For this year’s list – which includes world leaders, movie stars and sports icons, TIME magazine gave other public figures close to the influencers the opportunity to share their thoughts on those who received the prestigious nod.
Lil Wayne wrote the tribute to Minaj, calling the rapper ‘an icon, a boss and a role model to all these young girls out here on how to do it the right way’. He further added that ‘Nicki Minaj will go down as one of the best to do it in the history of music.’
Black Lives Matter activist Alicia Garza said Kendick Lamar ‘should be applauded for inviting us to face things that are uncomfortable, for celebrating our will to survive and for being audacious enough to grapple with the questions that we all need to answer if we ever hope to get free.’
Transgender-rights activist, Wayne Maines commended Caitlyn Jenner for having the courage to be herself; ‘I was a senior in high school when Caitlyn won her gold medal at the 1976 Olympics. Her victory in the decathlon provided a positive role model for our nation—and created a hero for me. Having the courage to come out at this stage of her life makes her an even bigger hero.’
Taraji P. Henson
Empire actress, Taraji P. Henson was just one of the actresses that made the list and she had her tribute by American film producer, Lee Daniels. According to him, ‘What I love most about Taraji P. Henson is that she’s fiercely loyal. During her audition for Empire, she told me she wouldn’t take the role unless Lucious was Terrence Howard. She didn’t have the job yet, but she was standing there fighting for Terrence. That was the moment I knew she was Cookie.’