American actress Emma Stone. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Emma Stone is the world's highest-paid actress, according to Forbes magazine.

The 28-year-old star - who appeared in the musical romance 'La La Land' in 2016 - made $26 million (R344 million) in the last 12 months, thereby taking her past the earnings of Jennifer Lawrence, who claimed the top spot last year and in 2015.

Emma was followed on the list by former 'Friends' actress Jennifer Aniston, who made as much as $25.5 million (R337 million) over the same 12-month period, while Lawrence placed third with $24 million (R316 million).

Melissa McCarthy and Mila Kunis came in fourth and fifth places respectively, with 'Beauty and the Beast' actress Emma Watson in sixth.

In total, three women broke through the $20 million (R264 million) barrier this year, down from four a year earlier.

Confirmation of Emma's place at the top of the list comes shortly after the flame-haired star spoke out about the gender pay gap in Hollywood.

The 'La La Land' actress said she hopes she can one day use her voice to help stamp out sexism for good.

She explained: "There is so much power to our voices, and we need to speak out. That's something that I struggled with in the past, but it's very hard not to feel galvanized right now, politically or consciously.

"Nobody is going down without a fight - for love and humanity and equality and coming together. It's so inspiring to see marches and beautiful writing and creative work. 

"There's so much power and a grace coming out of so many people who have so much to lose, and the human spirit is incredible."

And Emma believes the "fight" for equality will ultimately prove to be worthwhile.

She said: "[Equality is] worth a fight every day. And I want to learn how to fight better."