Per tradition, each honoree has a few lines written about them by a equally famous peer. Acting icon Meryl Streep writes of Davis, “she embodies for all women, but especially for women of color, the high-wire rewards of hard work and a dream, risk and faith,” adding, “Her gifts as an artist are unassailable, undeniable, deep and rich and true. But her importance in the culture — her ability to identify it, her willingness to speak about it and take on responsibility for it — is what marks her for greatness.”
Singer, actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte does the honors for Legend, calling the singer and composer a “wonderful artist” who “uses his platform to push for meaningful social change, and the depth of his commitment is to be admired.”
Each honoree’s also featured in a brief video, reflecting on their art and times in their own words. You can check out the videos, and all of the 100 Most Influential People, at TIME’s website.
Here are all of the artist honorees:
Kerry James Marshall