10 Women in Entertainment who Shattered the Glass Ceiling

Women have proven their ability to lead, especially when their abilities are questioned.

Throughout the decades, despite plenty of obstacles standing in their way, women have been at the forefront of the entertainment industry. From acting and directing in iconic films to performing legendary songs and selling millions of albums, women in entertainment who shattered the glass ceiling, have earned incredible success while breaking barriers, fighting for pay equity and inspiring future generations of entertainers.

There are countless women who have shattered the glass ceiling, whose influence can be felt in the worlds of film, television, music and art, but these women have broken new ground as entertainers, activists and philanthropists.

 The focus must be on the things individual women have achieved. So, here’s a long list of women who have shattered the glass ceiling in entertainment:

1. Beyonce:

A writer, producer, actress, model, musician and cultural icon, Beyonce, is arguably the women in entertainment who shattered the glass ceiling by influencing celebrity of her generation. She’s scored the most Grammy nominations of any female artist, winning 23 times, and has sold more than 160 million records as a solo artist and member of R&B group Destiny’s Child.

2. Jane Fonda:

A descendant of Hollywood royalty — she’s the daughter of actor Henry Fonda. Jane Fonda, has established her own place, as one of film’s most compelling comedic actresses. Before she was the star of Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie,” Fonda built a fitness empire with her trademark, at-home exercise videos, and stirred controversy as she protested the wars in Vietnam and Iraq.

3. Sally Field:

From her starring role in sitcoms like “he Flying Nun” and “Gidget” to Academy Award winning performances in “Norma Rae” and “Places in the Heart,” the upbeat charm and incredible talent of Sally Field, has earned the love of movie fans everywhere. Throughout her career, Field has been a passionate advocate for a number of causes, including LGBT equality.

4. Ella Fitzgerald:

Dubbed the “First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald’s ground breaking career, spanned nearly six decades. In that time, she performed some of American music’s most notable songs, including “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” and “Dream a Little Dream of Me.”

5. Aretha Franklin:

Arguably the most powerful voice of all time and the undisputed Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin should be remembered as much for her activism, as for her anthems like “Respect” and “I Say A Little Prayer For You.” In the 1960s and ‘70s, Franklin was a frequent performer at civil rights protests, and was a lifelong supporter of Native American rights.

6. Jennifer Lopez:

From her roots as a Fly Girl, Jennifer Lopez has blossomed into a full-blown mogul. After her first leading role in 1997’s “Selena,” Lopez became the first Latina actress to command a $1 million salary per film, and blew up the charts with Latin-pop hits like “Jenny From The Block.” She’s also an apparel and fragrance entrepreneur, with a net worth estimated at around $400 million.

7. Madonna:

With a name like Madonna Louise Ciccone, this Detroit-area icon, was born to be a star. Since her 1983 debut, Madonna has sold more than 300 million albums worldwide, making her the best-selling female artist of all time. She’s also earned acclaim as an actress, cultural influencer and constant chameleon.

8. Natalie Maines:

As the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, Natalie Maines, stirred the biggest controversy in country music history, when she made anti-war comments on a London stage in 2002. As the years have passed, though, Maines has been vindicated, and even though you still won’t hear Dixie Chicks songs on country radio, she’s still recognized as one of the genre’s all-time finest voices, and an outspoken advocate for equality.

9. Loretta Lynn:

Most people recognize Loretta Lynn from her iconic song “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which was developed into a film starring Sissy Spacek in the title role, but Lynn’s influence on country music, is much broader than that. With provocative hits like “The Pill” and “Fist City,” Lynn has blazed the trail for countless female artists, who approach their music with a similarly fearless mentality.

10. Oprah Winfrey:

Now a mogul with a multibillion-dollar fortune, Oprah Winfrey, came from the humblest of beginnings in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Winfrey got her start with the legendary “Oprah Winfrey Show”, and has since gone on to earn multiple Academy Award nominations, thanks to impressive acting performances in films like “The Color Purple” and “Selma.”

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