This year's list is filled with so much #BlackExcellence.
TIME’s 100 Most Influential People debuted and this year’s roster, per usual, is filled with amazing individuals who have made a significant impact on the world.
Names that come as no surprise include NBA champion LeBron James, director Ava DuVernay, singer John Legend, and actress Viola Davis. But a few of the names are up-and-coming talent we can only expect more greatness from.
In a slight twist from the norm, TIME tapped individuals the honorees admire to write their profiles.
“He makes music from an unapologetically inspiring and Christian perspective—music that transcends age, race and gender,” Common said about TIME 100 honoree, Chance the Rapper. “He gives back to his Chicago community. And he does it all as an independent artist, without the support of a label. I’m glad Chance followed his dreams. I hope he always does.”
The Grammy award-winning singer joins the ranks of Donald Glover and Barry Jenkins, who all have redefined paradigms of Black masculinity in pop culture.
“I always keep up with gymnastics because I love the Olympics,” says fellow TIME 100 honoree Leslie Jones about Simone Biles. “But what struck me when I first saw Simone in Rio was how perfect she was at everything. That girl was born to do what she does.”
Oprah Winfrey wrote a glowing profile for honoree Colson Whitehead, Pulitzer Prize winning author of the prolific novel “The Underground Railroad.”
“Colson has a vision about what it means to make art,” she says. “He didn’t just write a historical novel about slavery and courage and the beating heart of freedom. Although the struggle continues and our challenges are not behind us, the brilliance of his vision is that he reminds us that, like his heroine Cora, we can never give up hope, can never stop trying.”
In addition to the aforementioned greats, Jordan Peele, the co-chairs of the Women’s March on Washington, Alicia Keys, Colin Kaepernick, RuPaul and David Adjaye were also honored.
Read all of their TIME 100 Most Influential People profiles and more, right here.
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