Introducing Powerful Moms of 2016

From entertainers to entrepreneurs, politicians to philanthropists, tech mavens to money moguls, this year’s crop of mover-and-shaker working moms rule the world!

adele

Adele *

[Arts/Entertainment]
Musician/Songwriter/Producer
Children: Angelo, 3
This gorgeous songbird mama, new to our list this year, has reach. Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born and raised in the projects of London, her undeniable talent eventually propelling her into a top-rated London performing-arts school. Today, the young mom completely rules the charts, churning out hit after hit that tugs on the heartstrings of kids and grandparents alike. She boasts last year’s world’s best-selling album, 25 (her third best-selling album in a row), boosting global music business revenues for the first time in almost 20 years. Plus, there’s organic power in her charm and down-to-earth demeanor—millions have watched her Carpool Karaoke segment with James Cordon, making it the most viewed ever. Even with all her success, she recently told Vogue that being Angelo’s mother is her most fulfilling achievement: “[Angelo] makes me very proud of myself. When I became a parent, I felt like I was truly living. I had a purpose, where before I didn’t.” We can’t wait to see where that purpose takes her next.

Beyonce

Beyonce

[Arts/Entertainment]
Actress/Musician/Producer
Children: Blue Ivy, 4
There’s no stopping this force of nature—every time she sets a bar, she scales it with her next accomplishment. Just look at the already enormous reach and stir over her just released album, Lemonade—CNN just tagged her “the new political goddess.” Beyonce earned an estimated $250 million as of 2015, According to Forbes. The most-nominated woman in Grammy history with 20 awards and 53 nods, her recent single “Formation” championed black culture even as it caused a stir with police. Of the controversy, Bey had it handled: “If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me. I’m proud of what we created and I’m proud to be a part of a conversation that is pushing things forward in a positive way,” she told Elle. As a businessperson, she’s never at a loss for ways to add to her revenue stream. In partnership with Topshop, her latest venture, Ivy Park, marks her upcoming foray into the bustling athleisure market. Another new venture: a music label arm of her company, Parkwood Entertainment, featuring artists she’s handpicked and groomed herself. In her own words from “Formation”: “Sometimes I go off, I go hard / Get what’s mine, I’m a star / ’Cause I slay.” All we can do is nod and dance along.

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett

[Arts/Entertainment]
Actress/Producer/Writer
Children: Dashiell, 14, Roman, 11, Ignatius, 8, Edith, 1
During her amazing career thus far, this two-time Oscar winner (and seven-time nominee) has also earned almost every other acting accolade imaginable while raising four kids. Cate is easily one of the great actors of our time. She’s portrayed the likes of Elizabeth I, Katherine Hepburn and Bob Dylan, as well as complicated women of mettle who struggle with mental illness (Blue Jasmine) and balance formidable strength to be who they really are in spite of the times (Carol), equally convincingly. To balance the demands of raising children with her art, she’s grown increasingly choosy about what she takes on. “[Children] force you to be economical. To choose your roles wisely and then shrug them off as soon as you’re done,” she told The Guardian. When asked how she juggles demanding roles with parenting, she retorts, “Now, I might be wrong, but I don’t think they put the same question to male actors, do they?” No, they don’t Cate. But we agree they should.

Viola Davis

Viola Davis *

[Arts/Entertainment]
Actress/Producer
Children: Genesis, 5
She’s been long respected and revered by her professional peers for an outstanding body of powerful acting performances. And the Juilliard-trained Viola has been racking up some serious prizes to show for it: two Tonys, a SAG award (and Oscar and Golden Globe nods) for her lead role in 2011’s The Help and in 2015, the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her juicy role as Annalise on How to Get Away with Murder—the first African American woman, as well as the first black woman of any nationality, to win it. Viola uses most every acceptance speech and other platforms to stump for the advancement of women of color in hers and other industries. Mind you, though, this serious actor isn’t without a sense of humor. She posted an adorable picture of her daughter dressed up as her—complete with mock Emmy—for Halloween. This year, she’s starring in the film of August Wilson’s Fences—in the role for which she earned a Tony—along with the film’s director, Denzel Washington. Admitted fans that we are, we’re beyond excited to see how that turns out.

Cecile Frot-Coutaz

Cecile Frot-Coutaz *

[Arts/Entertainment]
CEO, FremantleMedia Group
Children: Two
Though American Idol just ended, Cecile, the CEO of FremantleMedia Group (the global company that produced it), is still in charge of America’s Got Talent,The X Factor USA and every version of these shows around the world, along with other shows like Family Feud. Her award-winning international production company has earned BAFTAs, NAACP Image Awards and Daytime Emmys, galore. Cecile herself has garnered NATPE Content First’s 9th annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award, among many other accolades that line her mantle. Once this French-born workmom took the worldwide helm of FremantleMedia in 2012 (after running the North American division), she set about preparing the business for future growth, developing a digital strategy and investing in scripted programming. In 2014, she was awarded a Medaille d’Honneur for her significant contribution to TV and the development of the international entertainment community. She’s known in Hollywood as the queen of reality TV, and Simon Cowell once described Cecile as “a combination of a kitten and a shark.” Sounds intriguing.

Read more here  compiled from Essence.com and Working Women.

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