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Jay-Z, Frank Ocean, Miguel named among TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World

on April 18, 2013, 5:34pm

jay-z time cover

Today, TIME magazine unveiled its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World and of them, five are musicians. Jay-Z (who also serves as cover boy), Beyoncé, and Justin Timberlake all received nods, but the other two inclusions are a bit more surprising: the crown princes of R&B, Frank Ocean and Miguel. Yes, they’re both right there, listed alongside other influential people like President Barack Obama, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and Oscar winning actor Daniel Day Lewis.

For each of the 100 entries, TIME recruited a different celebrity writer. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, of course, wrote the one for Jay-Z, The Great Gatsby director Baz Luhrmann penned his love for Beyoncé (she contributed to the film’s soundtrack), and John Legend did the one for Frank Ocean. Check out key passages from each of the five below.

Of Jay-Z, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg writes…

[Jay-Z’s] an artist-entrepreneur who stands at the center of culture and commerce in 21st century America, and his influence stretches across races, religions and regions. He’s never forgotten his roots — “Empire State of Mind” was a love song to our city — and as a co-owner of the NBA Nets, he helped bring a major league sports team back to Brooklyn, not far from his old neighborhood. In nearly everything he’s tried, he’s found success. (He even put a ring on Beyoncé.) And in doing so, he’s proved that the American Dream is alive and well.

Of Frank Ocean, John Legend writes…

How fitting that he released his “declaration” on Independence Day. I think Frank’s career will be defined by his fearlessness and his artistic freedom. He has the talent, the ability and the brilliance to have an impact for a long time. He will follow his muse wherever it goes — he’s not the kind of artist to adhere to everyone else’s schedule. That’s what makes him special.

Of Miguel, critic Douglas Wolk writes…

The survival of the black pop tradition isn’t just a matter of preserving its history — although Miguel does that too: the soul seducer’s Grammy-winning hit single “Adorn” ingeniously evokes Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” and “Let’s Get It On”. What has nourished that tradition over the past 70 years, though — what has kept it not just alive but thriving — is what makes Miguel’s recent music so special: constant innovation, formal daring, unexpected sources of inspiration, and emotional directness.

Of Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder writes…

I think it’s a great thing when you do the most you can with the time you have in life. Justin has accomplished a lot at a young age, taking advantage of all the possibilities, and yet he’s found time to give of himself too — he gets and gives back. He has a spirit. He does God’s work through using the most of his talent.

Of Beyoncé, director Baz Luhrmann writes…

She and Jay Z are the royal couple of culture, and she is the queen bee. She’s gone beyond being a popular singer, even beyond being a pop-cultural icon. When Beyoncé does an album, when Beyoncé sings a song, when Beyoncé does anything, it’s an event, and it’s broadly influential. Right now, she is the heir-­apparent diva of the USA — the reigning national voice.

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