The people at Guinness World Records have been keeping track of the most impressive — and bizarre — accomplishments and milestones since the 1950s. The company’s annual book, which started as a way to help settle pub arguments over obscure matters of trivia, keeps track of everything from the world’s longest fingernails to the world’s richest living person.
Mixed in with all of the everyday people who happen to hold extraordinary records are household names who’ve pulled off one-of-a-kind feats. From actors to musicians to politicians, these are some of the most notable celebrities who hold Guinness World Records.
On top of all her accomplishments in entertainment and business, does it really surprise you that Dolly Parton is a world record holder? The legendary singer and songwriter has been recognized by Guinness on four different occasions, all related to her prowess as a hitmaker. She holds the markers for most No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart both among women and all artists, as well as the longest span between No. 1 hits, which was more than 35 years between 1971’s “Joshua” and 2006’s “When I Get Where I’m Going.”
But Parton’s most impressive record may be her six decades with a top-20 country hit, which spanned from the 1960s through the 2010s.
Both of the celebs in this photo hold Guinness World Records, but we’ll get to Selena Gomez in a bit. Pop heartthrob Justin Bieber has several plaques from the record keepers on his wall, including several that can never be broken. He was the first artist to ever have three chart-topping albums by the time he turned 18 and was also the first to ever hold the top three positions on the U.K. singles chart at the same time. He also has the honor of having the most disliked video in YouTube history.
You should go and love yourself, haters.
Another music icon who has a Guinness World Record among her achievements is Taylor Swift. The singer/songwriter may also have plenty of haters, but it’s pretty easy to shake it off when you’ve made as much money as she has. In 2019, Swift set the world record for earnings by a woman musician in a single year when she raked in $185 million from June 2018 to June 2019. That broke her own record — she’d previously held it when she’d earned $170 million from 2015-2016.
In case you wondered, the all-time record by any musician is held by Dr. Dre from his $620 million year from 2013-2014.
We told you all about Cristiano Ronaldo’s near-untouchable legacy on the football pitch in our ranking of the best men’s soccer players in history, but he’s even more impressive online. The Portuguese legend could arguably be called the king of social media, if his list of Guinness World Records counts for anything. Not only has he earned the title of most Twitter followers for an athlete, he’s also the single most-followed person on Instagram and Facebook, as confirmed by the record keepers.
While Ronaldo is probably an easy guess for social media domination, David Bowie doesn’t seem as obvious a fit for that kind of world record. However, the late rock god managed to smash a pretty impressive milestone a day after his death. In a span of 24 hours on Jan. 11, 2016, Bowie’s music videos were watched an incredible 51 million times on Vevo, which is the all-time record for single-day views on that platform. The most-watched video that day was that for his 2016 track “Lazarus,” which was watched more than 11 million times alone.
The previous record was held by fellow Brit Adele, whose videos earned 36 million views in one day in 2015.
The beloved star of Marvel’s smash-hit “Black Panther” holds one of the most impressive celebrity world records, but he unfortunately didn’t live to know it. The 43-year-old actor died on Aug. 28, 2020, after a long battle with cancer that he and his family kept private, stunning the world with the news of his passing. The day after Boseman’s death, a tweet was posted from his official account that showed a great photo of him alongside some heartfelt text.
Guinness World Records quickly verified that the post was the most liked in Twitter history, racking up more than 7.7 million likes so far. The tweet easily unseated one posted by former President Barack Obama in 2017, which had earned 4.3 million likes.
While her TV show has been embroiled in backstage controversy that threatens to ruin its run of daytime dominance, Ellen DeGeneres still has plenty of great achievements from her career. Among them are a Guinness World Record that puts her personal brand as a beloved star in perspective. There are plenty of huge celebrities hosting TV shows but, according to Guinness, DeGeneres has more Twitter followers than any of them. She’s led all TV personalities in that department since 2016, but we’ll see if this drama takes a toll on her flock.
Speaking of social media superstars, Katy Perry is one of the biggest on the planet. While records for the total number of followers or likes can — and likely will — be broken, the singer and “American Idol” judge has one that can never be taken away from her. In June 2017, her Twitter account became the first in history to amass 100 million followers. She now counts more than 108 million accounts among her follower tally, which makes her the most-followed woman on the platform and third overall behind Barack Obama and Justin Bieber.
When you think of the most iconic live music acts, you probably think of legends like the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and U2. However, Ed Sheeran has reached a couple milestones those guys have never touched. The British singer/songwriter locked down two Guinness World Records in 2019 for his marathon “Divide” tour. That tour earned him the all-time marks for highest attendance and most earnings for a single music tour. More than 8.8 million fans paid to see him at 255 dates from March 2017 to August 2019.
