SZA and Keke Palmer lead 2022’s TIME100 Next

The 2022 TIME100 Next list of 'the world's rising stars' includes Lashana Lynch, Law Roach, Trinity Rodman, Jonathan Majors and more.

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Who’s got next? According to the 2022 TIME100 Next list, released Wednesday, many of “the world’s rising stars” are Black — close to a third of this year’s list.

If that doesn’t confirm both our inherent and global influence, several familiar and much-admired faces are honored on the TIME100 Next list this year, many of whom have been big names for years, perhaps begging the question of just how much further they’re expected to rise. Among them are two proven phenoms in the entertainment world, singer-songwriter SZA and multi-hyphenate talent Keke Palmer, each of whom stars on one of TIME’s four commemorative covers, as do “Euphoria” actress Sydney Sweeney and environmental activist Farwiza Farhan.

TIME100 Next SZA Keke Palmer theGrio.com
Photo credits: SZA, Kanya Iwana for Time; Keke Palmer: AB+DM for Time

“There is no one way to have an impact, so there is no one way by which TIME measures the influence essential to its selections,” explains the legacy media outlet on how it chooses each year’s honorees. “As a result, and by design, the 2022 TIME100 Next list features musicians as well as medical professionals, government officials as well as movement leaders, and high-profile whistle-blowers alongside top CEOs — all curated by TIME’s journalists and informed by their reporting.”

As is custom, the TIME100 Next list is organized into the categories of “Artists, Phenoms, Innovators, Leaders, and Advocates.” That said, many of this year’s honorees satisfy several or all of those designations, either as pioneers in their fields, exemplars of activism or advocacy, or as much-needed change-makers.

Equally impressive is the roster of notables who pay tribute to the honorees; this year, Lizzo honors industry peer SZA while Palmer thanked Queen Latifah for saying “beautiful things” about the ongoing impact of her longtime protégé.

The stellar pairings continued as Lashana Lynch was honored by her on- and off-screen leader in “The Woman King,” Viola Davis. Celebrity stylist Law Roach earned acclaim from fashion industry wunderkind Christian Siriano, while soccer star and second-gen professional athlete Trinity Rodman was honored by pioneering goalkeeper Brianna Scurry.

In co-star accolades, TIME100 Next honoree Jonathan Majors received a well-earned nod from industry peer and “Creed III” star Michael B. Jordan, while Jason Momoa showed up with kind words for his “Aquaman” co-star, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Further, new “Doctor Who” Ncuti Gatwa was honored by the series’ acclaimed writer, Russell T. Davies, and bestselling author-activist (and former writer at theGrio) George M. Johnson was paid tribute by award-winning bestselling YA author Jason Reynolds.

But wait — there is so much more Black excellence on the TIME100 Next list! Names well-known and behind the scenes earned accolades from the magazine, industry heavyweights and their peers.

Further honorees include visual artists Oscar Murillo and Jordan Casteel; NBA star Ja Marant (honored by Justin Timberlake); international social media star Khaby Lame (by Charli D’Amelio); history-making photographer Tyler Mitchell (by Amy Sherald); climate activist Elizabeth Wathuti (by Mary Robinson); sportscaster Maria Taylor (by Allyson Felix) and Olympian Erriyon Knighton (by Michael Johnson).

Musician, performance artist and activist FKA Twigs made this year’s TIME100 Next list (with a write-up by Courtney Love), as did actress-comedian Ayo Edebiri (honored by Quinta Brunson). Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo was paid tribute by Elizabeth Warren; also on the list are tech industry equity advocate Ifeoma Ozoma (honored by Ellen Pao) and reproductive justice leader Oriaku Njoku (by Busy Phillips). “Intersectional environmentalist” Leah Thomas was honored alongside climate change change-makers Eugenia Kargbo (honored by Wanjira Mathai) and climate change entrepreneur Donnel Baird. Culinary historian Michael W. Twitty was deemed one of this year’s tastemakers (honored by Ruth Reichl), as was trans activist-entrepreneur Quentin Bell. Non-U.S. nominees included Colombian human-rights and environmental activist Francia Márquez Mina (lauded by Carlos Alvarado Quesada), Botswana global economist and politician Bogolo Kenewendo (by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf), and Nairobi Facebook whistleblower Daniel Motaung (by Frances Haugen).

The list is inspiring — as is the message from one of its cover stars.

“I may not be thirty just yet, but I’ve been doing this for twenty years. In other words, Keke Palmer wasn’t built in a day,” Palmer posted on Instagram in response to the honor of gracing this year’s cover, adding: “I say that just because I know in our generation we have the blessing of seeing so many of our peers do incredible things or experience incredible [acknowledgments] so early on. Sometimes it can make you feel like you are behind or not where you should be.

“However, life is a marathon, not a race!” added the 29-year-old star. “It’s not about where you are right now, but where you end up. Keep going, none of us are done yet.”


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