Miles Aldridge for TIMEAlicia Keys, Chance the Rapper and John Legend have a lot of influence. How do we know? Because Time magazine put them on its annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
The magazine has tapped a different celebrity to pen essays about each person on the list. Scandal star Kerry Washington writes about Alicia, “[She] doesn’t hide her truth, her flaws, her dreams or her journey. It is that authenticity and vulnerability that endear her to us. We are drawn to her honesty, we respect and adore her, and in doing so, we move closer to embracing our own true selves.”
Iconic Hollywood actor, singer-songwriter and activist Harry Belafonte calls John Legend “a remarkable lyricist,” and credits Legend’s “Glory” as one of his “personal favorites.” He also praises the Oscar-winning singer for using “his platform to push for meaningful social change,” adding that he hopes John “continues to grow as an artist and an activist.”
John also graces one of the magazine’s five special covers.
Common remembers the fateful phone message he left for fellow Chicagoan Chance the Rapper when the “No Problem” star was a young kid with dreams of being a rapper. Common writes, “Chance upends expectations about what artists, especially hip-hop artists, can do,” adding, “I’m glad Chance followed his dreams. I hope he always does.”
Others on the list include Get Out director Jordan Peele, Saturday Night Live cast member Leslie Jones, Donald Glover, Viola Davis — who also has a special Time cover of her own — and The Underground Railroad novelist Colson Whitehead.
Also on the list: LeBron James, Simone Biles, RuPaul, Civil Rights leader John Lewis, Moonlight director-writer Barry Jenkins, Colin Kaepernick, 13th director Ava DuVernay and Kaiser Permanente CEO and Chairman Bernard J. Tyson.
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