If you have any relation to any teenage girls in your life—or if you are a teenage girl yourself–you don't need Time magazine to tell you of Justin Bieber's incredible power and influence. Nonetheless, the prestigious magazine has made The Bieb's status as one of our nation's most important figures official, naming him to their annual "Time 100" list, devoted to the country's pre-eminent "artists and activists, reformers and researchers, heads of state and captains of industry." (We're guessing Bieber falls in the "captains of industry" category).
"From the minute I met Justin, I knew this kid possessed a certain confidence that only a star could have," writes Usher of his seventeen-year-old protégé in the Time blurb. "Now, looking back at his incredible run, the reality of who he is and what he's accomplished far exceeds anybody's expectations of him...And you know what? Stay tuned, because his story will get even better." Not bad for a kid who should be worrying about college admissions and prom dates right now. (Well, not that Bieber was ever going to have that much trouble with the latter, but you know what we mean.)
The Bieb is not alone in representing the pop world on Time's list, however. Singer/songwriter Bruno Mars, whose last year-plus has boasted two #1 hits of his own ("Grenade" and "Just the Way You Are") and involvement in three other top ten hits (B.o.B.'s "Nothin' on You," Travie McCoy's "Billionaire" and Cee-Lo's "Fuck You"), also makes the cut. "He has a musicality, a presence in his voice that I've never heard from anyone else," writes collaborator B.o.B. in his glowing blurb. "[He's] part of this new wave of musicians who can do everything: sing, play, write, produce...Bruno has so many things open to him now, so many doorways he can walk through. Even I don't know what he'll be up to next."
Rounding out the trio of musical representatives is the slightly more perplexing selection of one-time pop star Sting. Little explanation is given as to why the world-hopping tantra enthusiast should still be considered in any way relevant, with the blurb (written by fellow 2011 surprise-honor-recipient Esperanza Spalding) simply praising the 59-year-old's musical adventurousness ("I remember hearing 'Seven Days' for the first time — the song is in 5/4 time — and thinking, Who is this pop star who writes in such a hip time signature?"). Managing editor Richard Stengel must have owed him a favor for getting him backstage passes to The Police's 2008 world tour or something.
What other current pop figures do you think should have made the cut? Dr. Luke and Lady Gaga seem like the obvious choices to us, though the late surge from Rebecca Black probably shouldn't be discounted either.
For lots more pics, videos and up-to-the-second dish on Justin, be sure to check out his Popdust Artist Page.