Documentary Film "Beyonce: Life Is But A Dream" New York Premiere - Red Carpet

Source: Larry Busacca / Getty

Vice President Kamala Harris is the most powerful Black woman in the world. Even more powerful than Beyonce and Oprah Winfrey.

The two trail her – by a lot – according to Forbes.

Forbes released its 2023 list of the ‘World’s 100 Most Powerful Women,” and there are a few household names included. According to the publication, all awardees, “shape the policies, products and political fights that define our world.”

The New York Times Dealbook Summit 2023

Slaven Vlasic

According to the business publication, Madam Vice President Kamala Harris is the highest-ranking Black woman. At number three on the list, she is only two steps away from the pop culture powerhouse Taylor Swift (5). Oprah Winfrey is the next most influential Black woman after Vice President Harris at number 31.

Beyoncé RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR - Amsterdam

Kevin Mazur

Beyoncé moved up in ranks from her position of 80 in 2022 to 36 this year. Savage Fenty mogul and PUMA collaborator Rihanna sits at number 74. 

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - October 09, 2023

Jackson Lee

Barbie lands on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Woman List.

Barbie – who seemingly had a good year through a box office hit with celebrity favorites like Issa Rae, TV specials, and merch – made the list at 100. While Barbiecore continues to have fashion girlies in a chokehold, many can’t help but wonder, “Is this the first time a doll made the list?” And further, “how is Forbes really defining power?”

Since 2004, Forbes has published its annual list showcasing innovative women across the globe. Women are measured using various criteria, such as visibility and economic impact.

The 2023 iteration weighted the following most: money, media, impact, and spheres of influence. Forbes reports, “For political leaders, we weighed gross domestic products and populations; for corporate chiefs, revenues, valuations and employee counts were critical. Media mentions and social reach were analyzed for all.”

While we applaud the 2023 recipients, there are a few suggestions we would add.

The power of Black women is undeniable.

Black women are changemakers in their own right – women with unrelenting voices who unapologetically speak up, act bad, or say what most think. Sistas from all walks of life who change their industry and transform those outside. Heroines who ignore the status quo and keep people guessing and heads turning. And, she-roes who inspire and remind us of our own potential.

More specifically, our list includes a mother who brought receipts when people came for her daughter. A fashion icon who breaks the internet nearly every time she posts a pic. An artist who many love to hate, but can’t stop playing when they feel ‘a little ratchet.’ And a brave former artist who aired her dirty laundry, put her reputation in jeopardy, and probably settled for millions all within 24 hours.

These women sound pretty powerful to us. See our list of powerful women below (in no particular order). Tell us who you’d add.

1. Megan Thee Stallion

2023 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals Source:Getty

Megan Thee Stallion is the resident fashion slayer and ‘hot girl coach.’ Every song she touches skyrockets to the top of the charts. Every brand she represents sells out. And every video she posts is watched by millions. On top of all this, she’s a woman who stepped out and spoke her truth in court while many talked about her. And she also uses her platform to talk about mental health and self-care. 

2. Mary J. Blige

2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals Source:Getty

Everyone knows that Mary J. Blige should have a boot line. But we also know she is hip hop royalty. As the Queen of R&B and Soul, she defines an era and genre in music that the world continues to want to hear. Her genuine personality makes fans love her, and her style always brings the drama.

3. Issa Rae

The Hollywood Reporter 2022 Power 100 Women in Entertainment presented by Lifetime – Inside Source:Getty

Issa Rae is the only Barbie we recognize on this list. From her years on her YouTube sensation, “Awkward Black Girl,” to her time with Rap Sh*T, Issa continues to redefine what power can mean. She’s opened her own media companies to take control of her content and help young Black creatives. She’s opened businesses in the hood, where some dare not go. And, now she the reason why we all love Prosecco, with her new brand Viarae, even more.

4. Sexyy Red

HOT 107.9's Birthday Bash 2023 Source:Getty

Sexyy Red is the definition of raw authenticity, and people love her for it. Whether showing up on a red carpet with a stack of money as an accessory, or speaking candidly about “bedroom activities” and sexual prowess, she lives by her own rules. Her music is catchy and fun, and she thrives despite some criticism.

5. Keke Palmer

2023 Costume Institute Benefit - Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty Source:Getty

They call her Big Boss for a reason. Keke Palmer is a multihyphenate media powerhouse at an age where many are just beginning. She is a podcast producer, actress, influencer, model, and singer. And she does it all while juggling family and personal life and making everyone feel like her best friend. Amid relationship drama, she turned criticism into coins. She’s lived out loud, moved on, and moved up. Keke is everything – and so is her glam squad.

6. Cassie

"Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals Source:Getty

Cassie wasn’t a household name in the beginning of 2023. But by the end of the year, she is all many can talk about. After dropping a bombshell lawsuit against Sean Puffy Combs – and settling in a day – many are crediting her for starting a “Me Too” movement for the hip hop industry and giving a voice to other victims.  Cassie’s lawsuit was detailed, personal, and full of vulnerabilities. We commend her for stepping out.

7. Tina Knowles

Essence 11th Annual Black Women In Hollywood Awards Gala - Arrivals Source:Getty

Tina Knowles does not play about her daughter Beyonce. The world learned this in November 2023 when she dropped a 400-plus word caption on Instagram. The caption was in response to negative comments about Beyonce’s skin tone and hair color at her RENAISSANCE film premiere. Mama Tina bought receipts, names, and a few choice words for those with opinions. A day later, Beyonce dropped a face card. Debate over.

8. Kelly Rowland

Lancome X Louvre Photocall - Paris Fashion Week Source:Getty

Kelly Rowland “eats up the girlies and leaves no crumbs, cleans the dishes and wipes off the counter.” This is all according to her hubby Tim Weatherspoon who presented the fashion killa with an icon award in September 2023. And, he wasn’t lying. From coast to coast, country to country, Kelly’s couture has defined a new generation. Her style has transcended the norm and evolved into an exciting experience where we don’t know what she will wear next.

The grand return of the Melanin Awards amplifies and honors the finest Black-owned beauty brands with honest reviews, and discusses the evolution of beauty in Hip-Hop culture.