His 2017 album, “Divide,” also set a record for the fastest-selling pop album by a male artist in U.K. history.
If you know anything about Eminem’s music, it’s probably that he curses a lot. But if you know another thing about his music, it’s probably that he is a master lyricist. The notorious rapper holds at least two Guinness World Records that are a testament to his popularity and his skill on the mic. In May 2020, he was certified as the most-liked male musician on Facebook, with more than 86.4 million fans giving him a thumbs-up.
But the record he set in 2013 is arguably more impressive, as his song “Rap God” set the mark for most words in a hit single. The dizzying track packs 1,560 words into just over 6 minutes, making for about 4.28 words per second!
If you’ve paid any attention to competitive gymnastics in the past few years, it shouldn’t surprise you at all that Simone Biles has some Guinness World Records among her many trophies. According to Guinness, the American phenom has broken at least six world records in her sport, including the highest margin of victory by a woman in an Olympic gymnastics all-around final, which she set in 2016. The 25 medals she’s won at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship since 2013 is also the all-time mark for that event among athletes of any gender.
The late, great Kobe Bryant is another sports icon who started setting world records at a young age. When Bryant came to the NBA straight out of high school — a move that is no longer allowed — he broke the Guinness World Record as the youngest person to ever start in an NBA game. He was only 18 years and 158 days old when he was first penciled into the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers in January 1997. Bryant was also the first person to ever win an Olympic medal and an Oscar.
After Ariana Grande released her instant-classic breakup track “thank u, next,” in 2015, it didn’t take long for her to earn a Guinness World Record. Eleven days after the song dropped on Spotify, it had been played 100 million times, which is the shortest span in which any song has hit that plateau. In 2018, she also set the all-time mark for listens on Spotify in a single year for a woman artist, with her music being played more than 3 billion times.
OK, this might be the most unexpected celebrity-held record on the books at Guinness. Anthony Anderson’s claim to record-breaking fame has nothing to do with his career as an actor but instead comes from his love of golf. The “Black-ish” star took part in an attempt to shatter a Guinness World Record in 2019, when he was offered the chance to swing the longest “usable” golf club ever built. The club was more than 37 feet long and Anderson had to use it to hit a golf ball at least 82 feet.
It took a few tries — including one where he broke the club — but he eventually hit the ball 106 feet, securing himself a unique place in history!
Colombian pop icon Shakira has one of the biggest fanbases in the world, and if you don’t believe us, just check out her Guinness certifications. The “Whenever, Wherever” singer has a record-smashing following on one social media platform. According to the record keepers, Shakira’s official Facebook page has the most likes of any musician on the planet and was the first page for a person to rack up 100 million likes. Even more impressive is the fact that she’s also the most-liked woman on Facebook.
Hips don’t lie and neither do likes.
Speaking of Facebook-related world records, would you guess that Vin Diesel is the most popular actor on the social media platform? His tally of more than 96 million likes surpasses fellow movie stars like Will Smith and Dwayne Johnson, giving him an impressive certification. Diesel’s 2013 post about the death of his friend and frequent co-star Paul Walker also broke the Guinness World Record for the most-liked item ever posted on Facebook, when it surpassed 7.8 million likes in 2014.
What would a list of impressive celebrity feats be without Oprah Winfrey? Arguably the all-time legend of daytime television, Winfrey holds at least two Guinness World Records related to her prowess in that medium. From June 2009 to June 2010, Winfrey made an estimated $275 million, which is still the all-time high for a woman TV personality in a single year. In May 2003, she set another money-related record that is still standing after nearly 20 years, when she signed a $279 million contract with ABC, recognized by Guinness as the biggest TV contract in history.
We told you we’d get to Selena Gomez in due time. The actor and musician has her own impressive certification from Guinness that will never be taken away from her. In September 2016, less than six years after Instagram had launched, her account became the first to amass 100 million followers. In the four years that have followed, she’s nearly doubled that tally, reaching an audience of 192 million followers with each of her posts as of this writing.
But she wouldn’t be the first individual to 200 million followers, as both Ariana Grande and Cristiano Ronaldo have already hit that mark.
Speaking of Instagram speed records, Jennifer Aniston set a pretty impressive one in October 2019. That’s when the beloved star of “Friends” finally decided to join the social media platform. From the time she signed up, it only took 5 hours and 16 minutes for her to hit 1 million followers! That was the shortest span to reach that milestone in Instagram history, according to Guinness. Her first post helped her nail the record, as it was a new selfie taken with all five of her co-stars from that iconic sitcom.
