TIME's annual 100 Most Influential list of celebrities, leaders, icons and artists was released today. Michelle Obama, Beyoncé and Valerie Jarrett were awarded spots on the coveted list among others notable figures.
Michelle Obama, an icon according to TIME, was written about by Maya Angelou who praised the First Lady's bold moves and also spoke briefly about her campaign to end childhood obesity. "She considers all children her responsibility: black white, pretty or plain, all the children," said Angelou. The famed author and poet admired the First Lady's efforts to remain true to herself in the spotlight. "She hasn't tried to become anybody else's idea of the First Lady," she writes. "She has remained herself, with her grace, her gentleness and her sense of humor."
Beyoncé was honored as well under the icon category. She was praised by Baz Luhrmann, director of The Great Gatsby, a film which Beyoncé contributed to its soundtrack. Luhrmann started by remembering his first impressions her several years ago while working together on the Academy Awards. "I was struck by her warmth and her humility; she was surrounded by family and was always family-oriented," writes Luhrmann. He praised her work eithic and aptly named the ESSENCE Festival headliner the "air-apparent diva of the USA—the reigning national voice."
One of President Obama's trusted advisors Valerie Jarrett was honored as a titan on TIME's Influential list. The chairman of the board and CEO of Generic Electric Jeffrey Immelt describes Jarrett as a strong dedicated leader and public servant whose rare qualities make her exceptional. "She brings clarity of thought and purpose to her work," writes Immelt. "She is a good listener who comes to the table not with some preset notion of distrust but rather an open mind." Her trust and connection to the president cements her place on the list. "She has both the president’s best interests and his back — and at all times," Immelt summed up.
Other notable people who earned a spot on the list include Jay-Z (who graces the latest issue of TIME), Miguel, Kamala Harris, Frank Ocean, Justin Timberlake, LeBron James and Shonda Rhimes. Click here to see the entire list.