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‘TIME’ names Simone Biles, Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka and Britney Spears as some of the ‘100 Most Influential People’

By Camille Santiago Published Sep 16, 2021 3:08 pm

Britney Spears, Naomi Osaka, and Simone Biles made it to TIME's 100: Most Influential list!

Talking about the magazine's annual list of The Most Influential People, which recognizes a diverse group of movers and shakers, Edward Felsenthal, CEO and editor in chief of TIME, says he finds "reason for optimism" in the list.

"It features extraordinary leaders from around the world working to build a better future, from entertainers striving to make Hollywood more inclusive to activists fighting for sustainability and human rights. They are disrupters, fixers, doers, iconoclasts, problem solvers—people who in a year of crisis have leaped into the fray," he said in a statement.

Biles' "greatest work" outside of the mat is what makes her influential, says tennis star Serena Williams, who wrote the American gymnast's profile for TIME.

"She has cemented herself as one of the most decorated American gymnasts of all time. But when she's not on the mat or competing in front of the world, Simone strikes the powerful balance between humility and confidence," Williams wrote.

She added: "By living her truth so loudly and by championing mental health, she is setting new standards of beauty, strength and resilience, breaking down today's image-obsessed stereotypes and encouraging others to do the same."

"What she embodies truly reflects the endless potential of a Black woman. ... Simone is a shining example of what success looks like when you let go of what the world thinks and gather your strength from yourself … from your soul," Williams shared.

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19-year-old singer-songwriter Billie Eilish made it to the list. She has taken the world by storm since the release of her debut single Ocean Eyes in 2015, but remains humble despite having achieved "worldwide stardom."

"Billie is a unique soul, with a voice, style and attitude all unapologetically her own," wrote rapper Megan Thee Stallion. 

"She was so real and laid-back, even though her personality is so big. She is a rare spirit who speaks from her heart with no pretenses. I knew I had found a kindred spirit that night. One who is strong, but still learning and still growing. A woman who stands up for herself and advocates for women everywhere," Megan added.

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Meanwhile, socialite and philanthropist Paris Hilton wrote about her friend Britney Spears, whom she regards as "A mother. A friend. A fighter."

The pop star, who had been making headlines for months amid her ongoing conservatorship battle, was recognized for her "unwavering spirit."

Hilton wrote: "Despite the darkness that has surrounded her life, Britney embodies joy and shares the light of her beautiful heart, forever the superstar. So we stand by her and root for her as she turns pain into purpose, her unwavering spirit stronger than ever."

Talking about Naomi Osaka's withdrawal from the French Open due to her mental health and her active participation in US protests, American footballer Russell Wilson calls her an inspiration.

"She shows you can be among the best in the world at what you do, and still fight for justice and be open about the challenges you face," Wilson wrote in his tribute.

The annual issue features seven covers, each highlighting a member of the list. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle topped the "Icons" section of the list, which also included superstar Dolly Parton and Korean-American poet Cathy Park Hong.

Singer-songwriter Eilish, civil rights attorney Ben Crump and gymnast Sunisa Lee, were named "Pioneers," while gymnast Biles, music producers  Swizz Beatz, Minari star Youn Yuh Jung, and television producer Shonda Rhimes were listed under the "Titans" section. 

The "Artists" list included actress Kate Winslet, Chinese filmmaker Chloe Zhao, rapper Lil Nas X, and actress Scarlett Johansson.

"Leaders," on the other hand, sees the likes of World Trade Organisation Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, US President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar.

And, finally, "Innovators" include Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, Elon Musk, and NASA's project manajer MiMi Aung.

Photos from TIME's Instagram (@time)