The cover of Time’s annual “100 Most Influential People” issue has been revealed – and its star is none other than Beyoncé.
As is tradition, each Most Influential pick is accompanied by a short explanation written by a famous admirer. In this case, Lean In creator Sheryl Sandberg weighs in on what makes Bey worthy of number one: “Beyoncé doesn’t just sit at the table. She builds a better one,” Sandberg explains. “In the past year, Beyoncé has sold out the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour while being a full-time mother. Her secret: hard work, honesty and authenticity. And her answer to the question, ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid?’ appears to be ‘Watch me. I’m about to do it.’ Then she adds, ‘You can, too.’”
As the cover star, Beyoncé gets to sit with the “Titans” section of the list alongside Pharrell Williams, Hillary Clinton and Jeff Bezos. Other sections include Pioneers, Artists, Leaders and Icons. Among Time’s most influential artists: Kerry Washington, Amy Adams, Frozen songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and these six stars – feted by some of their own famous pals:
Miley Cyrus: “If I didn’t know how smart and talented Miley is, I might worry about her. But I’ve watched her grow up.” –Dolly Parton
John Green: “I would go so far as to call him a prophet. No, not a prophet in a biblical sense. Don’t freak out. More a prophet in a universal, all-things-connected sort of context.” –Shailene Woodley
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele: “I don’t laugh out loud much anymore. I have seen way too much comedy, and one might say I am dead inside. But Key and Peele make me laugh – hard.” –Judd Apatow
Benedict Cumberbatch: “It’s rare to the point of outlandish to find so many variables in one actor, including features which ought to be incompatible: vulnerability, a sense of danger, a clear intellect, honesty, courage – and a rather alarming energy. I take no pleasure in feeling humbled, but there’s no getting around it. He must be stopped.” –Colin Firth
Seth Meyers: “It’s a brutal business, this late-night game. Thankfully the new kid in town is an old pro with a kind set of eyes and the skills to pay the bills. [Note to Time editors: I am upset with Seth for complaining our recent dinner went on too long, so please take him off this list per my request. Thanks in advance.]” –Amy Poehler
See the full list of honorees here.