The "Yeezus" rapper and the reality star top the "titans" section of the magazine's 12th annual list, released Thursday. West seemingly made it for his for his self-entitlement, while Kardashian received the honor for her sheer ubiquity.
"Kanye West would be the first person to tell you he belongs on this list," writes SpaceX and Tesla chief exec Elon Musk, who penned the corresponding "Boundary Breaker" essay for the Grammy winner. "The dude doesn't believe in false modesty, and he shouldn't. Kanye's belief in himself and his incredible tenacity ... got him to where he is today. And he fought for his place in the cultural pantheon with a purpose.… He's not afraid of being judged or ridiculed in the process. Kanye's been playing the long game all along, and we're only just beginning to see why."
West landed one of the five annual covers, as did ballerina Misty Copeland, actor Bradley Cooper, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and news anchor Jorge Ramos. The full list also pays tribute to world leaders including President Obama, North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, Russian President Vladimir Putin, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and China's President Xi Jinping.
Writing about her assigned star in that galaxy of big names, lifestyle guru Martha Stewart declares the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" diva a "media phenomenon" and extols the fashionista's social-media prowess in her writeup "The first lady of #fame."
"She has 29 million followers on Instagram and 31 million followers on Twitter, and her E! show, 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians,' is considered appointment TV by a large and diverse audience," Stewart writes. "Beautiful in an exotic, totally exaggerated way, Kim exudes energy, sexuality, drama, determination, impetuousness and happiness. But she and her famous, entrepreneurial siblings — shepherded by a savvy, tireless matriarch [Kris Jenner] — have also expanded the very definition of family… Despite the flamboyance, the self-aggrandizement and the self-promotion… Kim comes across as an enviable big sister in a clan where everyone seems to love one another."
So why'd these two make the list? Time editor Nancy Gibbs says it's because the magazine is trying to "tell 100 stories of individual influence" but, when taken together, also hopes "to introduce you to influential people you might not have met before and encourage you to find out more about them."
Incidentally, the world is already well acquainted with Kimye.
Meanwhile, one of the best parts of the annual issue is the assignment of writers to their influential subjects. This year's selection features an essay on "Empire" showrunner Lee Daniels by pal Oprah Winfrey, one on Oscar winner Julianne Moore by designer and filmmaker Tom Ford, Michael Caine writing about "Dark Knight" maestro Christopher Nolan and funnywoman Amy Poehler taking a stab at her "Parks and Recreation" costar-turned-movie star Chris Pratt.
Carrie Underwood writes about her "Sound of Music" costar Audra McDonald, comedian Chris Rock pays tribute to fellow comic Kevin Hart, and TV star Mindy Kaling writes a glowing review of Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon.
This year's list features 40 women, including presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton, designer Diane Von Furstenburg, musical darling Taylor Swift, "Harry Potter" alum and gender-equality advocate Emma Watson, "Orange Is the New Black" transgender breakout star Laverne Cox, "The Good Wife" star Julianne Margulies, "Serial" producer Sarah Koenig, chef Ina Garten and singer Bjork, just to name a few.
Check out the full list here. The Time 100 issue of the magazine goes on sale Friday.
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