If Keith Urban appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone was an example of country music becoming more accepted in mainstream media, the genre just gained another important peg with Kane Brown, Lil Nas X and Dolly Parton being named three of the most influential artists in the world, according to TIME Magazine.
The list, which TIME publishes annually, recognises 100 of the most impactful cultural voices from the past year, each of whom is honoured with a brief profile. The final list is exclusively chosen by Time editors, with nominations coming from the Time 100 alumni and the magazine’s international writing staff.
Hootie and the Blowfish frontman-turned-country artist, Darius Rucker profiled Brown.
“Kane Brown has that unquantifiable “it” factor. He’s so laid-back and doesn’t take himself too seriously, but he also really cares about his craft and other people. And when it comes to his music, he can do that low, cool, borderline-rapping thing, and then he sings, and his vocal ability just blows you away … Kane is setting the bar so high for the next generation. I hope kids see him and now think, “I can do that.””
Grammy-winning musical artist, Kid Cudi wrote about controversial artist Lil Nas X.
“Lil Nas X is a new twist on some of the themes I was riding on when I first started out: being true to yourself and not giving a f-ck what anyone says. What he’s doing is what we need right now. To have a gay man in hip-hop doing his thing, crushing records—that is huge for us and for Black excellence. The way he’s unafraid to make people uncomfortable is so rock ’n’ roll. He’s a true rock star.”
The country rapper and singer-songwriter previously appeared on the 2019 list of most influence people on the internet, whose debut hit, Old Town Road broke the record for most weeks spent atop the Billboard Hot 100 after being created and distributed on the Internet.
Miley Cyrus penned a heartfelt ode on her godmother, Parton.
“Dolly is not only my idol because of her incomparable career—she’s also my role model because of her steadfast morals and values. At her core, she is the definition of a humanitarian … There’s a theory that you shouldn’t meet your heroes, but I wish everyone had the chance to meet Dolly Parton, because she’s even better than your sparkliest dreams.”
Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex top the icons list, while in the entertainment sector, singers Britney Spears, Billie Eilish and Bad Bunny, and actors Kate Winslet, Scarlett Johansson and Jason Sudeikis are named among other icons, pioneers, titans, artists, leaders and innovators.
You can view TIME’s entire Most Influential People In The World list here.
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