Time Magazine Names BTS As Entertainer Of The Year, With LeBron James Top Athlete

Time magazine will announce its 2020 Person of the Year tonight in a first-ever broadcast special, but editors named their picks for Entertainer and Athlete of the Year on Twitter today: South Korean K-pop boy band BTS and Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.

About the former, Time writes, “BTS isn’t just the biggest K-pop act on the charts. They’ve become the biggest band in the world – full stop. Between releasing multiple albums, breaking every type of record and appearing in these extemporaneous livestreams in 2020, BTS ascended to the zenith of pop stardom…In an era marked by so much anguish and cynicism, BTS has stayed true to their message of kindness, connection and self-acceptance. That’s the foundation of their relationship with their fans.”

The seven-member group will perform on Time’s Person of the Year special tonight on NBC at 10 p.m. ET.

About the 2020 Athlete, Time writes, “After nearly two decades in the NBA, James has fully embraced that his talent on the court is a means to achieving something greater off it. And this year, more than in any before it, he showed why he is unrivaled in both. Despite misgivings, James played on in the bubble and led the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA championship – his first with the team and fourth overall. By staying, James increased his leverage and influence, and got deep-pocketed owners, fellow athletes and fans the world over engaged directly with democracy. And through it all, he spoke personally to the anguish of Black Americans, channeling pain and outrage into a plan of action.”

Earlier today, Time released its shortlist for Person of the Year: President-Elect Joe Biden, President Donald Trump, Frontline Health Care Workers and Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Movement for Racial Justice. (Reminder: Time chooses the Person based on “who affected the news or our lives the most, for better or worse.”)

Earlier this week, Time released results of its readers’ poll with Essential Workers – “the nurses, doctors, delivery people, grocery-store employees and many others who continue to risk their lives on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic” – taking the top spot. Number 2 was Dr. Anthony Fauci, followed, in order, by Firefighters, Black Lives Matter and Biden. Further down the list were Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Pope Francis.

Despite Black Lives Matter placing in the top five by readers, the official Person of the Year shortlist list refers only to “Movement for Racial Justice.” On its website announcing and summarizing the shortlist, BLM is not named (though a photo of a Black Lives Matter banner accompanies the listing).

The tragic killing of George Floyd started a movement, not just in America but across the globe,” Time writes. “In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, protesters took to the streets, demanding action to fight racial injustice at the hands of police and any entity that embodies systemic discrimination. There have been some positive outcomes since the movement started but it’s far from over.”

Time’s Person of the Year for 2019 was environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

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