Gaga, Bey, and Shakire amongst world leaders on Forbes' 2014 "Most Powerful Women" list.

This is FORBES’ definitive annual guide to the extraordinary icons and leaders, groundbreakers and ceiling crashers who command the world stage.

In our annual snapshot of the 100 women with the most impact we showcase the top politicians, finance and business leaders, activist billionaires and celebrities who matter. In roughly equal measure you’ll find entrepreneurs and media mavens, technologists and philanthropists — all ranked by money, media momentum, spheres of influence and impact (see full methodology here).

Power is a charged word that covers more than the traditional definition of political and economic might. Good thing: Less than 5% of the top companies have women CEOs. Slightly more than 10% of the 1,645 FORBES’ Worlds Billionaires 2014 are women. There are 14 incumbent female heads of state. We think differently. In addition to the hammer-and-nail philosophy, we look to leaders whose tools are their impact and influence on the global stage.

The 2014 Most Powerful Women list features nine heads of state who run nations with a combined GDP of $11.1 trillion with 641 million citizens — including the No. 1 Power Woman, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The 28 corporate CEOs control $1.7 trillion in annual revenues, and 18 of the women here founded their own companies or foundations, including our youngest self-made billionaire, Sara Blakely, 43. Speaking of, this year’s class has 13 billionaires valued in excess of $81 billion. The total social media footprint of all 100 exceeds 812 million followers/fans.

#6 Hillary Clinton

She hasn't even announced a presidential bid and already she has the Ready for Hillary super PAC (raising $1.7 million in Q1 2014 alone) and her opposition is heating up in equal measure. There is no denying that Hillary is a fierce political force to be reckoned with. And should she be the first woman president of the U.S. come 2016, it would not be her first foray into breaking barriers. She is the first and only first lady to become a U.S. Senator, not to mention presidential candidate. Her upcoming memoir, "Hard Choices," which chronicles her time as Secretary of State, reportedly earned her a high-seven-figure advance. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that 57% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Hillary -- including nearly a quarter of the Republicans polled. Of the Democrats and independents polled, more than half said they would vote for her in the party's primary elections, compared with 10% for Vice President Joe Biden.

#8 Michelle Obama

She may not carry the hard power of her husband but there's arguably no one who makes better use of the world stage. The Harvard grad and former corporate attorney (she was Barack Obama's boss) actively uses her platform as first lady to fight childhood obesity and promote healthier eating and lifestyles. With approval ratings at 66%, she's more popular than her husband by far (44%) -- likely because she spends more time laughing on TV than running the country. In 2013, Obama announced the Academy Award for Best Picture, mock "mom dancing" with Jimmy Fallon (18 million views on YouTube) and launched an initiative aimed at increasing the number of low-income students who go to college. This year she's been extremely visible globally, taking a trip to China in March, where she met with her Chinese counterpart and fellow Power Woman Peng Liyuan.

#17 Beyonce Knowles

Beyonce is a woman who's had no shortage of big years, but 2013 was one for the record books. The 32-year-old superstar capped off a banner year that included singing for the president, performing at the Super Bowl, and headlining the most profitable tour of the year by shocking the world with a surprise "visual album" in December. The album is iTunes' fastest-selling album ever, moving 828,773 units in the first three days. She wrapped up the "Mrs. Carter" world tour in the spring, and will hit the road again this summer -- this time joined by Mr. Carter, husband Jay Z. The duo topped Forbes list of the highest-earning celebrity couples last year, with Beyonce out-earning the hip-hop mogul by $11 million. The singer is also embracing her role as an icon of women's empowerment, declaring that "gender equality is a myth" in an essay for The Shriver Report, throwing her weight behind Sheryl Sandberg's campaign to "Ban Bossy," and sampling author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED talk, "We should all be feminists," on her new album.

#58 Shakira Mebarak

Colombian-born Shakira is a true global superstar. Since launching her music career at age 13, she's sold close to 60 million albums worldwide, topped the charts in 55 countries, and is the "most liked" person on Facebook with 93 million followers. In 2011 she was appointed by President Obama to the President's dvisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. She is also a UNICEF ambassador and founder of the Barefoot Foundation, which she established when she was 18 to provide early education systems around the world. The nonprofit opened its eighth school this year, its sixth in Colombia. Stateside she's in her second season as a coach on NBC hit "The Voice," recently partnered with P&G to sell toothpaste, and just released her tenth studio album, self-titled "Shakira."

#67 Lady Gaga

With the 2013 release of "Artpop," her third studio album, the Queen Monster's catwalk to fame has faltered, but not enough to knock her off the list. She earned an estimated $50 million from her Born This Way Tour -- cut short by a hip injury -- and last year she landed at No. 2 on FORBES Celebrity 100 list with $80 million in earnings. Her perfume venture and various design collaborations with Polaroid, Armani, H&M, and the artist Jeff Koons have continued to fuel her success and keep her in the public eye. With 41 million Twitter followers and 65 million Facebook fans, she commands the attention of her little monsters with just a click. But accusations earlier this year about her Born This Way Foundation's potential misuse of funds dealt another blow to her image, leaving many reminiscing about her early career when she could "Just Dance."

The shade, though. She's on your list, let her live!

at Bey, Gaga, and Shakira being the only musicians on the list.

Introduction to the list and the overall list.