TIME has revealed the 2020 selection for its annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
This year’s publication highlights the people as pioneers, artists, leaders, icons, and titans who have, despite all odds, provided impact in this unprecedented year 2020. Houston rapper, Megan Thee Stallion, makes the list as well as Gabriella Union and Selena Gomez.
Also named as part of the 100 most influential people in the world in this edition are Naomi Osaka, Tomi Adeyemi, Ali Wong, Michaela Coel, Halsey, Jennifer Hudson and more.
Megan was praised by Taraji P. Henson for her courage and strength in the midst of distress, recalling her recent shooting. “I don’t like to put the stigma of the word strong on Black women because I think it dehumanizes us, but she has strength–strength through vulnerability,” the Academy Award-nominated actress said. “She’s lost much of her family–her mother, her father, her grandmother–yet she is the epitome of tenacity, of pulling herself up by her bootstraps. She was shot this summer, and still people tried to tear her down. But she’s out here still loving and being sweet.”
Henson names the rapper’s biggest hits, Hot Girl Summer, Savage and WAP believing there’s so much more of Megan for the world to discover. “She’s deep. She’s enrolled in college. She’s an entertainer. She’s a free spirit; I see that in her. The industry might try to pigeonhole her in this rap game, but she’s got a plan that’s much bigger. And we got her. I just want her to keep winning.”
In her tribute to Gabrielle Union, Tarana Burke commends the actress for daring to speak out where many would cower, thinking of the actress’ controversial firing as judge on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. “She isn’t just “influencing”; she is intentionally directing her attention, influence and resources to advance an agenda that deliberately celebrates the most marginalized among us, including Black women and girls and queer and trans folks.”
Tarana’s opinions aren’t just from public displays but also intimate moments in friendship. The #MeToo Founder adds, “Gab’s commitment to authenticity is without compromise. Few people in her position are willing to admit when they are learning and growing, and to be transparent through that process like she does. And as a friend, I can attest to the fact that who she is in the public eye is who she is in private.”
America Ferrera had nothing but kind words for the singer, actress, and now beauty entrepreneur, Selena Gomez. The Emmy Award-winning actor applauds Selena for her work in advocating good mental health and speaking out on social issues. “She launched her own beauty line, with which she’s pledged to raise $100 million over 10 years for mental-health services in underserved communities. She’s used her enormous social-media platform to encourage voting and to support Black Lives Matter,” she said.
The singer is also praised for promoting awareness, acceptance and encouragement to her 193 million Instagram followers. “Selena courageously uses her global platform in service of her full identity. She is emblematic of her powerful generation, which patently rejects the notion that they belong in any one lane as artists, activists or citizens of the world.”
See TIME’s full list here.