Last year, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, and Adele were among those recognized by TIME magazine as Most Influential People, and this year the honor has gone to the likes of Chance the Rapper, Alicia Keys, Donald Glover, John Legend and others. With essays written by their peers, the figures' most inspiring qualities are given a spotlight. Read excerpts below.
PIONEER: Chance the Rapper (by Common)
"Chance upends expectations about what artists, especially hip-hop artists, can do. He streams his albums instead of selling them. He makes music from an unapologetically inspiring and Christian perspective—music that transcends age, race and gender. He gives back to his Chicago community. And he does it all as an independent artist, without the support of a label."
ARTIST: Alicia Keys (by Kerry Washington)
"It is that authenticity and vulnerability that endear her to us. We are drawn to her honesty, we respect and adore her, and in doing so, we move closer to embracing our own true selves. In the entertainment industry, there is intense pressure to conform in order to create an easily marketable product. But if you listen to Alicia's music, learn about her Keep a Child Alive foundation or witness her life, you know that she is not a product of anyone but God, her family and her truth."
ARTIST: Donald Glover (by Tina Fey)
"Donald is serving you best-case-scenario millennial realness. He embodies his generation’s belief that people can be whatever they want and change what it is they want, at any time. When you’re tired of starring in a network comedy, take a break to pursue your rap career for a Grammy nomination. When you’ve learned all you can from acting in other people’s movies, sit down and create your own piece of art."
ARTIST: John Legend (by Harry Belafonte)
"John uses his platform to push for meaningful social change, and the depth of his commitment is to be admired. He has visited prisons to raise awareness about mass incarceration—the new slavery—and he spoke out about the importance of Black Lives Matter at Sankofa’s Many Rivers to Cross festival, which I helped organize. I hope John continues to grow as an artist and an activist."
Viola Davis, Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James, Simone Biles, Ava Duvernay, Jordan Peele, Ed Sheeran, Demi Lovato, and Leslie Jones also made the list. See it here.
And check out REVOLT on the red carpet at 2015's TIME 100 Gala.