TIME magazine’s annual list of the year’s 100 most influential people reads like a who’s-who of names that have dominated headlines for the past several months. President Donald Trump. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Moonlight director Barry Jenkins. And three of Atlanta’s most famous faces—actor Donald Glover, supermodel RuPaul, and Georgia 5th District Representative John Lewis.
Actress and comedian Tina Fey, who worked with Glover when he was a writer on 30 Rock and even rapped in one of Childish Gambino’s mixtapes, wrote a heartfelt tribute to the millennial actor, noting that he “embodies his generation’s belief that people can be whatever they want and change what it is they want, at any time.” Glover’s biggest achievement of the year is undoubtedly his Golden Globe-winning FX series Atlanta, which also won a Peabody Award this week, and his next two upcoming projects already have people talking. He’ll soon take on the roles of Simba in Disney’s remake of The Lion King and Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo Star Wars movie.
In a video accompanying his article, RuPaul makes a point to let the world know his approach to life: “Don’t take it too seriously.” British supermodel and actress Naomi Campbell composed the recognition for RuPaul, nothing his confidence and exceptional “wit and intelligence—he’s like an encyclopedia. And his beauty is far beyond skin-deep.” Last year, RuPaul won his first Primetime Emmy Award for VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, which is now entering its 10th season.
Recognized as an “icon” on the list, Lewis’s bio was written by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who wrote that he had “inexpressible gratitude” toward the civil rights icon. “Look closely at his shoulders,” Booker wrote, “They are worn from helping my generation, and generations yet unborn, stand higher and taller. And they are still laboring.”
Lewis fell under the national microscope this year when, weeks before the start of Black History Month, President Donald Trump criticized the congressman on Twitter, saying he “should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested).” Many Atlantans retaliated with a tweetstorm of #DefendThe5th comments, defending not only Lewis’ district, but the man himself.
Lewis also contributed as a writer to the list, penning the bio for Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard J. Tyson.