It may seem like a stretch to draw comparisons between rapper Cardi B, singer Shawn Mendes and the soon-to-be newlyweds Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. But not this time. All four have been named to Time 100’s fifteenth annual Most Influential People in the World list. “TIME’s annual list of the world’s most influential people is a designation of individuals whose time, in our estimation, is now,” TIME Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal penned.
Meghan, who is set to marry Prince Harry on May 19, was recognized by friend and fellow actress Priyanka Chopra in a heartfelt tribute. “With [Meghan], what you see is real, and what you get is a relatable young woman with her heart and mind in the right place,” Priyanka wrote. “This ever-smiling, strong free spirit found her prince, fell in love and in turn made a cynical world believe in fairy tales again. But more than anything else, Meghan is an important influencer in a world that needs strong public figures to respect and look up to. People the world can be inspired by. Meghan, standing shoulder to shoulder with Harry, will be a princess for the people,” adding, “Live happily ever after.”
Meanwhile Meghan’s fiancé was honored by his and mom Princess Diana’s longtime friend Sir Elton John. The performer recalled meeting a then “extremely shy” Harry at a young age. “What a joy it has been to see that young boy grow to inherit his mother’s warmth, sense of humor and courage to stand up and champion the causes he truly believes in,” Elton noted. “As he has grown in maturity, I have watched him take on these causes with the remarkable skill to see and communicate how it truly feels for the people he is trying to help.”
Scandal actress Kerry Washington celebrated Jennifer Lopez’s achievements in a moving profile in which she recalled watching the superstar perform while growing up in the Bronx. “She made me believe that you could come from where we came from and achieve whatever you imagine is possible,” Kerry wrote. “She is an undeniable force and a powerful example—not just for women of color but for anyone who has been made to feel “other” and for everyone who carries the burden and the privilege of being a first.”
In addition to J.Lo, Cardi B, Harry and Meghan, President Donald Trump, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, Guillermo del Toro, Millie Bobby Brown, Nicole Kidman, Cardi B, Roger Federer and José Andrés are among this year’s honorees.