The Best of 2018 The Most Influential People in 2018  

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June 6, 2018 18.7k votes 1.4k voters 14.6k views 41 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. 

list ordered by

1
451 242
Kendrick Lamar is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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

2
470 259
Donald Glover is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

3
366 199
Michael B. Jordan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

4
400 253
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

5
418 270
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

6
350 227
Pope Francis is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

7
280 174
Chadwick Boseman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

8
358 266
Oprah Winfrey is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

9
273 272
Eminem is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
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After the lackluster release of Revival in 2017, many had written off Eminem as a has-been. On August 31, 2018, the rapper surprise-released Kamikaze, putting him back on the hip-hop radar. 

10
205 197
Jordan Peele is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

11
205 206
Emma González is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

12
229 255
Post Malone is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
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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.

13
301 362
Cardi B is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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

14
180 217
Robert Mueller is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

15
206 266
Justin Trudeau is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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

16
158 202
Angela Merkel is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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

17
68 67
XXXTentacion is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
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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.

18
281 440
Donald Trump is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

19
204 311
Mark Zuckerberg is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

20
182 311
Taylor Swift is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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, and in October 2018, she made an unprecedented political post on her Instagram. Over 65,000 people registered to vote within 72 hours after her post.

21
97 156
Xi Jinping is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

22
184 320
Melania Trump is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
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The First Lady made waves in 2018, and not just due to her marital association to POTUS. After the family separation crisis, she sported a jacket that read, "I really don't care Do u?" and many believed it was a pointed fashion choice. She also went "missing" for 20 days - at least from the public eye - which led many to believe she was in poor health - or something worse.

23
124 214
David Hogg is listed (or ranked) 23 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. 

24
94 159
Guillermo del Toro is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

25
141 256
Vladimir Putin is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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.

26
86 164
Ryan Coogler is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

27
189 370
Kanye West is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

28
92 188
James Comey is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

29
67 138
Greta Gerwig is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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

30
65 135
Tarana Burke is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

31
6 15
Brett Kavanaugh is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

On October 6, 2018, Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Justice of the Supreme Court. Prior to his confirmation, Dr. Christine Blasely Ford testified at the Senate Judiciary Committee, claiming that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high schools in Bethesda, MD. 

32
10 25
Lil Wayne is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
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Seven years after the release of Tha Carter IV, Weezy surprise-dropped Tha Carter V, an album fans had started to believe would never see the light of day. 

33
75 165
Michelle Wolf is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

34
76 177
Samantha Bee is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

35
56 141
Anthony Fantano is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
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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.

36
67 168
Pusha T is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
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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.

37
118 285
Kim Jong-un is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

38
85 241
Lil Pump is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018
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Whether you like him or not, Lil Pump has influenced the music industry and spawned many ripoffs 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".

39
61 224
Rudy Giuliani is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

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. 

40
55 222
Lil Tay is listed (or ranked) 40 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.

41
31 177
Scott Pruitt is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Influential People in 2018

The former 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. He resigned from his position in Trump's administration on July 5, 2018.