The true influencers! Time magazine revealed its annual list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” on Thursday, April 20 — and this year’s group includes a few surprises among the many obvious choices.
Oscar winner Viola Davis, Grammy winner John Legend, rapper and actor Riz Ahmed, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and philanthropist Melinda Gates graced the five different covers of this year’s issue.
Dozens of Hollywood stars also made the cut. The “Artists” category includes A-listers such as Emma Stone, Ed Sheeran, Alicia Keys, Ryan Reynolds, Leslie Jones, Margot Robbie, Sarah Paulson, James Corden and Demi Lovato. Meanwhile, Samantha Bee, Chance the Rapper, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were a few of the big names on the “Pioneers” list.
Once again, Pope Francis and President Donald Trump made the list in the “Leaders” category, while Tom Brady and Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel nabbed coveted space in the “Titans” section. The “Icons” category ranges from Olympic sensation Simone Biles to plus-size model Ashley Graham.
Each honoree was the subject of an essay written by another famous figure. Taylor Swift praised her close friend Sheeran for his “impenetrable and ever-present armor of enthusiasm” that has helped him through the ups and downs. “A few years ago, in a rare moment of admitting feeling defeated, Ed said to me, ‘I’m never going to win a Grammy.’ ‘Yes, you are,’ I said. ‘You’re going to sweep the whole thing one of these years,’” she wrote. “It was a few weeks later when he met me in a dance-shoe store in London, where I was picking out rehearsal outfits, and said, ‘You have to hear this.’ It was a song he’d just finished called ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ which went on to win Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards in 2016.”
Elsewhere in the issue, Brie Larson gushed about her BFF Stone. “Emma takes on significant roles off screen as well,” the Room actress wrote. “The selfless friend. The wise psychiatrist. The fearless leader. The coolest girl at the party. (She’s even the intense soccer mom, cheering you on, no matter what, at the top of her lungs.)”
Meryl Streep wrote about Davis’ influence and activism. “Viola Davis’ hard-won, midlife rise to the very top of her profession has not led her to forget the rough trip she took getting there,” Streep wrote. “And that is why she embodies for all women, but especially for women of color, the high-wire rewards of hard work and a dream, risk and faith.”