Time has released its list of the “100 Most Influential People of 2021” and it’s filled with names you’ll recognize, as well as a few potential surprises.
Comprised of everyone from scientists to health care workers, musicians, sports stars and more, the list includes famous faces like Dolly Parton, Olympian Simone Biles and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The list is not ranked, with those making the cut simply filed into the categories of icons, pioneers, titans, artists, leaders or innovators.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Birtney Spears and Dolly Parton are all in the “Icons” category, with Parton’s entry to the list being written by her goddaughter, Miley Cyrus. Calling her “the world’s most impeccably purposeful walking contradiction,” Cyrus notes that Parton developed her iconic look after being “inspired by the town tramp”, but is now known as a “saintly, even godlike, figure.”
It’s tough to argue with Cyrus’ assessment. Last year, Parton donated $1 million to COVID-19 vaccine research and even changed the lyrics to her legendary song, “Jolene,” to encourage people to get vaccinated.
Biles also cracked the list under the “Titans” category, despite being just 24 years old. The gymnast has made history in her sport multiple times, including landing a vault this summer that had never been seen in women’s competition.
But it wasn’t just her moves that landed Biles on the list, as she also became a champion for victims of sexual assault and an advocate for positive mental health this year after withdrawing from the Tokyo Olympics for fear that her emotional state at the time would jeopardize Team USA’s chances for medals.
Biles’ entry on the list is written by tennis icon Serena Williams, who writes that “Simone strikes the powerful balance between humility and confidence — she’s enthusiastic yet stoic, believing in her strength, trusting her body and embracing her greatness.”
Other names on the list include teenage music star Billie Eilish, actress Kate Winslet, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Bridgerton” creator Shonda Rhimes. President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and former president Donald Trump also each made the list.
You can view the entire 2021 list of Time’s most influential people by visiting the publication’s website.