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‘TIME’s’ 100 Most Influential People: Mary J. Blige, Zendaya, Oprah Winfrey and more

Photographs by Micaiah Carter for TIME

TIME magazine revealed its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world Monday, naming Mary J. Blige, among others. 

Writing about each of the list members are guest contributors — fellow stars and entertainers — who speak about the contributions of the honorees. 

Writing about Blige’s career and accomplishments is fellow hip-hop artist Nas, who says, “Mary came up the way we all did. She was a voice for us, but she wasn’t like other R&B artists at the time. She became a household name early because she was a hip-hop artist who also sang. The industry needed someone like that. The streets wanted that. Pop culture wanted that.” He continued, “And when Mary came onstage at the Super Bowl halftime show this year, she got one of the loudest responses … She carved out a lane for herself, and now she can feed the people more than just music.”

This list includes 48 other women, such as ZendayaQuinta BrunsonZoë Kravitz and Oprah Winfrey, who, falling under the “Titans” category, makes the list for the 10th time. 

Writing about Winfrey is Michelle Obama, who highlights the talk show host’s ability to connect with anyone and everyone. 

“When Oprah connects with something — a person, a book, a song, an idea — she makes sure to shine her light on it. She validates it. She anoints it … That’s why no matter where you 
go, everyone knows her name. And all of it makes me wonder: maybe her success isn’t rooted in the fact that she found a common denominator that unites us all. Maybe Oprah 
is our common denominator.”

Others on the list include Ketanji Brown JacksonJon BatisteIssa RaeJazmine Sullivan and New York Attorney General Letitia James.

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