The Time 100 list of influential people in 2011 was quietly released this morning, giving readers their annual dose of who wields power or influence, or who leads by moral example.
The list does not rank the honorees in any particular order.
Uprisings in the Middle East and the tsunami and earthquake in Japan played a large part in this year’s selections. Google executive and Egyptian Internet activist Wael Ghonim, who was a key organizer of the online campaign that sparked Egypt’s first protest on Jan. 25, made the list along with Japanese doctor Takeshi Kanno, who refused to leave behind victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
In the unsurprising category, South Korean pop star Rain won The People's Choice vote for the third straight year, and Prince William and Kate Middleton appear on the list just days before the Royal Wedding.
More unexpected was the presence of 1970s musician and artist Patti Smith on the top 100. But Smith’s 2011 lyrical memoir “Just Kids” spoke of revolution, and if there’s any one word that embodies 2011, revolution just might be it.