2018 The Most Influential People in 2018  

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June 6, 2018 14.8k votes 972 voters 5.1k views 49 items

List Rules Vote up the individuals who have made the biggest impacts this year so far.

From Oscar winners and musicians to political figures and activists, this list compiles the most influential people of the year. The year 2018 has marked many major changes in the realms of entertainment and politics. We've watched groundbreaking films like Black Panther and Get Out change movie trends in America, listened to passionate teenage activists challenge organizations like the NRA, and have seen world leaders navigate unprecedented conflicts and natural disasters. Who was the most important person of this year? Help decide below! 

In 2018, Kendrick Lamar became the first rapper in history to win a Pulitzer Prize and Jordan Peele and Ryan Coogler broke boundaries for African American representation in cinema. However, it's not just entertainers who have proven to be important public figures this year. Donald Trump continues to play a major role worldwide as the president of the United States and Kim Jong-un has a massive impact on world events and politics as leader of North Korea. Given these tumultuous times, celebrities are sharing their perspectives more than ever, with figures like Kanye West speaking frankly about their opinions on current events.

Who had the most influence this year overall? Vote up the 2018 influential people you feel truly made a difference. 

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Donald Glover is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Donald Glover

In May 2018, Glover dropped a new Childish Gambino track titled "This is America." It's a symbolic piece about public perception of black culture and the epidemic of systemic violence against African American communities in the United States. Glover's TV series, Atlanta, is also known for challenging stereotypes around black culture, meaning he has been hugely influential in starting dialogue and debate regarding race in 2018. 

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Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is an American rapper, songwriter, and poet. In 2018, he earned four Grammys, a Pulitzer Prize (the first rapper ever to do so), and a Billboard Music Award for his latest album DAMN

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361 198
Beyoncé is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Beyoncé

Beyoncé, long considered a strong voice for black women, performed at Coachella in 2018. Her act was an homage to women, heritage, culture, strength, and humanity as a whole, proving she remains a relevant public figure. 

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294 143
Michael B. Jordan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Michael B. Jordan

Known for portraying the antagonist of Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan's sympathetic portrayal of Killmonger was met with praise for its nuanced take on race relations. 

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Meghan Markle is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Meghan Markle

Former actress Meghan Markle became the Duchess of Sussex in 2018 when she wed Prince Harry in a ceremony that was broadcast across the globe. As part of her new role, Markle will represent the royal family and the United Kingdom worldwide. 

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Pope Francis is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Pope Francis

Pope Francis is the 266th pope and has been influential for questioning traditional Catholic views, especially on topics like homosexuality and atheism, and has had a big influence on Catholic doctrine worldwide. 

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Chadwick Boseman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman is an actor, director, and producer who starred in Ryan Coogler's Black Panther. The film marked a huge shift in Hollywood in 2018 as studios tried to make the industry more diverse as a whole. 

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Oprah Winfrey is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Oprah Winfrey

Her powerful speech at the 2018 Golden Globes made many want to see the TV mogul go for a presidential run in 2020. While she declined the chance, Winfrey continues to have an influence on culture and politics, recently promoting a book written by a wrongly convicted former death row inmate. 

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Cardi B is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Cardi B

Cari B became a household name throughout 2017 and 2018 with the success of her single "Bodak Yellow" and her studio album Invasion of Privacy. 

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Jordan Peele is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Jordan Peele

Formally most well known for the comedy program Key and Peele, Jordan Peele has shifted the way cinema approaches race with his 2018 Oscar-winning film Get Out. 

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Emma González is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Emma González

Emma Gonzalez is a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School shooting in February 2018. Since then, she's grown into the voice of her peers as an activist and gun control advocate. 

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Post Malone is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
1525053266880 added Post Malone

Post Malone's album is the first to have every song to enter the Billboard 100 chart. He has continually broken records in the music industry and continues to be a very influential figure in the music world.

16 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

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Justin Trudeau is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Justin Trudeau

The 23rd Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau has made major changes for Canadians in regards to healthcare, taxes, and foreign policy. 

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Eminem is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Matt1345 added Eminem

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Robert Mueller is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Robert Mueller

The former FBI director is head of the Special Counsel investigation looking into possible Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Regardless of whether you believe collusion occurred, the scandal has had an incredible impact on United States politics and Mueller has played a major part in that. 

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Emilia Clarke is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
starwarssuperfan added Emilia Clarke

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Angela Merkel is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Angela Merkel

As the first female Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel has played a significant role in America's communication with Germany during Trump's presidency. 

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Donald Trump is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Donald Trump

Our 45th POTUS is an American entrepreneur turned politician. Regardless of your personal opinions on the Trump presidency so far, no one can argue the Commander in Chief's policies and public statements have not been hugely influential in 2018. 

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Ron Howard is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
starwarssuperfan added Ron Howard

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Mark Zuckerberg is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Mark Zuckerberg

In 2018, various scandals about the misuse of Facebook data emerged, resulting in CEO Mark Zuckerberg appearing before Congress. Regardless of one's thoughts on Facebook and social media in general, such sites continue to have a big impact on our daily lives. Given Zuckerberg is the mastermind behind one of the biggest social media platforms out there, he's undoubtedly had influence this year. 

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David Hogg is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
David Hogg

A survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School shooting, David Hogg has become an outspoken activist who pushes for stricter regulations on gun control in the United States. 

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Guillermo del Toro is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Guillermo del Toro

He won Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture at the 2018 Oscars for The Shape of Water.  Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican writer, producer and director famous for many films that include fantastical and paranormal creatures. 

