Zendaya, Mary J. Blige & More Honored
TIME has revealed their annual #Time100 most influential people in the world list and this year’s coveted edition features some newcomers and previous honorees.
Actress Zendaya, Apple CEO Tim Cook, recording artist Mary J. Blige, Prime Minister Mia Mottley, and actor Simu Liu, are among the notable figures celebrated for their contributions across film, technology, politics, and music.
Issa Rae, Pete Davidson, Quinta Brunson, and Oprah Winfrey were also featured on this year’s TIME100 list.
In a statement, TIME’s editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal said this year’s group of leaders were acknowledged for their ability to wield “influence.”
“The spectrum of leaders on this list, wielding influence in so many ways, is a reminder that we all have the option to use our power for good,” he added.
Nas praises Mary J. Blige for her iconic music career
The magazine sought out a bit of help from some big named guest contributors to pen a few kind words about the 2022 inductees. Nas called Mary J. Blige a “voice” for his generation and fans alike.
“She became a household name early because she was a hip-hop artist who also sang. The industry needed someone like that,” the hip-hop star wrote.
“The streets wanted that. Pop culture wanted that…… And when Mary came onstage at the Super Bowl halftime show this year, she got one of the loudest responses…She carved out a lane for herself, and now she can feed the people more than just music…. She became who she’s supposed to be.”
Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve calls Zendaya “fearless” while Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala honors Mia Mottley for her leadership
Dune director Denis Villeneuve spoke highly of Zendaya’s incredible acting career, noting how the Emmy-award-winner was a “creative force” and “a cultural icon in the making. ”
“A person driven by pure inspiration, empathy, and respect for her craft, who uses authenticity as a new superpower. She seems fearless, her roots run deep, and I love that she still laughs like a kid. Zendaya is the future. And there is nothing more comforting to me. This is only the beginning,” the filmmaker added.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the director of the World Trade Organization, showered Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley with praise for her leadership and courage.
“There are some who stand tall and stand out no matter where they are from—whether a large, densely populated country or a small island nation. Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados is one such person,” she penned in the magazine.
“Bold, fearless, and possessing a great intellect and wit, the Prime Minister is a brilliant politician who knows how to shake things up… She is an embodiment of our conscience, reminding us all to treat our planet, and therefore one another, with love, dignity, and care.”
More Time 100 highlights
Check out a few more highlights from this year’s TIME 100 list that includes beautiful words written about more of the honorees from former first lady Michelle Obama, rapper Jack Harlow and basketball star LeBron James.
Robin Thede on Issa Rae:
Issa Rae wasn’t born—she was handcrafted by God herself. Or she’s an alien with otherworldly powers. I’m not totally sure which, but how other than a touch of the supernatural can you explain someone who can truly do everything to perfection?
Issa is not only a prolific writer, a captivating actor and comedian, a profound leader, an efficacious producer, and a music mogul in the making (pauses to take a breath)—she’s also a consistently hilarious and loyal friend. For those of us lucky enough to know her, Issa is everything you want a person to be: kind, funny, down to earth.
Michelle Obama on Oprah Winfrey: Whether she’s talking to pop stars, Presidents, schoolgirls, scholars—or she’s asking you about your life over a glass of wine in the living room—Oprah has always had that uncanny ability to open us up, to hear beyond our words, and to uncover a higher truth, to be vulnerable with us in a way that allows us to be vulnerable back…. When Oprah connects with something—a person, a book, a song, an idea—she makes sure to shine her light on it. She validates it. She anoints it… That’s why no matter where you go, everyone knows her name. And all of it makes me wonder: maybe her success isn’t rooted in the fact that she found a common denominator that unites us all. Maybe Oprah is our common denominator.”
Jack Harlow on Pete Davidson: “Pete’s appeal to the world has everything to do with his authenticity. He doesn’t try to hide the person that he is. It’s a classic recipe for success and connection. I would consider myself truthful, but being around Pete makes me want to continue to reach even further for the realest version of myself. We don’t have another one of him. He’s daring, thoughtful, and simply hilarious. And he’s only 28. An icon with so much more left to accomplish.”
LeBron James on Quinta Brunson: “That’s the real beauty of Quinta’s brilliance. Using humor and nuance to connect people over everyday realities in order to improve them—for students, teachers, creators, and everyone who comes after her. Because it’s all about opening doors. Breaking down barriers. And doing it with love, kindness, and compassion. While still being an absolute boss like QB.”
Reese Witherspoon on Zoë Kravitz: “Zoë Kravitz defies definition. She contains multitudes and stands fully formed in her beauty, her intelligence, her grace, her humor, her strength. Part maverick, part savant, mostly just … cool…Working with Zoë on Big Little Lies, I discovered her hidden talent: her humor. She made me laugh during endless night shoots and always pushed the comedic tension between our characters onscreen.”
You can check out the full list here.
TIME will celebrate the 2022 TIME100 List of the World’s Most Influential People with the Return of the Annual TIME100 Summit and TIME100 Gala on June 7 and June 8 in New York City.
The 16th annual TIME100 Gala, celebrating TIME’s list of the world’s most influential people, will take place on June 8, 2022. The event will feature performances by Mary J. Blige and Miranda Lambert, as well as honorary tributes from members of this year’s list, remarks from TIME Editor-in-Chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal, and more.
Both events will take place at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.
The 2022 TIME100 Summit and TIME100 Gala are presented by exclusive premier partner Cadillac, and signature partners Booking.com and Citi.
The June 6 / June 13 double issue of TIME goes on sale on Friday, May 27.