When it comes to those with the most Instagram followers, it’s no surprise that pop singers, athletes and Kardashians dominate the list. Some celebs even have Instagram follower counts that are higher than the population counts of entire nations. (To illustrate, Canada has about 37 million citizens, and Canadian Justin Bieber has over 103 million Insta-fans worldwide.)
In 2018, Selena Gomez was knocked out of her spot as the no. 1 most-followed account on Instagram by a well-known soccer player. Take a look at the other top-ranking celebs with the most Instagram followers below — in reverse order — as of January 2019.
30. Chris Brown—49.4 Million
Despite a controversial past dotted with arrests (including assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009), Chris Brown’s fanbase on Instagram remains strong. The R&B singer’s account is a mashup of memes, photos of his daughter, video clips of him performing and the latest fashions from his clothing brand, Black Pyramid. He also can’t stop commenting on Rihanna’s IG account.
29. Emma Watson—49.6 Million
British actress Emma Watson of “Harry Potter” fame is not afraid to be real with her fans on her Instagram account. The actress also posts behind-the-scenes photos of films she’s working on.
28. Vin Diesel—51.5 Million
Actor Vin Diesel’s Instagram has been poetically described as a “window into his beautiful soul.” Not only does he post the requisite movie promotions, but there are plenty of cute pics of his family as well. The actor is best known for starring in the “Fast and Furious” movie franchise.
27. Drake—52.8 Million
Drake — or, as he is known on Instagram, @champagnepapi — can make news headlines just by following or unfollowing someone on Instagram. The Canadian rapper has also used the social media platform to give fans a tour of his home and to document good deeds that he’s done.
26. Justin Timberlake—53.2 Million
Since his days as a member of NSYNC, Justin Timberlake has had a loyal fanbase. So it makes sense that the singer uses the social media platform to speak directly to his fans (including when he needed to reschedule tour dates due to health reasons). He also has posted sweet tributes to his wife, Jessica Biel, and their son Silas.
25. David Beckham—53.3 Million
British soccer star David Beckham still has a legion of Instagram fans, despite being retired from the sport. Perhaps his popularity can be explained by his very “posh” life. He’s married to former Spice Girl Victoria “Posh” Beckham, has four cute kids and even counts the Royal Family among his friends.
24. Zendaya—53.8 Million
If you’re older than 35, you may not understand the phenomenon of Zendaya’s popularity on Instagram. The actress and singer first got her start on the Disney Channel and has more recently appeared in films like “The Greatest Showman” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” She also released a self-titled music album in 2013. As her 53.7 million followers indicate, she’s a big deal!
23. Shakira—55.9 Million
While many early-aughts singers have seen their careers fizzle, Latin singer Shakira is still going strong. She released her latest album, “El Dorado,” in 2017. And fans can catch video clips from her most recent live tour on Instagram.
22. Ellen DeGeneres—63.7 Million
Although comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has over 60 million followers on her main Instagram account, @theellenshow, she also has hundreds of thousands on other accounts as well. On @theellenfund, she gives updates about her charity, the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund, while she uses @theellenshop to promote her merchandise. (You can see a lot of photos of her on her wife Portia de Rossi’s Instagram, too.)
21. Rihanna—66.7 Million
Between red carpet photos and shots from her latest tropical vacation, Rihanna’s Instagram account has plenty to keep her millions of fans happy. The singer and Fenty Beauty founder goes by the handle @badgirlriri on Instagram, no doubt a nod to her song “Bad Girl.” She has also used Instagram comments to confirm that she’s releasing a new album.
20. Kevin Hart—67.8 Million
Comedian Kevin Hart has managed to parlay his skills as a comedian into a successful movie career. However, his Instagram popularity hasn’t stopped him from being touched by scandal. Hart stepped down as the host of the Oscars in December 2018 after homophobic tweets the actor had posted in the past came to light.
19. Demi Lovato—70.9 Million
Singer and former Disney Channel star Demi Lovato is well-known for her struggles with sobriety and has taken breaks from Instagram while she’s dealt with addiction issues. That’s why Lovato’s Instagram fans are always happy to see her looking healthy in selfies on the platform. The singer was hospitalized in July 2018 after an apparent overdose and came back to Instagram in November with a post about voting.
18. Kourtney Kardashian—72 Million
As the oldest and (arguably) least scandalous of the Kardashian sisters, Kourtney Kardashian nonetheless has an impressive Instagram follower count — over 70 million! Although she was once linked to Justin Bieber, it’s the reality star and mother of three’s on-and-off relationship with boyfriend Scott Disick that has been the subject of many storylines on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”
17. Katy Perry—74.6 Million
Singer Katy Perry is not just one of the highest-paid women in music. She’s also one of the most popular, too. Between her over-the-top outfits and her romances with famous men, fans can’t seem to get enough of Perry’s Instagram posts. (Especially when it’s a post featuring her and boyfriend Orlando Bloom underneath a rainbow. In just one day, that post racked up almost 800,000 likes.)
