Thursday, Apr. 29, 2010

Elton John

Elton John, 63, has been successful for so long that it's easy to take his accomplishments for granted and to underestimate his central quality: courage. He was a working-class kid who, against the wishes of his family, became a musician. He was a pop star who, against the advice of his peers, waded into musical theater. He joined the battle against AIDS when it was unpopular and stayed in long after the cause had faded from the spotlight. He is a proud, sober, married gay man who got there only after years of pain and unrelenting public scrutiny. He is one of the world's great artists, and he uses his considerable resources to protect and advocate for the most vulnerable among us. He is also the best friend anyone could possibly hope for.

Daldry is the award-winning director of Billy Elliot, The Hours and The Reader

TIME 100 Social-Networking Index: 19,309