Each year, TIME releases a comprehensive list of the world's 100 most influential people, broken into five categories: Pioneers, Titans, Artists, Leaders, and Icons. Although it can always be argued that someone who didn't make the cut should have, the opposite is almost never possible — everyone on the list usually more than deserves the recognition. Even Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, who might not be so popular in certain circles but are undeniably influential in spite of — and indeed because of — that fact.
An increasingly interesting feature of the list in recent times has been how each member gets a blurb written up by another influential person in their own right. For example, this year J.J. Abrams wrote about Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anthony Bourdain wrote about Roy Choi, and Christopher Nolan wrote about Kip Thorne.
Below is a member of each major category with a snippet of why they're so influential:
Pioneers: Aziz Ansari
"The way Aziz talks about his ethnicity and career is so interesting, and the entertainment-industry world he writes about is hysterical and on point."
- Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson
Titans: Stephen Curry
"He combines a never-before-seen skill set with the panache and flair of a great performance artist."
- Misty Copeland
Artists: Kendrick Lamar
"Far from creating 'conscious rap,' Kendrick Lamar has evolved a new genre of movement music that asserts no answers but raises hard questions and brings us together to take them on."
- Alicia Garza
Leaders: Justin Trudeau
"In many ways Canada is no longer the country I grew up in, but when I hear Justin Trudeau talk, it sounds like my Canada again. Bold, clear as a bell, and progressive."
- Lorne Michaels
Icons: Nicki Minaj
"She's an icon, a boss and a role model to all these young girls out here on how to do it the right way."
- Lil Wayne