Time's 2021 most influential people list includes Harry and Meghan, Simone Biles, and Britney Spears

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle VICTORIA JONES/AFP via Getty Images

Time has unveiled its annual list of the most influential people in the world, a group that Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal wrote consists of "extraordinary leaders" who are "working to build a better future."

The magazine's 2021 list of the world's most influential people includes Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who earlier this year sat down with Oprah Winfrey after stepping back from the royal family. "In a world where everyone has an opinion about people they don't know, the duke and duchess have compassion for the people they don't know," chef José Andrés wrote.

Pop star Britney Spears, who received widespread support amid her conservatorship battle this year, also made the list, with Paris Hilton reflecting that Spears "grew up in the tabloid culture of the 2000s, when the paparazzi machine was accepted, unforgiving and cruel." Dolly Parton, Billie Eilish, and Lil Nas X were some of the other musicians on the list. Among the athletes was Simone Biles, the world-renowned gymnast who withdrew from competition at the Olympics over her mental health. "What she embodies truly reflects the endless potential of Black women," wrote Serena Williams.

Actors noted for their influence included Kate Winslet, Jason Sudeikis, Scarlett Johansson, Steven Yeun, and Daniel Kaluuya. Chloé Zhao, who became the first woman of color to win the Oscar for Best Director, was included as well. As far as political leaders go, the list included President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former President Donald Trump, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), and this section also included Fox News host Tucker Carlson. There were also scientists like Katalin Kariko, who Felsenthal noted "spent decades defying skeptics in dogged pursuit of mRNA as a tool to fight disease," meaning "all of us who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines owe an enormous debt" to her. Read the full list at Time.

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