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Who Made ‘Time’ Magazine’s “Most Influential” List?

By DONNA KAUFMAN

According to Time, we’re all under the influence… of Rihanna! The magazine has just published its annual list of “The 100 Most Influential People In the World,” which identifies the people who have changed our culture in the past year. As usual, a handful of celebrities and athletes are featured alongside the political leaders, business moguls, scientists, artists and writers Time has chosen to honor. This year, the Barbados-born “Where Have You Been” singer was one of the more surprising additions. So who else made the cut?

We’re pleased to report that women rule this year when it comes to influential entertainers. Adele made the list, with a write-up by Pink: “Her success renews hope in me that the world I live in has good taste — that we still occasionally come back to what’s simple, and simply amazing,” says the British sensation’s fellow pop star.

Actresses Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain, Tilda Swinton and Claire Danes are also all on there, as are comedians Kristin Wiig and Chelsea Handler. “Few women in comedy have gotten the attention and respect of the Establishment,” Kathy Griffin writes in Handler’s tribute. “Chelsea has, while being raw, hilarious and unafraid to cross the line.”

Compare that to the mere four male entertainers who made the list: Stephen Colbert, Louis C.K., Raphael Saadiq and Matt Lauer. (If we’re counting athletes as entertainers, you can add Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin.)

Two of the most talked-about women of 2011, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, and her sister Pippa Middleton, are featured together on the “Most Influential” list, with Time noting that “other women aim to dress like them, to emulate their easy athleticism and their more problematic slenderness.” The designer of Kate’s iconic wedding dress, Sarah Burton, also made the cut.

Fans of the erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey will be pleased to learn that E.L. James (real name: Erika Leonard) appears, as does novelist and bookstore founder Anne Patchett.

And then there is one woman appearing on the list for the sixth time: Hillary Clinton. (The only person who has her beat? Oprah Winfrey, who has appeared nine times but was overlooked this year.) While Angelina Jolie doesn’t rank this year, the In the Land of Blood and Honey director graciously penned a tribute to Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who directed this year’s best documentary short Oscar winner Saving Face.

“Her film not only gave her subjects sympathy and understanding but, more important, gave them dignity,” Jolie writes of the Pakistani director. “The ‘victims’ in Saving Face are some of the strongest, most impressive women you will ever come across. She showed us their scars, and we saw their true beauty.”

Among the nominees who didn’t make the list: Lana Del Ray, Zooey Deschanel, Alec Baldwin, George Clooney, Daniel Craig, Ellen DeGeneresHope Solo, Brangelina, Melissa McCarthy and the ladies of Mad Men. Stiff competition indeed!
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