TIME’s 100 Most Influential People Of 2021 List Is Released

At the top of the 18th annual TIME100 list are people most of society would guess to grace the cover. Artists like Lil Nas X for his groundbreaking contributions to hip hop, Britney Spears for demonstrating how to show resilience and determination in taking back one’s life, and Dolly Parton for her work in aiding others during the pandemic, namely with a $1 million donation that helped bring the Moderna vaccine to reality. Olympians Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, and Sunisa Lee also top the list not only for their physical strength, but for their outspoken advocacy for mental health and breaking barriers in the sports world. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are listed as icons for their humanitarian work and mental health activism.

Other people showcased are Youn Yuh Jung, Steven Yeung, Daniel Kaluuya, Chloé Zhao, and Kate Winslet for their ability to bring stories and characters to life through film and television. Politicians and leaders include Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Donald Trump, Abdul Ghani Baradar (the co-founder of the Taliban in Afghanistan), and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (the first African-American woman to lead the world trade organization). Apple CEO Tim Cook, Elon Musk, and Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang are featured among those from the business/tech world.

In an article on the TIME website describing how people are chosen for the list, editor-in-chief and CEO, Edwin Felsenthal, stated they look at “disrupters, fixers, doers, iconoclasts, [and] problem solvers” and that “it is a community of leaders whose energy and commitment we hope inspires others to spring into action as well.”

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