They are the people who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world. Meet the breakouts, pioneers, moguls, leaders and icons who make up this year’s TIME 100.
I can’t remember when Rihanna and I first met, but I think it was near a dance floor and one of her tracks was playing. The thing I remember was her being a normal person, not what you’d expect of a young woman about to take over the world. She’s one of the coolest, hottest, most talented, most liked, most listened to, most followed, most impressive artists at work today, but she does it in her own stride. She works hard, very hard. She gives to her fans, friends and foundation not just herself but her energy and spirit.
Rihanna, 24, goes out of her way to support the people she believes in. She is one of the few people I know in that world of fame and celebrity who aren’t all about themselves. She’ll give a real part of herself to an ordinary person she may meet, and that’s rare.
This is the beginning for Rihanna — she has so much more to do and to give. She is just getting going, so watch out. She’s the Barbados ambassador for youth and culture, and she’s coming to a town near you.
To celebrate the release of the list, five-time Grammy Award winner Rihanna and R&B star Raphael Saadiq will perform at this year’s eighth annual TIME 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be delivering the gala’s keynote address. Approximately 350 people attend the gala, including world leaders, politicians, business leaders, entertainers and philanthropists. Notable guests will include Chelsea Handler, Jeremy Lin, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Claire Danes, Matt Lauer, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K. and Cardinal Dolan.