For better or worse, these people’s decisions affect millions, shake industries, and change nations

It isn’t just wealth. And it isn’t just control over people or resources. No,true power is a potent combination of money and influence that enables people to help shape the world. But only a select group of people really possess the economic and political clout to effect global change.

Business Insider has compiled the following list of the world’s most powerful people — heads of state, billionaires, CEOs, and entertainers. To determine the ranking, we considered more than 100 of the most influential players in business, politics, and entertainment, and we evaluated their influence by using metrics in four major areas: economic power, command, newsworthiness, and impact — a subjective measure that captures how important they are in their respective spheres.

US President Barack Obama, leader of the world’s chief superpower, takes top honors, followed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, ruler of the a country making a serious challenge to US supremacy.

Read on to see the full list of the world’s 50 most powerful people right now:

50. Jay Z and Beyoncé


Win McNamee / Getty

Titles: Singer (Beyoncé), rapper and entrepreneur (Jay Z)

Country: US

Age: 34 (Beyoncé), 45 (Jay Z)

Music’s biggest power couple, Beyoncé and Jay Z turn nearly everything they touch into gold, which has helped them mint a combined fortune of $950 million.

Beyoncé shocked the music industry in 2013 when she released an albumon iTunes without promotion — it went on to sell over 5 million copiesthanks to hits like “Drunk in Love” and “Partition.”

Jay Z is consistently one of the highest earners in music, reportedly raking in $56 million last year through his many ventures, including his Roc Nation music label and its sports division. Though his streaming service, Tidal, encountered some turbulencethe hip-hop mogul himself forgot he owned it — Jay Z is still just about everywhere in the entertainment industry.


  • Troy Wilkinson

    Jay Z and Beyonce cannot possibly with a straight face be considered anywhere in the top 500 let alone top 50 powerful people. No one care’s what they have to say. They couldn’t even help Hillary win the election. People who had already decided their affiliations turned out to watch them at rallies and concerts. They changed exactly zero minds and won zero hearts. So where is the power at? They don’t even have as much power as advertising jingle writers. At least they convince people of a product or a service.

    • reg joe

      Because you don’t understand power and influence doesn’t mean that they don’t possess it. Beyoncé COMMANDS appearance fees in the millions and is one of the most sought after entertainers without even performing her craft. That’s power and that’s moving the industry needle. Jay-Z was a part owner of the Brooklyn Nets, owner of the 40/40 clubs worldwide, owner of Armadale Vodka, Owner of Roc Nation Sports Management, Owner of Roc Nation Entertainment, are you starting to get the picture? That’s not even all. He owns a Media Streaming service (Tidal) and even owns part of the Barclays Center which rivals Madison Square Garden. They employ thousands of folks and have insane influence in the entertainment world. With a gross worth of over 950 million dollars, it would be foolish to think otherwise. Stop being so bitter and hateful. They have earned their places in the industry and theres nothing wrong with a congrats while you move along.

  • gardenbaglady

    Beyonce powerful? ugh, has no effect on my life at all