Music News

Taylor Swift & Elton John salute 'Fleabag' creator and The Weeknd in 'TIME' 100 issue

Photograph by Nabil Elderkin for TIME

TIME magazine’s new issue spotlights the TIME 100: The Most Influential People in the World 2020, and the publication has enlisted celebrities Elton John and Taylor Swift and to pen tributes to those influential people.

In the “Artists” category, Taylor was tapped to write an essay praising her pal Phoebe Waller-Bridge, creator and star of Fleabag, executive producer of Killing Eve, and co-writer of the upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die.

“A combination of razor-sharp instincts, killer wit and genuine care for the people she works with proved to be a winning hand,” Taylor writes, referring to Waller-Bridge’s Emmy wins. “Phoebe has a habit of creating complex female anti­heroes in a way that seemed previously reserved for male characters.”

Then, referring to a photo of Waller-Bridge post-Emmys, relaxing with a cigarette and a cocktail amid her many statuettes, Taylor wrote, “It’s magical to see that all the rehearsals, baby steps, false starts and dead ends can lead to an extremely driven and unfathomably talented woman unwinding in a lounge chair surrounded by her winnings.”

Elton John wrote the essay on The Weeknd because the Canadian star’s latest album, After Hours, samples Elton’s signature tune, “Your Song.” 

Elton writes that The Weeknd’s smash hit, “Blinding Lights” “is 2020’s best pop single, very ’80s-influenced, but it’s from an album that’s otherwise very introspective. He has so many different types of music tucked up his sleeve that he incorporates into his vision…like Prince, he marches to his own beat. That’s an exemplary way for an artist to be.”

There’s also an essay by Mary J. Blige saluting Jennifer Hudson, a piece on Latin star J Balvin by Camila Cabello, and a piece from Stevie Wonder praising classical musician Yo Yo Ma.

By Andrea Dresdale
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