Is Justin Timberlake more influential than President Bush? Apparently so, according to Time — the magazine's annual list of 100 people "shaping our world" features JT, as well as Oprah, John Mayer, Rosie O'Donnell, and YouTube co-founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley (the prez, however, didn't make the cut).
On newsstands Friday, the issue features entries on the most influential movers and shakers as written by their fellow admirers. Timbaland penned Timberlake's entry, saying the singer's "talent encourages me to challenge myself." The producer glowed about their FutureSex/LoveSounds recording sessions in particular, saying, "He has this ability to come into the studio and — boom! — the song is created. He doesn't write anything down, and he gets it right the first time. It's as if Justin had been born 26 years ago to deliver music to the world."
Timbaland wasn't the only producer to work with Timberlake on that record, though — another FutureSex/LoveSounds collaborator, Rick Rubin, is also honored. Dixie Chick Natalie Maines wrote his entry, calling him "a man of few words who exudes confidence without arrogance" and crediting him with "a natural intuition when it comes to music."
"What would seem like an opinion coming from someone else is simply fact when Rick says it," she wrote. "Rick doesn't tell you how you should play it; he tells you when you have nailed it." She says his process might take longer, but it's the key to why all the albums Rubin has produced sound "so individual and honest."
Other music-related entries include a piece by Peter Gabriel, who says he is inspired by Senegalese world-music artist Youssou N'Dour's activism, and Suzanne Vega's appreciation of "Second Life" founder Philip Rosedale. Rocker Melissa Etheridge says of fellow cancer fighter Elizabeth Edwards, "We are all inspired as we watch Elizabeth walk through the fear," while soccer star David Beckham thanks "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller for introducing him to his wife Victoria Adams. He also credited Fuller with "making my move to L.A. Galaxy" happen.
Comedienne Roseanne Barr wrote the entry for Sacha Baron Cohen, calling the characters Borat and Ali G he's created "uniquely outrageous." "He does offend some people's sensibilities, but the youth of today are offended if they're not offended. If you want to be the kind of comic who changes minds about issues like prejudice, you must cross the line occasionally or you're not going far enough."
Roseanne also gave Baron Cohen props for singing the fictional national anthem of Kazakhstan to the tune of the U.S. national anthem. "Trust me, I know a little something abut the consequences of messing up 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' " she wrote, commending him for his bravery. (Barr performed a screechy rendition of the song at a baseball game in 1990, drawing loads of controversy.)
Despite O'Donnell leaving "The View," her entry was written by her ex-boss Barbara Walters, who called her "independent and vulnerable, sensitive and outspoken." She calls their time together a "thrilling roller-coaster ride" as the show followed "Rosie's passion and compassion, her feuds and fearlessness, her humanity and humor," and notes that they remain friends.
Other film-and-TV-related entries include George Clooney, Tyra Banks, "Ugly Betty" actress America Ferrera, Tina Fey, Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt and Imagine Entertainment co-founder Brian Grazer, whose entry was written by Russell Crowe. Martin Scorsese was honored, and he pulled double duty by writing about his latest favorite leading man, Leonardo DiCaprio. The director praised DiCaprio not only for his acting talent but also for his efforts to raise awareness about the environment. He calls him someone he's "proud to know and whom I feel lucky to count as a collaborator. We've made three pictures now. I can't wait till we work together again."