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Old 04-19-2018, 03:45 PM   #1
JamesG
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Cool Music Artists on TIME's 100 Most Influential People (2018)

Cardi B
by Taraji P. Henson





When I first came up, people said, “She’s too edgy.” But I can do Shakespeare in the Park! You can’t judge me based on where I come from or the colloquialisms that I speak with, because that’s who I am. And when you are cool with who you are, no one can use it against you.

I identify with Cardi B, because she knows that too. The first time I went on her Instagram page, she was so raw, coming at you, like, whoa! She used words like “shmoney” and “shmoves,” and she talked openly about being a former stripper.

And she was proud of it—like, So what, I was on the pole, look what I parlayed that into? When she showed her soul like that, I hit the Follow button. I felt like she had the voice of the people, you know what I mean?




When her mixtape came out, I thought, That’s it. She found it! She’s clear on her talent, and she’s not trying to get in anybody else’s lane. She recorded “Bodak Yellow” because it’s what she loved.

Now she’s the biggest thing in music. And even with all those eyeballs watching, she’s still unapologetically herself. Cardi B’s here to stay, baby, and I’m happy to be a witness.









Shawn Mendes
by John Mayer





Shawn Mendes is a pop star born both of and for Generation Z. He doesn’t see genre as a barrier, and he regards all of music as an open playing field, which it very much is for someone with his talent. His enthusiasm is boundless and infectious, probably because of the fact that he gets better by the day.

He’s like Neo in The Matrix, downloading skills in one sitting. “I know falsetto harmonies.




He’s reverential, but he’s not deferential: when I invited him to share the stage with me in Toronto last year, I unconsciously expected I’d be the one calling the shots during rehearsal.

But Shawn isn’t passive. He got in there. He was determined, he pitched ideas, and they were good ones. He knows his right to stand on that stage is every bit as real as mine is, and I love that about him. Because he’s right.




Shawn has a good head on his shoulders, but he also has excellent shoulders; his physique falls somewhere between fitness model and party trick, yet the more undeniable a heartthrob he becomes, the more he insists on staying grounded.

He knows that music is good shelter from its own associated nonsense, and his devotion to his craft is exactly why people twice his age are welcoming him into their lives and playlists.




The scary thing about becoming a professional musician early in life is that in many cases, young artists stop taking music in once they’re paid to put it out. But the fine art of Shawn Mendes is that you’re watching him discover music in real time.

His songs are often his interpretation of music he’s fallen in love with, sometimes while he’s still on his honeymoon with it. Shawn has a very strong, clear, wide-eyed view of the world, and I can’t wait to see what he hears next.









Jennifer Lopez
by Kerry Washington





As a kid growing up in the Bronx, I used to watch Jennifer Lopez from the wings. Several of us girls would hide in the folds of the curtains at the Boys & Girls Club to watch her perform. We were in awe of our neighborhood role model and phenom.

When Jennifer left the Bronx to pursue her dreams, I would rush to finish my homework on Sunday to watch her on "In Living Color". She made me believe that you could come from where we came from and achieve whatever you imagine is possible.




Jennifer Lopez is an iconic performer. She’s the first Latina actor to earn over $1 million for a film and the first woman to have a No. 1 album and a No. 1 movie in the same week. But she’s also a mother, an entrepreneur, an activist, a designer, a beauty icon, a philanthropist and a producer.

She is an undeniable force and a powerful example—not just for women of color but for anyone who has been made to feel “other” and for everyone who carries the burden and the privilege of being a first. To me, no matter how successful she becomes, she will always be Jenny from our block. And I will always be a grateful witness to her journey.









Rihanna
by Adele





I actually can’t remember the first time I met Rihanna; I was probably numb from the shock of it. She is one year older than me, but I feel like she’s been around forever. The progression of her superstardom feels steady, well deserved and extremely natural.

She burst onto the scene with the absolute banger that is “Pon de Replay” in 2005, so young and breathtakingly beautiful. But the first time it felt like she made everyone sit up was with “Umbrella.” It crossed her over to every platform and into everyone’s lives. It felt like she had truly arrived, and she hasn’t slowed down since.

Even more, she has designed and conquered an entire lane of her own. The innovative and groundbreaking world of Rihanna that no one else will ever be safe in and get away with copying. She makes her own rules and bends ours.




Whenever I’ve met her, she’s been the most gracious, loyal and funny goofball of an icon. She glows like when someone’s taken a picture with a flash and you’re dazed for a few minutes after.

But it’s also very clear in that glow that she genuinely doesn’t give a ****; she’s fearless and full of all the right kind of attitude to be everything that she is and will be forever.









Kesha
by Cyndi Lauper





Kesha spoke out against sexual harassment and assault long before the #MeToo movement was making headlines, and nearly lost her career as a result. But instead of going away quietly, she fought back. And she made Rainbow, an album that I think includes some of the best songs she’s ever written.

When I was asked to stand alongside Kesha and sing one of those songs—“Praying”—at this year’s Grammys, I was honored and thrilled. It was important that she was able to tell her story.




But it was also important that we—myself, Bebe Rexha, Camila Cabello, Julia Michaels and Andra Day—could stand onstage with her. That performance showed the power of sisterhood. It was a reminder that none of us are alone.

Women make up roughly half of the U.S. workforce, yet somehow we are still fighting for equality, including in the music industry. Thanks to Kesha and other women who have stood up for themselves to demand justice and fairness, we are starting to turn a new page.




It took far too long for us to come to this cultural moment, and we’ve got a really long way to go, but thanks to people like Kesha, we’re finally starting to make progress.

http://time.com/collection/most-infl...l-people-2018/
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