In a year marked by countless displays of racial inequality, a global pandemic, and a divided nation, it has been shaped by influential figures. TIME magazine names its annual 100 most influential pioneers, artists, leaders, icons, and titans, who stand tall in fields of entertainment, sports, racial justice and more. This list includes musical figures such as Megan Thee Stallion and The Weeknd.
The Houston rapper has enjoyed a breakout year after scoring two Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s with “Savage” and “WAP.” In her TIME tribute, Taraji P. Henson defined Megan as the “epitome of tenacity.” After suffering familial losses in her recent past, she finds the means to persevere. In the midst of success, she experienced domestic violence after being shot in July. This incident did not phase, nor stop her momentum.
“Megan’s got a plan that’s much bigger,” said the Emmy award-winning Henson. “And we got her. I just want her to keep winning.”
The Weekend recently broke the record for most consecutive weeks (28) with a song in the top 5 of Billboard Hot 100’s. With the success of his latest hit, the streak is more than likely to extend. During his VMA Award acceptance speeches, The Weeknd solemnly gave thanks, but made it a priority to shed light on the countless acts of racial injustices displayed against Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake. Taylor, an EMT essential worker, was murdered in her home of Louisville, KY by police officers following a “no-knock warrant.” Blake was shot 7 times by Kenosha, WI de-escalating a fight during a family event. He is now paralyzed from the waist down. The Weeknd’s decision to shed light on racial injustice during the VMAs shows his stance against systemic oppression.
TIME Magazine also includes actor Michael B. Jordan, Tyler Perry, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union, and more.
Jordan continues to diversify his acting portfolio, but his driving force is Black equity and representation in Hollywood. Back in July, he launched the #ChangeHollywood initiative in partnership with racial justice group Color For Change. In addition, he starred in Just Mercy through his Outlier Society Productions company.
Tyler Perry recently took home the Governor’s Award at the 2020 Emmys. According to Forbes, the New Orleans native became the next Black billionaire earlier this month. Oprah Winfrey’s tribute to Perry in TIME100 stated, “There’s no one else like him. In the entertainment business and in life. He’s a true visionary. A trailblazer.”
Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union found courage and strength in their children’s bravery. They supported their daughter’s journey, Zaya, after coming out as transgender earlier in February. The Wades set an example for parents everywhere to create and safe space in support of children.
2020’s TIME100 list is unprecedented and rightfully so with more names such as Naomi Osaki, Jennifer Hudson, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dapper Dan, the founders of Black Lives Matter and more. Check out the full list below.