2011’s Most Influential Pop Culture Icons


TIME magazine has released its annual “TIME 100″ list of the most influential people in the world. The class of 2011 is a typically eclectic group, ranging from world leaders to activists to terrorists to businesspeople. Nearly a third of the list is comprised of folks from the culture sphere — from moguls and showrunners to actors and musicians. We round up those entries after the jump, with direct links so you can read the blurbs, many of which were composed by other artists and celebrities.

Reed Hastings, Neftlix CEO (Kevin Spacey explains the company’s origins.)

Amy Poehler (Aziz Ansari wrote the blurb about Poehler, and it is definitely worth reading.)

Peter Vesterbacka, developer of Angry Birds

Colin Firth (His entry is a very sweet tribute by Helen Mirren.)

Amy Chua, aka “Tiger Mother”

Jennifer Egan (Blurb by fellow author Curtis Sittenfeld.)

Ai Weiwei

Tom Ford (“I know him as the other Tom (after my husband Mr. Hanks) whose shoulder I can also cry on, who makes me laugh as hard as my main Tom,” writes Rita Wilson.)

Matthew Weiner (Elizabeth Moss praises her boss as “no less than a genius.”)

Justin Bieber (His mentor, Usher, writes the entry.)

Blake Lively (Blurb by Baz Luhrmann.)

Oprah Winfrey (Ted Turner writes that she “has not only made it to the top with the cards stacked against her, but she has also made extraordinary contributions to our global community through her philanthropic efforts.”)

Rain, the South Korean pop star who won the TIME 100 reader poll for the third consecutive year

Mia Wasikowska (She “is a sun, not a satellite,” writes Glenn Close.)

John Lasseter, head of Pixar

Chris Colfer (Glee‘s Dianna Agron writes that her co-star “lives by extreme truth, speaking out against the epidemic of bullying that he, too, faced in high school.”)

Bruno Mars (B.o.B. writes Mars’s entry.)

Hung Huang, Chinese “fashion mogul” (Blurb by Diane von Furstenberg.)

Matt Damon and Gary White (Ted Danson praises Damon and White’s Water.org.)

George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire series author (“If you have not read these books, you should be ashamed of yourself,” writes John Hodgman.)

Grant Achatz, chef (Thomas Keller writes Achatz’s entry.)

El Général, Tunisian rapper

Sting (“He’s found the perfect balance of being able to write very avant-garde songs that are accessible to people who wouldn’t otherwise consider themselves jazz fans,” says Esperanza Spalding.)

Jonathan Franzen

Mark Wahlberg (Amy Adams contributes the blurb.)

Rebecca Eaton, longtime producer of PBS’s Masterpiece (Gillian Anderson highlights Eaton’s role in reviving the series, which saw great success with Downton Abbey this year.)

Arianna Huffington

Scott Rudin (Aaron Sorkin praises the producer’s script-editing abilities.)

Patti Smith (A loving tribute by Michael Stipe.)