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Woody Harrelson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
starwarssuperfan added Woody Harrelson

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Ryan Coogler is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Ryan Coogler

Ryan Coogler is the co-writer and director of the year's must-see movie, Black Panther. His first feature film, Fruitvale Station, documented the last day of Oscar Grant's life, a victim of a police shooting in Oakland, CA. 

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Taylor Swift is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Taylor Swift

She's a singer, songwriter, and performer who continues to be highly popular in 2018. Swift has also recently become more vocal about her feminist views. 

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Melania Trump is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
starwarssuperfan added Melania Trump

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PewDiePie is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
1525053266880 added PewDiePie

PewDiePie with a loyal fanbase of 63 million subscribers can change the internet in an instant. He has been described as the "meme killer" by redditors who blame the death of memes on his popular series "Meme Review". He has also given fame, whether good or bad to many people by making videos on them including Alinity, Lil Tay and Gloria Borger. He is constantly attacked by the media but this just shows how powerful his voice and opnion can be.

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Xi Jinping is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping is the 7th President of the People's Reublic of China. As the Trump administration navigates tariffs and foreign policy, Xi Jinping has been a huge player in American economy. 

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James Comey is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
James Comey

James Comey is the former FBI director whose 2017 dismissal was met with controversy. In 2018, Comey released a book titled A Higher Loyalty where he offers an inside look into the American political system. 

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Greta Gerwig is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Greta Gerwig

At the 2018 Oscars, Greta Gerwig was a nominee for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for her directorial debut, Lady Bird. The film marked a trend towards diversity in Hollywood as it was one of many acclaimed films of the year that focused on female characters. 

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Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Kanye West

Kanye West continues to be a highly influential public figure in 2018. In addition to releasing the new album Ye, West has been outspoken in his support of the Trump administration throughout 2018. 

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Tarana Burke is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Tarana Burke

While Tarana Burke has long been an activist, she rose to prominence in 2018 as she coined the term "Me Too" to unite victims of sexual violence back in 2006. Since then, she has played an active part in the modern feminist movement. 

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XXXTentacion is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
1525053266880 added XXXTentacion

While still alive, XXXTENTACION pushed for positivity and happiness. He started the helping hand challenge which aimed to donate the most to charities. Even after his tragic death his songs continue to top the charts and influence others.

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Thandie Newton is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
starwarssuperfan added Thandie Newton

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Jon Favreau is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
starwarssuperfan added Jon Favreau

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Vladimir Putin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Vladimir Putin

Currently the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin has been a Russian politician since the early '90s. Given the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Putin remains an influential (and controversial) figure in 2018.

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Samantha Bee is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Samantha Bee

Canadian born and NYC bred, Samantha Bee is a comedian, writer, actress, and political commentator. She's known for being bold and controversial, especially covering polarizing topics in 2018. 

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Michelle Wolf is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Michelle Wolf

Known most recently for her performance at the White House Correspondent's Dinner, Michelle Wolf is a comedian and comedy writer from Pennsylvania. Her jokes tackle hot button topics like sexual misconduct, Russian scandal, and gender inequality, making her brand of comedy highly relevant in 2018. 

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Pusha T is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
1525053266880 added Pusha T

With his diss track "The Story Of Adidon", Pusha T changed the public's view of Drake forever buy exposing him for having an alleged son with a pornstar and doing blackface. He changed the view on Drake so much that Drake has even said he is going to take a paternity test to see if he actually has a song. Additionally Pusha T's album DAYTONA has done very well.

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Anthony Fantano is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
1525053266880 added Anthony Fantano

Anthony Fantano is the biggest force in the music industry. If he gives an album a bad review, his opinion can spread to his viewers. This is the case with Culture II by Migos. Before Fantano reviewed it, people viewed the album as good but the minute his review saying the album is long and repetitve comes out people hate it.

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Lil Pump is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
1525053266880 added Lil Pump

Whether you like him or not Lil Pump has influenced the music industry and spawned many rip offs of his music and personality. He has built of the success of "Gucci Gang" and spawned chart topping hits such as "Esskeetit" and even got on the Deadpool 2 soundtrack with the song "Welcome To The Party".

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Mike Pence is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
starwarssuperfan added Mike Pence

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Kim Jong-un is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong-un is the leader of the Democratic People's Repulic of Korea. Given the high tensions between North Korea and the United States, Kim Jong-un's policies, public statements, and diplomatic decisions have been hugely influential in 2018. 

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Alden Ehrenreich is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
starwarssuperfan added Alden Ehrenreich

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Lil Tay is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
1525053266880 added Lil Tay

Lil Tay may be hated but her impact on the internet has spawned many duplicates and copy cats of her. Her influence has spread to the mainstream media and even got her on ABC news.

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John Matuszak is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
password assword added John Matuszak

He was sloth in the Goonies so he's the goat

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Rudy Giuliani is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Rudy Giuliani

The former mayor of New York City and the current lawyer for Donald Trump, Giuliani's allegiance to the president and major role in the Executive Branch have kept him in the headlines throughout 2018. 

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Peer van Mladen is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Lara Bonnert added Peer van Mladen

More than 8 million dollars in annual revenue and one of the most influential music producers

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Scott Pruitt is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
Scott Pruitt

The current head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Pruitt's decisions and opinions throughout 2018 on topics like climate change and pollution have been met with both outrage and praise. During 2018, he was the subject of 12 separate investigations regarding things like his spending habits and management techniques.