If we’re talking about world records based on social media influence, it’s impossible not to mention the guys in BTS. The South Korean pop giants have set numerous Guinness-recognized benchmarks in the past few years related to their popularity on several platforms. Their prowess on YouTube is legendary, with the 2020 release of their music video “Dynamite” shattering three world records alone, including the most-viewed video of any kind in its first 24 hours online.
BTS has also set the speed record for reaching 1 million followers on TikTok, which they did in 3 hours and 31 minutes in September 2019.
The prowess of Serena Williams on the tennis court is arguably unmatched, and she has several Guinness World Records that help solidify that claim. The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion broke a record in 2017, when she won her most recent of those titles at the Australian Open. The record was for the longest time span of Grand Slam singles tournaments won by any player, ranging 17 years and 139 days from her first to her most recent. She also became the oldest player in women’s tennis history to win such a tournament, as she was 35 years and 124 days old at the time.
Former President Richard Nixon held U.S. military commendations from his service in World War II, but he also counted a Guinness World Record among his achievements. The infamous politician has appeared on the cover of Time magazine more times than any other person in its long history. According to Guinness, Nixon’s mug has adorned the weekly magazine 55 times over the years, which is enough for more than an entire year of editions.
Speaking of divisive politicians, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has her own claim to fame related to Time magazine coverage. According to Guinness World Records, she has appeared on the cover of Time more often than any other woman, with 23 appearances as of December 2016. The former Democratic presidential nominee can count that certification among her impressive list of achievements, which also includes a Grammy Award.
Since it was first published in 1892, the American edition of Vogue magazine has only featured nine men on its cover, including George Clooney, Justin Bieber and LeBron James. But Richard Gere beat all of them to that honor. The “Pretty Woman” star was the first man to ever appear on the cover of the legendary fashion magazine, according to Guinness World Records. He was on the cover in November 1992 alongside then-wife Cindy Crawford.
Dame Judi Dench is an immense talent of the screen, so it makes sense that she’d set a world record related to her timeless appeal. When the Oscar-winning star appeared on the cover of British Vogue in June 2020, she set the mark as the oldest cover model in the publication’s long history. Dench was 85 years old at the time, making her 58 years older than Jodie Comer, the actress who had appeared on its cover just a couple months earlier.
While we’re on the subject of notable Brits who hold record-breaking distinctions, let’s talk about Prince Charles. The likely future king of England made his own bit of Guinness-recognized history nearly 40 years ago. On July 29, 1981, his wedding to Diana Spencer set the record for the most-watched wedding in TV history. It’s estimated that the broadcast of their union was watched by 750 million people in 74 countries around the globe.
Guinness still cites that wedding as the most-watched wedding ever on TV, although some reports have stated that nearly 2 billion people worldwide tuned in to watch the 2018 wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Angus T. Jones
Back when CBS’s “Two and a Half Men” was dominating TV ratings, its three stars were making huge money. In fact, Angus T. Jones, the youngest member of the main cast, set a Guinness World Record for his salary that still stands today. In 2010, it was reported that Jones was making a whopping $250,000 per episode of the hit series, making him the highest-paid child actor in TV history. Unfortunately, behind-the-scenes drama and a change of heart by Jones himself eventually led to the show’s demise.
Music legend Stevie Wonder has a Guinness World Record that should make everyone in the music industry a little jealous. The beloved singer and songwriter has won a whopping 22 Grammy Awards in his career, which goes back to his teens. That tally is the highest for any solo pop performer in the long history of that ceremony. Wonder’s most recent Grammy win came in 2007 for a collaboration with fellow icon Tony Bennett.
Another musical titan who has earned a world record for dominating a single award show is Beyoncé. The cultural icon has had plenty of success at the Grammys but her Guinness World Record comes for her history at the MTV Video Music Awards. In 2016, she surpassed Madonna as the winningest person ever at the VMAs. She’s won 26 of the famous “moon person” statues since 2003, including six in 2016 alone.
Caitlyn Jenner was known for breaking athletic marks back in her decathlon days, but she set a different type of speed record in 2015. The “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star made her debut on Twitter that year and it took almost no time for her to reach a huge following. Jenner had racked up 1 million followers in just 4 hours and 3 minutes on June 1, 2015, which is still the shortest window for an account to hit that benchmark. Since then, she’s grown it to 3.5 million followers as of this writing.