Ryan Coogler, director of the hit movie 'Black Panther', in Washington, DC.

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

On Thursday morning, TIME’s classic Time 100 list was published, and as usual, it did not disappoint.

The publication’s top picks for the most influential figures of the year were completely on the pulse of today’s culture, just like the segments that were included on each person. Here are some of our favorite, most inspiring quotes:

1 “When you are cool with who you are, no one can use it against you…. She’s clear on her talent and she’s not trying to get in anybody else’s lane…. Now she’s the biggest thing in music. And even with all those eyeballs watching, she’s still unapologetically herself.” —Taraji P. Henson on Cardi B

2 “She glows like when someone’s taken a picture with a flash and you’re dazed for a few minutes after. But it’s also very clear in that glow that she genuinely doesn’t give a f*ck; she’s fearless and full of all the right kind of attitude to be everything that she is and will be forever.” —Adele on Rihanna

3 “Adam is a skater who happens to be gay, and that represents something wonderful to young people…. Adam shows people that if you put blood, sweat, and tears into what you’re doing, you can achieve something that’s special. You can be special. And I think that’s very brave.” —Cher on Adam Rippon

4 “As these young leaders make common cause with African Americans and Latinos—disproportionate victims of gun violence—and reach voting age, the possibilities of meaningful change will steadily grow…. Our kids now show us what we’ve told them America is all about, even if we haven’t always believed it ourselves: that our future isn’t written for us, but by us.” —Barack Obama on The Parkland Students

5 “Only Issa Rae could make the adjectives awkward and insecure chic. That’s an impossible thing to do. But here we have her, Issa Rae: writer, actor, force of nature—and chic as hell.” Mindy Kaling on Issa Rae

6 “Trevor, who grew up biracial in apartheid South Africa, has the unique ability to tell truths that bring us together. He is uncannily skilled at holding up a mirror to whatever room he is in. Trevor is always reaching out: across cultures, continents, and boundaries. He makes us laugh with each other and brings us that much closer to understanding one another.” —Lupita Nyong’o on Trevor Noah

7“In Black Panther, Queen Ramonda looks upon her son T’Challa and delivers a proclamation: ‘It is your time.’ Millions upon millions of moviegoers around the world have proclaimed the same to the film’s mastermind, Ryan Coogler. We gaze upon him with the same pride, the same hope, the same respect…. If you ever need a reminder that this present moment is your time too, look no further than Ryan for inspiration. He’s easy to find. He’s the one with the light around him, shining strong and bright and warm.” —Ava DuVernay on Ryan Coogler


 “Kehinde Wiley is a classically, formally trained artist who is transforming the way African Americans are seen—going against the grain of what the world is accustomed to. Some consider him irreverent; I see an iconoclast. Some of his subjects come from hip-hop culture, but he’s not a hip-hop painter. To put it simply, he does dope sh*t.” LL Cool J on Kehinde Wiley

9 “When you’ve been a player since you were in the womb, been forced to sit on the bench and suddenly find yourself the MVP, no one would be surprised if fear or neurosis took hold. But when your name is Sterling K. Brown, what you choose to summon is your joy. If you ever have the pleasure of having him smile at you, laugh the laugh from a buddha from his soul, you would count yourself among the lucky…. Sterling runs to run; the joy for him is in the doing.” Sarah Paulson on Sterling K. Brown

10 “Guillermo is in love with monsters and lives to show us that we are too. With each fable he weaves, he pushes us closer to acceptance of a primal truth: that we each have a deep connection to the spectrum of otherness.” Jordan Peele on Guillermo del Toro

11 “From the chaos, delays, and indecision, a shout for help was heard. The mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, became the voice of the disenfranchised citizens. She was passionate, courageous and articulate…. Cruz’s legacy will be marked by her uncompromising refusal to let anyone ignore the lives of those affected by the hurricane. For this we are forever grateful.” Benicio Del Toro on Carmen Yulín Cruz

12 “Her compassion, evident in the causes she supports and her drive to break down stereotypes—obvious in her actions—will connect her to a generation in much need of kindness.” —Priyanka Chopra on Meghan Markle