TIME magazine has unveiled the 10th annual TIME 100, which lists the 100 most influential people in the world. African-Americans who made the list this year include Beyoncé; California Attorney General Kamala Harris, LeBron James, Obama Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, musician Miguel, President Barack and Michelle Obama, singer Frank Ocean, writer/producer Shonda Rhimes and Jay Z.
For each of the 100 entries, TIME recruited a different celebrity writer. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, wrote the one for Jay-Z, “The Great Gatsby” director Baz Luhrmann penned his love for Beyoncé (she contributed to the film’s soundtrack), and John Legend did the one for Frank Ocean. Michele Obama was written by Maya Angelou and Shonda Rhimes was written by Oprah Winfrey.
Michelle Obama by Maya Angelou: “The philosophers tell us that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Mrs. Obama is as if it doesn’t touch her. She hasn’t tried to become anybody else’s idea of the First Lady…. That she would dare to wear clothes off the rack. Or go out and garden. Or have a grandmother in the White House. She knows how to be a public creature without being separate from her family.”
Jay-Z by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg: [Jay-Z’s] an artist-entrepreneur who stands at the center of culture and commerce in 21st century America, and his influence stretches across races, religions and regions. He’s never forgotten his roots — “Empire State of Mind” was a love song to our city — and as a co-owner of the NBA Nets, he helped bring a major league sports team back to Brooklyn, not far from his old neighborhood. In nearly everything he’s tried, he’s found success. (He even put a ring on Beyoncé.) And in doing so, he’s proved that the American Dream is alive and well.
Miguel by critic Douglas Wolk: The survival of the Black pop tradition isn’t just a matter of preserving its history — although Miguel does that too: the soul seducer’s Grammy-winning hit single “Adorn” ingeniously evokes Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” and “Let’s Get It On.” What has nourished that tradition over the past 70 years, though — what has kept it not just alive but thriving — is what makes Miguel’s recent music so special: constant innovation, formal daring, unexpected sources of inspiration, and emotional directness.
Beyoncé by director Baz Luhrmann: She and Jay Z are the royal couple of culture, and she is the queen bee. She’s gone beyond being a popular singer, even beyond being a pop-cultural icon. When Beyoncé does an album, when Beyoncé sings a song, when Beyoncé does anything, it’s an event, and it’s broadly influential. Right now, she is the heir-apparent diva of the USA — the reigning national voice.
For the first time, the issue features seven separate covers, each featuring a member of the TIME 100. Jennifer Lawrence, Elon Musk, Rand Paul, Malala Yousafzai and Jay Z each appear solo on the five domestic split covers.