In addition to leaders and thinkers such as the president, Pandora founder Tim Westergren, electric car pioneer Elon Musk (feted by "Iron Man" director Jon Favreau) and Oscar winner Sandra Bullock (in an essay written by "The Proposal" co-star Betty White), the list contains a number of other young pop stars on the make.
"This girl writes the songs that make the whole world sing, like Neil Diamond or Elton John," Nicks wrote. "She sings, she writes, she performs, she plays great guitar. Taylor can do ballads that could be considered pop or rock and then switch back into country. When I turned 20 years old, I had just made the serious decision to never be a dental assistant. Taylor just turned 20, and she's won four Grammys. ... Taylor is writing for the universal woman and for the man who wants to know her. ... It's women like her who are going to save the music business."
Also making the list is late-night survivor Conan O'Brien, the former comedy writer that new workmate George Lopez admits he was once skeptical about.
"When Conan O'Brien, 47, took over 'Late Night' in 1993, comics like me were skeptical," wrote Lopez, who will push his TBS show back one hour to make room for O'Brien's new talker later this year. "He wasn't a performer; he was a writer. But then I watched, and I recognized his unique perspective. He said things that made me laugh, and I started to feel him. He kept fighting — and I started to respect him. In the world of comedy, his was a Cinderella story in size-15 shoes. ... Doing a talk show is much harder than it looks. Some nights are great; others, you feel like you're up to your neck in quicksand. Conan's tenacity and wit have been an inspiration to me on my own late-night show. ... Welcome back to TV, Conan. I've got a good feeling about this. If there's anything people love more than a happy ending, it's a big comeback."
Do you think anyone is missing from Time's list? Share your own Influential People list in the comments.