Now in its 16th year, Time magazine released its annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the world. This year’s list, which was published yesterday (April 17), includes a record 48 women and a touching tribute by Beyoncé on how Michelle Obama is an inspiration to both her and the Black community.
“I am so grateful that my daughters and my son live in a world where Michelle Obama shines as a beacon of hope who inspires all of us to do better and to be better,” she wrote.
Bey, who is fervently cited by millions as an inspiration, says she’s loved the former first lady since the day they met, when she performed at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009. “She resembled us and was moving in spaces where, as Black Americans, we weren’t exactly meant to be,” wrote the singer, who’s counted Obama as a good friend ever since.
Personal connections like theirs is one of the reasons why the Time 100 list is especially popular. “Our annual Time 100 issue is filled with tributes from teachers to students; in many cases, the surprise is who is playing which role today,“ said Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal in a statement about the 2019 list.
Other noteworthy tributes on the 2019 list include:
Viola Davis praising Regina King for lifting up artists of color for making her “feel seen.”
Shonda Rhimes on how Sandra Oh “has chosen to fearlessly take up space in a universe that has not always made space for her” with her complex performances.
Octavia Spencer on Mahershala Ali’s “soulful yet bold” acting style that lets “his humanity and dignity to shine through.”
This year marks the first annual launch of the Time 100 Summit, on April 23 in New York City, in which the magazine hosts honorees to speak in panels.