16. Miley Cyrus—79.4 Million
Anyone looking at Miley Cyrus’ Instagram page may be surprised to see only 45 posts. That’s because the singer and former Disney Channel star wiped her account clean in the summer of 2018 and started over. In December 2018, fans speculated whether Cyrus and her longtime boyfriend, one-time fiancé Liam Hemsworth, had tied the knot after friends of the two posted videos of what seemed like the couple’s wedding on Instagram. (Turns out, the speculation was correct! The pair got married at Cyrus’ home in Tennessee on Dec. 23.)
15. Jennifer Lopez—84.6 Million
It feels like Jennifer Lopez has been famous forever, but the actress and singer first gained the public’s attention as the star of the film “Selena” in 1997. Since then, the singer and actress has released a slew of albums and movies and been married three times. (She’s currently dating former Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez.) In 2018, she was sued for posting a red carpet photo of herself to her Instagram account without officially licensing it. You can bet she won’t be hiring the photographer who sued her for any future photo shoots!
14. Khloe Kardashian—84.8 Million
Like most new moms, Khloe Kardashian can’t help posting photos of her baby, True, on her Instagram account, much to her many Instagram fans’ liking. The reality star might be as famous for her relationships with boyfriend Tristan Thompson and ex-husband Lamar Odom as she is for her many projects, including a now-defunct talk show and the denim brand Good American.
13. Nicki Minaj—97.3 Million
As a rapper, Nicki Minaj has been nominated for ten Grammy Awards. In her personal life, she is known for making waves on her social media accounts, including Instagram. In 2018 alone, she feuded with Cardi B, blocked her ex Meek Mills, and even made things “Instagram official” with a new boyfriend.
12. Kendall Jenner—101 Million
Like everyone else in her famous family, Kendall Jenner is popular on Instagram. However, as the only Kardashian without children, she instead uses her Instagram account to promote her modeling career with plenty of snaps of her posing for fashion shoots and walking down runways. Jenner also reportedly became “Instagram-official” with boyfriend Ben Simmons after she posted a teddy bear emoji on his Instagram account.
11. Justin Bieber—103 Million
Since getting married to Hailey Baldwin (or as she now goes on IG, @haileybieber), Justin Bieber’s fans have been treated to numerous photos of the couple. The Canadian singer first became famous as a 13-year-old when he was discovered on YouTube. He has released four albums.
10. Lionel Messi—105 Million
Like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar (both of whom we’ll get to in a minute), Lionel Messi is another professional soccer player with a huge Instagram following. He’s even considered by some to be one of the best players in the world. Originally from Argentina, Messi currently plays professionally for his national team and FC Barcelona.
9. Neymar—109 Million
Soccer star Neymar is one of the most popular soccer players in his home country of Brazil as well as in Europe, where he plays for French team Paris St.-Germain. He is reportedly the highest-paid footballer as well. (Not even allegations of fraud have diminished his popularity on Instagram.) The athlete’s full name is Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, but fans know him as just “Neymar.”
8. Taylor Swift—114 Million
Taylor Swift doesn’t use her Instagram platform just to post cute cat pics and photos from her latest tour (although she does do that frequently). When the singer declared her support for certain candidates in an Instagram post before the 2018 midterm elections, she was credited with a spike in voter registration.
7. Beyoncé—122 Million
Over 121 million people follow Beyoncé on Instagram, making her one of the most popular musical artists on the social platform. However, the singer follows absolutely no one back, not even her husband Jay-Z. Instead, she uses Instagram to post fashion pics, short music clips and candid photos of her family, much to the delight of her fans.
6. Kylie Jenner—123 Million
Not only is she a cosmetics mogul, but Kylie Jenner is reportedly the highest paid Instagram user. She reportedly makes $1 million per sponsored post. After disappearing from social media in 2017 while she was pregnant with her first child, Jenner returned in full force in 2018.
5. Kim Kardashian—124 Million
Although she’s been famous for over a decade, Kim Kardashian’s star doesn’t seem to be diminishing anytime soon. Thanks to a winning formula of cute photos of her kids and sexy bikini pics of herself, the reality star and mother of three is still the most-followed member of her famous family. (Although younger half-sister Kylie Jenner is not far behind.)
4. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson—127 Million
Unlike other celebs, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson frequently talks directly to his fans via his Instagram account. This has no doubt helped the former pro wrestler-turned-movie star rack up an enormous following on the social network. He even asks fans to send in photos.
3. Ariana Grande—142 Million
Pop star Ariana Grande’s latest hit, “Thank U, Next,” as well as her split from Pete Davidson seemed to keep fans glued to the singer’s Instagram account in 2018. The singer became famous as the star of the Nickelodeon show, “Victorious,” before releasing her first album in 2013.
2. Selena Gomez—144 Million
Although she was dethroned in 2018 by Cristiano Ronaldo as the most-followed celebrity, singer Selena Gomez still has one of the most popular Instagram accounts around. Despite this, Gomez revealed in the fall of 2018 that she was taking a break from social media to focus on and receive treatment for her reported mental health issues.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo—150 Million
Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo is currently the most-followed celebrity on Instagram, and it’s not hard to understand why. He’s considered to be the world’s most popular athlete, and he intersperses action shots of himself playing soccer with scenes of his cute family and personal life on his Instagram. A few photos of the footballer modeling underwear probably hasn’t hurt his follower count either.