Time magazine releases annual list of world's most influential people

Updated: 2010-04-30 05:33
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The Time magazine released its annual list of the "Time 100," the world's most influential people, on Thursday.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, landed the top spot in the "Leaders" category. The top U.S. military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, is third, with U.S. President Barack Obama only in the fourth slot.

Sarah Palin, the darling of the conservative movement who continues to be a political presence after her and John McCain's failed bid at the White House in 2008, Bill Clinton, who is coordinating U.S. relief efforts in Haiti and serves as the United Nations envoy to the quake-stricken country, and Lady Gaga, a pop music sensation whose fame has skyrocketed last year, are among the list.

Other notables making the list include U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and late-night comic Conan O'Brien.

Glee star Lea Michele was recognized for her role on the hit TV show, which has been praised for encouraging kids to get involved in music programs.

Not surprisingly, Twilight star Robert Pattinson was also honored -- for being totally dreamy.

The U.S. weekly explains its sometimes surprising choices saying that the "Time 100 is not about the influence of power but the power of influence".

Time 100 is an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, as assembled by Time. First published in 1999 as a result of a debate among several academics, the list has become an annual event.

The list was started with a debate at a symposium at Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center on February 1, 1998 with panel participants CBS news anchor Dan Rather, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, former New York governor Mario Cuomo, then-political science professor Condoleezza Rice, neoconservative publisher Irving Kristol and Time managing editor Walter Isaacson.

The list was first published in 1999, when Time magazine named the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Based on the popularity of the installment, Time magazine decided in 2004 to make it an annual issue, listing the 100 people most influencing the world. Making the list is frequently mistaken as an honor; however, Time makes it very clear that people are recognized for changing the world, for better or for worse. Those recognized fall in one of five categories: Leaders & Revolutionaries, Builders & Titans, Artists & Entertainers, Scientists & Thinkers, and Heroes & Icons. Within each category, the 20 most influential people are selected, for a grand total of 100 each year.