The Time 100 Most Influential People list for 2019 has been released as of Wednesday (April 17), and naturally, some of the biggest names across entertainment and politics are included. Explaining why they deserve the spot are celebrity friends with personal stories of admiration. Taylor Swift makes the cover for the “Icon” section and has her reason why written by fellow singer (and pal) Shawn Mendes. It’s an emotional snapshot that takes a look back at an early leg of his career.
Mendes’s blurb is short and sweet, discussing what he thinks makes Swift so special. “It all comes from her – her belief in magic and love, and her ability to be as honest and raw as possible,” he writes. He then reflects on opening up for her for a few stadium shows during the 1989 World Tour: “I quickly learned that the magic of Taylor Swift doesn’t come from the lights, dancers, or fireworks (although all of that is incredible) but from the electrifying connection that she has with the people who are there to see her.”
Elsewhere, a number of musicians received blurbs from other famous friends. Khalid was written about by Alicia Keys (“He’s a beautiful writer with the ability to take human concepts and make you understand and feel them”). Halsey, meanwhile, shouted out K-pop sensations/her collaborators BTS: “With positive messages of self-confidence, intricacies of philosophy hidden in their sparkly songs, true synergy and brotherhood in every step of their elaborate choreography, and countless charitable and anthropological endeavors, BTS have put their 14 best feet forward as role models to millions of adoring fans and anyone else who finds themselves drawn to BTS’s undeniable allure.” Ariana Grande, Ozuna, and Lady Gaga received glowing statements by Troye Sivan, Daddy Yankee, and Celine Dion respectively.
Beyoncé — whose new Homecoming live album and Netflix doc also hit today — took the time to pen an amazing ode to former First Lady Michelle Obama, who was also revealed to be in the “Icon” section. The singer’s statement ended on a beaming note: “I am so grateful that my daughters and my son live in a world where Michelle Obama shines as a beacon of hope who inspires all of us to do better and to be better.”
Check out the full list of the Time 100 honorees right here.