Dolly Parton, Bowen Yang & Lil Nas X headline TIME’s 100 most influential people list

Dolly Parton at the Los Angeles Premiere of "Joyful Noise" held at the Grauman's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, California, United States on January 9, 2012.
Dolly Parton Photo: Shutterstock

TIME Magazine issued their most recent edition of the TIME 100 list earlier this month, naming the most influential people in the world currently. Several LGBTQ people were recognized or took part in recognizing those on the list.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, Red Table Talk co-host Willow Smith, “INDUSTRY BABY” rapper Lil Nas X, and Saturday Night Live actor Bowen Yang were the out celebrities recognized by the periodical. Dolly Parton was also included, with an essay about her influence being penned by out star Miley Cyrus.

Related: Hip hop star Kid Cudi has harsh words for fans who hate his nail polish

TIME included those on the list under six categories: Icons, Pioneers, Titans, Artists, Leaders, and Innovators. Cook was listed as a Titan, Smith as an Innovator (alongside her mom Jada Pinkett Smith and grandmother Adrienne Banfield Norris, her Red Table Talk co-hosts), and Nas and Yang were listed as Artists.

Parton was named as an Icon, alongside the likes of Britney Spears, Palestinian activists Muna El-Kurd and Mohammed El-Kurd, and Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

“Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t love Dolly Parton? I never have,” Cyrus wrote about Parton. “Dolly is not only my idol because of her incomparable career—she’s also my role model because of her steadfast morals and values.”

Cyrus wrote that Parton “has diligently celebrated the queer community” as one of the admirable things that has made her an icon. “People look to Dolly for guidance, and she knows that. She wears that responsibility with the same grace and pride she rocks a two-piece Nudie suit,” she added.

As a Titan, Tim Cook has “proved himself to be a man of excellent judgment,” wrote Phil Knight, the co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike. “He also offered the most valuable attribute of any leader in any field: wisdom,” he added, naming Cook’s infamous quote “I am not the second Steve Jobs. I am the first Tim Cook.”

Nas’s profile was written by fellow hip-hop musician Kid Cudi, who said about the trailblazing out rapper, “To have a gay man in hip-hop doing his thing, crushing records—that is huge for us and for Black excellence.”

Cudi wrote, “There’s a homophobic cloud over hip-hop, and he’s going to break that sh-t down. We have to stand with him. I’m going to do whatever I have to do to let him know—you have my support.”

He also pledged to Nas that “When we do our song together, however trippy the video is,” he wants to “get sexy with it.”

Golden Globe-winning actress Sandra Oh said of Yang, “We’re only really starting to see his potential as a performer and as a writer—he has so much to offer.” She praised some of his infamous SNL roles, like playing the iceberg that sunk the Titanic and a “Trade Daddy,” or tax expert, during Weekend Update.

“I am so proud to see him finding his way on his own terms. I hope he has whatever he needs to come to full fruition, because he’s mega,” she said.

Other artists included by TIME included actress Chloe Zhao, with an essay written by Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee, and actor Steven Yuen, with an essay by out actress Tessa Thompson.

Among Innovators, comedian Tiffany Haddish recognized Willow Smith as “the voice of today,” who is “not afraid to speak,” recalling how Smith “checked me once for judging people who chew their nails, and I respected that.” Haddish also said that Red Table Talk “opens up a dialogue with grandmothers, mothers, daughters and granddaughters, where we can all share and relate to one another.”

Dr. John Nkengasong, recently nominated by President Joe Biden as Ambassador-At-Large and Coordinator of PEPFAR, was recognized for having “helped save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic” and becoming “a modern-day African hero,” as World Trade Organization director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala put it.

Amongst Leaders, TIME selected President Joe Biden with an essay written by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Vice President Kamala Harris with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) writing about her, CDC director Rochelle Walensky with a diatribe from Merck executive Julie Gerberding, and Biden’s Chief of Staff Rob Klain alongside an essay from Hillary Clinton.

TIME also recognized the influence of multiple anti-LGBTQ leaders, including former President Donald Trump with an essay by former TIME editor-in-chief Nancy Gibbs pointing out some of his lies and record, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) with Cindy McCain penning an essay about her bring one of the lone voices on the right condemning Trump for his role in the January 6 insurrection, and Fox personality Tucker Carlson (“If it seems like Americans can’t agree on anything… that’s partly the evidence of Tucker Carlson’s influence,” wrote TIME Senior Correspondent Charlotte Alter.)

Other American political leaders included on the list were former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (with an essay by Harry Belafonte) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) recognized for “his belief in working across the aisle,” which she “shares.” She notes, “I always want him on my side.”

Don't forget to share:

Franklin Graham claims that any declaration that he’s anti-LGBTQ is “simply not true”

Previous article

LGBTQ history museum finds silver lining in pandemic pivot to virtual exhibits

Next article