1. Rihanna

Rihanna Fenty Beauty Presentation in Madrid Source:Getty

The singer and designer already has an amazing music and fashion career, but this year she changed the game with her Fenty Beauty release, which proved that making different shades of makeup for all kinds of women is not only possible, but extremely profitable.

2. Keisha Lance Bottoms

2017 AC3 Festival - ChooseATL Welcome To Atlanta Reception Honoring Kevin 'Coach K' Lee And Angela Rye Source:Getty

Keisha Lance Bottoms is just one of many Black women taking over the political sphere in Trump’s America, surely signaling massive change on the way. Bottoms won the spot of the mayor of Atlanta in a sweeping victory built on a grassroots movement.

3. Serena Williams

Audemars Piguet Art Commission Presents 'Reconstruction of the Universe' By Sun Xun Source:Getty

She’s already conquered the tennis sphere, securing her spot as the best player in the world, but Serena Williams also got married and started a family in 2017, proving women really can have it all.

4. Elaine Welteroth

2017 Glamour Women Of The Year Awards Source:Getty

While Teen Vogue announced sad news of the suspension of its print edition, it’s Editor in Chief shows no signs of slowing down after ushering in a new era for the magazine that encouraged young women to discuss politics, race and social justice in addition to fashion and beauty.

5. Bozoma Saint John

2016 BET Experience - Apple Music And BET Present 'New Faces of R&B' Source:Getty

The former Apple Music marketing exec made history this year as the first Black Chief Brand Officer at Uber, paving the way for Black women in the tech space.

6. Tiffany Haddish

2017 Black Girls Rock! Source:Getty

The “Girls Trip” actress was a true breakout star of 2017, capturing the hearts of viewers everywhere with her infectious personality and unapologetic brand of humor. She also made history as the first Black comedienne to host “Saturday Night Live.”

7. Cardi B

Rihanna's 3rd Annual Diamond Ball Benefitting The Clara Lionel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street - Arrivals Source:Getty

It was definitely the year of Cardi, with her single “Bodak Yellow” taking over the charts, even topping Taylor Swift as the number one song on the BIllboard Charts. Since then, Cardi has been everywhere and is showing no signs of slowing down.

8. Lupita Nyong’o

2017 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals Source:Getty

Lupita was not only the star of one of the year’s biggest films (“The Last Jedi”), but she was also among the women leading the charge of #MeToo, speaking out against Harvey Weinstein for her his extremely disturbing alleged sexual assault of her. Her courage to come forward was remarkable and inspired a wave of other women to do so as well.

9. Angela Rye

11th Annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute Source:Getty

The political pundit has become one of the most welcome voices of opposition against racial and gender discrimination, dragging the Trump administration and others in Washington for all of their ridiculousness. The attorney is also the CEO of Impact Strategies, a firm which specializes in political advocacy.

10. Jesmyn Ward

68th National Book Awards Source:Getty

Winner of the National Book Award for fiction for her incredible work “Sing, Unburied, Sing,” Ward has become one of the most influential black writers in the game. The English professor at Tulane University clearly has an incredible future ahead of her.

11. Lena Waithe

Vulture Festival Los Angeles - Day 2 Source:Getty

Writer, producer and actress Lena Waithe has been writing and acting for years on her series “Master Of None” with Aziz Ansari, but 2017 was definitely her biggest year to date, making history as the first Black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Writer in a Comedy series and using the platform to speak out for LGBTQ rights.

12. Dee Rees

Variety And Women In Film Annual Pre-Emmy Celebration - Arrivals Source:Getty

The screenwriter already had smaller hits like “Bessie” under her belt, but her incredible drama “Mudbound,” complete with a star-studded cast wowed audiences and caught the attention of Netflix, who bought the film for $12.5M following waves of Oscar buzz.

13. Michelle Obama

The 2017 ESPYS - Show Source:Getty

Since leaving the White House and breaking our collective hearts in the absence of her presence as First Lady, Michelle Obama has been living her well-earned best life, while also making notable appearances like the ESPYs and Women’s Empowerment in Philadelphia.

14. Zendaya

CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Show and Tea at Chateau Marmont Source:Getty

Zendaya has not only become one of Hollywood’s most notably stylish celebrities, but she’s also become one of the most outspoken critics of social inequality and a business owner at that (with her clothing line Daya by Zendaya). She’s also been in some of the year’s biggest films.

15. Gabrielle Union

Variety And Women In Film's 2017 Pre-Emmy Celebration - Arrivals Source:Getty

Gabrielle Union had a stellar year with the release of her book, her fashion line with New York & Company and not to mention her fashionable appearances with hubby Dwyane Wade. And while “Being Mary Jane” has been canceled, the actress shows zero signs of slowing down.

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