Viola Davis, Raphael Saadiq and Rihanna are all on 2012 Time 100 Most Influential list. Each person gets a write-up from a friend.
Cicely Tyson On Viola: She is a serious and soul-stirring actress, and her rich body of work represents the full range of our humanity.
Elton John On Raphael Saadiq: Raphael has been on my radar since the first Tony! Toni! Toné! album, Who? I became a huge fan of the band. When Raphael, 45, began a solo career making albums and producing for a host of major artists, I kept a keen eye on whatever he did, hoping that one day our paths would cross musically. With the release of The Way I See It, I was blown away. It became my album of the year — a soul record of the highest quality. I phoned him to congratulate him and asked if he would consider playing at my annual AIDS Foundation Oscar party. He agreed, and his performance was brilliant. Immaculately dressed (a Saadiq trademark) and moving like the soul stars of old, he confirmed that great black music is alive and well and not just a string of hip-hop monotony. This year he played on my new record, The Diving Board. He contributed so much to the music, and we had a ball! His presence is already massive. It will only increase — and rightfully so.
Stella McCarthy On Rihanna: She’s one of the coolest, hottest, most talented, most liked, most listened to, most followed, most impressive artists at work today, but she does it in her own stride. She works hard, very hard. She gives to her fans, friends and foundation not just herself but her energy and spirit.
In related Rihanna news, she is coming under fire for posting this picture of her on her bodyguard’s shoulder rolling what appears to be a blunt. She is being criticized for her behavior and the influence it will have on her young fans. She has maintained that she is not a role model but she might want to think of toning down what some are calling her attention-seeking behavior.
As for her using the bodyguards head as a table. SMH.
She Tweeted after all the criticism of the photo: “I’m crazy, and I don’t pretend to be anything else.”