Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, The Weeknd and John Legend have all made it onto Variety’s fourth annual Variety 500 list, a rundown of the 500 most influential business leaders shaping the global media industry.
Getting on the list, which is heavily weighted towards what individuals have done in the past year, requires either being responsible for one massive success or a consistent string of them, as well as a proven ability to innovate, take risks and make major moves.
Kelly’s on the list, not for her music career, but for the success of The Kelly Clarkson show — which has been renewed through 2023 and has already won several Emmys — and her presence on The Voice. Lady Gaga‘s on there for giving back: She organized the One World: Together at Home benefit, raising more than $127 million for COVID-19 release.
Taylor’s on the list for releasing three acclaimed albums in 16 months, while John Legend‘s a new entry thanks to his production company, which has given us the Netflix series Rhythm + Flow and the holiday special Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Story, among other content. Variety also gives him credit for his other endeavors, like his job on The Voice, his social activism and his endorsements.
Rihanna made the list due to her COVID-19 efforts and speaking out about racial injustice, as well as for the success of her fashion and beauty empires. The Weeknd‘s on there for the global success of his album After Hours, while Jennifer Lopez‘s various movie and TV projects, her Super Bowl halftime show and World of Dance duties ensured her a place.
And of course, Beyoncé‘s on there because she dominates music, fashion, TV, film and even charity as only she can.
By Andrea Dresdale
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