Time 100: Jay-Z, JLaw, Duchess Kate among the most influential

Time magazine has released its 10th annual list of the Time 100 most influential people of the year, and not surprisingly, a number of celebrities have been bestowed the honor.

The magazine doesn’t rank its picks but divvies up the 100 into five categories: titans, icons, pioneers, leaders and artists. Time includes President Obama, the newly ordained Pope Francis and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un but also pays tribute to people like 29-year-old Instagram creator Kevin Systrom (who gets a shout out from Ryan Seacrest) and Egypt’s Jon Stewart-esque talk show host Bassem Youssef (whose essay is written by Stewart). The list also includes 35 women.

“This year we are trying something new: seven cover portraits of Time 100 honorees who reflect the breadth and depth of our list, each one profiled inside — as is our tradition — by an equally luminary voice,” managing editor Rick Stengel writes. “We commissioned the renowned photographer Mark Seliger to create the covers. The shoots took him and his crew to Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Washington and Birmingham, England.”


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Among the artists mentioned are Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, singers Christina Aguilera, Miguel and Frank Ocean; TV personalities “The Mindy Project’s” Mindy Kaling of “The Mindy Project” and Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad,” and late-night hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon.

Interestingly, other celebrities are chosen to pen short essays on each influential name. Actress Jodie Foster says Lawrence is a “gem with a killer stare.” Jon Hamm recounts his first encounter with Cranston, calling him “friendly, funny, gregarious, humble and lovely.” “The Office” star Ed Helms asserts that Kaling “was created by an evil scientist to lull us into a giddy stupor in order to control our minds.” John Legend explains that Ocean “will follow his muse wherever it goes — he’s not the kind of artist to adhere to everyone else’s schedule. That’s what makes him special.”

The magazine’s celebrity icons include “Girls” mastermind Lena Dunham, three-time Oscar winner Daniel-Day Lewis, Olympic skiier Lindsey Vonn, artist Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, First Lady Michelle Obama and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

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“Lena’s true power, though, lies in her transparency. She is unflinchingly, unnervingly honest,” Claire Danes writes. Stevie Wonder says Timberlake’s “star power comes from the fact that he sounds like he’s having fun when he makes music. Author Sally Bedell Smith writes that the former Kate Middleton is dignified, dutiful and unflappable, with a modest reluctance to steal the spotlight from her husband, Prince William.”

Baz Luhrmann says Beyoncé 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 U.S.A. — the reigning national voice.”

Among the titans are NBA superstar LeBron James, music mogul and Beyoncé's husband, Jay-Z, Justin Bieber’s and Psy’s manager, Scooter Braun, designer Michael Kors and “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes.

“Jay-Z embodies so much of what makes New York New York,” writes NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg. “He’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.”

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Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg calls Braun “a very savvy businessman and a creative visionary” whose clients collectively have nearly 7 billion YouTube page views.

Oprah Winfrey penned Rhimes’ short essay and asserted that “She gets us — all of us! Shonda is a storyteller for our times.” Fashion designer Zac Posen believes that Kors “is poised to become fashion’s next billionaire.

For the full list and essays, click here. The annual issue will hit newsstands Friday.


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