By Henna Kathiya
It comes as no surprise to see Jay-Z’s inquisitive face splashed across the cover of Time’s “Most Influential People in the World” issue. Jay has accumulated enough credentials over the past few years as a rapper, mogul, and an astute businessman to land him the cover of Time’s yearly list. But Hov isn’t the only member of the Carter family to receive recognition though.
Beyonce is also on the list along with other influential singers Frank Ocean and Miguel. For each person on the list, Time asked a different celebrity to write an entry. For Jay-Z Time recruited NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg while “The Great Gatsby” director Baz Luhrmann wrote about Beyonce since she contributed to the soundtrack for the movie.
“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.”
Another legendary artist, John Legend, was recruited to write for Frank Ocean. “You talk to some people in this business and you get the sense that they’re very focused on radio: what will be a hit or won’t be a hit. You never get that from Frank. The focus is on creating something that’s beautiful, that’s great art. 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.”
Critic Douglas Wolk penned an entry for R&B singer Miguel. “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.”