Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande, BTS, Taylor Swift Make Time's Annual "100 Most Influential People" List
The annual list, released Wednesday (April 17) features100 artists, leaders, politicians and more from all over the world who are making an impact. The list is compiled by the magazine's editors and features magazine covers with some of the honorees. Taylor Swift is the only music artist featured on the cover of one of the magazine's six issues this year. Each honoree has a blurb written about them by others in their field.
Grande graces the list fresh off her week one Coachella performance in which she reunited most members of *NSYNC, brought out Mase, Nicki Minaj and Diddy. The "7 rings" singer's blurb is written by singer/songwriter Troye Sivan, who is a friend of Grande and features her on his song, "Dance To This."
He writes: "Through just about the craziest storms and whirlwinds I can imagine, Ariana Grande remains the most real person I’ve met. I’ve always thought the world is privy to actual, genuine emotion—be it heartbreak, empathy, generosity, resilience, strength—and I believe that’s exactly why the world keeps falling deeper in love with Ariana."
BTS, the K-pop kings who have been one of the groups to take the genre to the next level in the U.S. with their bilingual love songs and choreographed dance moves, has an essay about them on the list is also written by a friend and music collaborator, Halsey. J-Hope, Jin, V, Jungkook, Jimin, Suga and RM dropped their latest album, Map Of The Soul: Persona, last week with "Boy With Luv," a single featuring the "Bad At Love" singer, who celebrated by sharing fun-facts about their friendship on social media.
In her essay, Halsey writes about how much the group is loved by their fans: "How exactly does one accomplish world domination? Surely it takes remarkable talent, charm, kindness, altruism and dedication. But you’d still be missing a key component: a devoted community to uplift your efforts, soften your stumbles and shoot light from their eyes into the sky in your name every single night."
She added words about BTS' vision and love for music. "But behind those three letters are seven astounding young men who believe that music is stronger than the barriers of language. It’s a universal dialect," she wrote.
Urban Latin music has one of its brightest star on the list too: Ozuna. The reggaeton veteran superstar Daddy Yankee has touching words to share about the next-generation urban music singer, who has launched into stardom with his reggaeton infused pop songs in the midst of an urban Latin boom in the U.S.
"I still clearly remember the chamaquito who came to my recording studio to ask me to be on a remix to his song 'No Quiere Enamorarse.' His name was Ozuna, and what got my attention was his tenacity, his sublime and unique voice, and his drive," Yankee writes.
He continues: "[Ozuna] shows kids that anything is possible—that you can become a global star if you work hard enough. He is a great competitor, a good friend, and he never hesitates to give back to his community. And even though he has broken records, he has the spirit to be bigger."
"I was first introduced to Khalid through his 2016 debut single, 'Location,' Alicia Keys writes for singer/songwriter Khalid. "It kept showing up in my life, and I thought, “This song is so good—so understandable, emotional and soulful. Who is this?”
She hones in on Khalid's talent for making music that is relatable: "He’s a beautiful writer with the ability to take human concepts and make you understand and feel them. He has a full, powerful voice that is somehow unassuming and smooth at the same time."
The GRAMMY-nominated singer wrote his hit "Location" during the middle of his senior year and self-financed its release, he told the Recording Academy during the 60th GRAMMY Awards red carpet.
Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga were both featured under the icons section of the list. Shawn Mendes shared the singer's ability to break records and touching millions seem so effortless: "Taylor makes anyone older feel young again and anyone young feel they can do anything. It’s so rare and so special," he writes.
Meanwhile, Celine Dion captures the spirit of singer/songwriter and A Star Is Born actress Lady Gaga in one sentence: "Her artistic expression has no rules, no boundaries."
Dion continues: "She marched to the beat of her own drum, knowing that her message of individuality was a way to express her inner strength. What makes her even more special, and such a powerful influence on society, is that she empowers her fans to adopt the very same values in their lives—to stand up for what they believe in, despite what others might think."
While not on the list, Beyoncé shares words of admiration for former First Lady Michelle Obama. "Loving Michelle Obama wasn’t much of a choice, she writes. "I’m honored to know such a brilliant black woman who’s spoken about the sacrifice it takes to balance her passions while remaining a supportive partner and mother, and now a best-selling author with Becoming."
For more on who made the Time 100, visit the magazine's website.