Tony winners Billy Porter and Anaïs Mitchell, Emmy winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson are among the theatre alums who are part of the 2020 TIME100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
The list, comprised of Pioneers, Artists, Leaders, Titans, and Icons, features introductions written by equally stellar individuals. André De Shields, a Tony winner for his work in Mitchell's Hadestown, writes, "Anaïs has the aura of an oracle, the prescience of a blind poet and the skill to tease rhymes from consonants. It was the wonder of watching Anaïs respond with awe to her own creation that served as the company’s guiding beacon throughout the arduous journey from concept to execution."
Cyndi Lauper salutes her Tony-winning Kinky Boots star Porter, explaining, "Look at this guy. You want to see living proof of talent, perseverance, tenacity, resilience, dedication to craft? When he couldn’t get in the front door, the side door or the window, he found a whole other route. And now—especially since his historic Emmy win for Lead Actor in a Drama Series last fall [for Pose]—the whole world has found him, and that makes me so happy."
About Fleabag creator and star Waller-Bridge, Taylor Swift says, "Sometimes all the puzzle pieces fall into place at the perfect time. A combination of razor-sharp instincts, killer wit and genuine care for the people she works with proved to be a winning hand."
Mary J. Blige, who will be seen opposite Hudson in the upcoming Aretha Franklin film Respect, pays tribute to the Dreamgirls and The Color Purple star, writing, "After filming Respect with her last year, and watching the parts of Aretha Franklin’s life that Jennifer is playing, I see why Aretha chose her for that role: she saw her younger self in Jennifer. Of course, she picked her for her powerful voice, but she also picked her for her personality—her quiet strength. Aretha had the same type of strength."
See the entire TIME100 list here.