Time magazine's annual "100 Most Influential People" issue has arrived.
For this year's prestigious roster, Time paid tribute to a diverse group, which included pioneers, artists, leaders, titans, and icons.
Megan Thee Stallion, The Weeknd, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union, and Black Lives Matter founders —Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi — were among the small group of honorees to be featured in four of the eight worldwide covers for the special issue.
Like in previous years, each Time 100 honoree was highlighted by a fellow famous figure that spoke about how the honoree impacted the world.
For Megan Thee Stallion's piece, actress Taraji P. Henson praised the 25-year-old rapper for her strength and resilience.
"I don’t like to put the stigma of the word strong on Black women because I think it dehumanizes us, but she has strength—strength through vulnerability. She’s lost much of her family—her mother, her father, her grandmother—yet she is the epitome of tenacity, of pulling herself up by her bootstraps," Henson said. "She was shot this summer, and still people tried to tear her down. But she’s out here still loving and being sweet."
The 50-year-old actress added, "It’s invigorating to see her become a platinum-selling artist with the viral hit “Hot Girl Summer” and multiple No. 1 songs in the past year, 'Savage' and 'WAP.' But you would be a fool to think that’s all there is to her. She’s deep. She’s enrolled in college. She’s an entertainer. She’s a free spirit; I see that in her. The industry might try to pigeonhole her in this rap game, but she’s got a plan that’s much bigger. And we got her. I just want her to keep winning."
Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, paid tribute to the Black Lives Matter founders, speaking of how she first heard of the Black Lives Matter movement the year after her son was murdered.
"It wasn’t on a national level yet. It was just something that people were saying in our circles. To know that Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi were out there organizing this movement—I felt supported and encouraged," she recalled.
"There are only three of them, but they are everywhere. They are getting people to think: What if you had a 17-year-old son in a hoodie, and no weapon, just a candy and a drink, and now he’s dead on the ground? What if your daughter was sleeping in her own bed and the police knocked down the door and killed her? How would you feel? That is what 'Black Lives Matter' asks," Fulton continued. "The moment that I was going through my own tragedy, the same things were happening with Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Jordan Davis, Dontre Hamilton and Oscar Grant. I’m in a circle with all of their families, and we continue to lift one another up. And it continues to happen—to George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and more."
Other famous figures in this year's Time 100 issue include, in part:
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Ibram X. Kendi, Tomi Adeyemi, Maya Moore, Tourmaline, and Abubacarr Tambadou.
Michael B. Jordan, Jennifer Hudson, Dapper Dan, and Michaela Coel.
Kamala Harris, and Jean-Jacques Muembe Tamfum.
Tyler Perry, Robert F. Smith, Lewis Hamilton, Patrick Mahomes, Tony Elumelu, General Charles Q. Brown Jr., Tunji Funsho, and Claire Babineaux-Fontenot
Billy Porter, Naomi Osaka, Angela Davis, and Allyson Felix.
See the full Time 100 list and tributes here.
Photo: Getty Images