Pow Wow Person of the Year Nominations

Every year, TIME magazine features a person, group or object that “for better or for worse…has done the most to influence events of the year.” TIME recently named Taylor Swift the 2023 TIME Person of the Year. Mrs. Buonaspina’s Journalism and Advanced Journalism students wrote their own nominations for musicians, celebrities, politicians, and influencers that they feel meet the criteria.
Pow Wow Person of the Year Nominations
Rauw Alejandro

By Yerlyn Umana

Rauw Alejandro is an actor and song writer from Puerto Rico who has collaborated with many other artists, including Laura Pausini, Ivy Queen, Bad Bunny, Rosalia, and Shakira. In “Rauw Alejandro is Crafting His Own Legacy,” his biggest motivation is his grandpa who encouraged him to become a singer. Rauw Alejandro grew up in Puerto Rico in Carolina Canovas in a family of musicians. His moral support comes from the women in his life that supported him.

Alejandro’s albums are all summer jams. According to “40 Dosas Sober Raul Alejandro (Los 40 Urban),” Rauw has had over 344 million views on YouTube for his biggest hit. As stated in the article “Rauw Alejandro Reveals Next Album Is a ‘Saturno Spinoff,” his latest tour, Saturno, was meant to represent a big party hosted in the 80s and the 90s. He says he preferred a 360 stage, so all his fans have an unobstructed view of the concert and instead of the front view typical show. His show is like a movie, it has a sequel and a twist to it. 

Motaz Azaiza

By Amna Naqvi

Motaz Azaiza is a young Palestinian photojournalist currently documenting the war in Gaza on his social media platforms. Over the last few months, he has gained 15 million followers on Instagram, mainly photographing the tragic events occurring in Gaza. He is striving to post daily updates for his fans even though he has begun to lose hope. In “Gaza Journalists Motaz  Azaiza, Bisan Decry world Apathy Towards Israel’s Manslaughter,” it says, “The phase of risking your life to show what’s happening is now over and the phase of trying to survive has started, wrote Motaz Azaiza.” From covering the daily lives of Palestinians to watching them lose their loved ones and having their homes destroyed, he continues to remind people that Palestine is not just a trend with content being shared but a nation losing its people and going through ethnic cleansing. Journalists like Motaz are a daily example that even ordinary people can be a big part of change.  

Bad Bunny
This photo of Bad Bunny was found on printerval and is protected by Creative Commons license BY-NC 4.0.
This photo of Bad Bunny was found on printerval and is protected by Creative Commons license BY-NC 4.0.

By Jissell Fernandez

Bad Bunny is a Puerto Rican singer and song writer. According to the article “Bad Bunny: Collaboration, Albums, Songs, and Music,” he was born on March 10, 1994, in San Juan. He helped bring reggaeton and trap music to a wider audience. According to the article “Bad Bunny for the Fans,” he is more than a global superstar; he is also a political icon. He started to stream on Spotify globally for the past two years and his latest album Un Verano Sinn Ti has placed No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. For his fans, he displays clear pride for Latino communities and the Spanish language 

Tory Burch
This photo of Tory Burch was taken by Martyna Borkowski and located on Wikimedia Commons.
This photo of Tory Burch was taken by Martyna Borkowski and located on Wikimedia Commons.

By Maham Siddiqi

Tory Burch is not just a fashion icon; she also plays a crucial role in society by empowering women. She started her brand in 2004 and has since shown resilience and adaptability in various fashion roles, from a sitting assistant to high profile positions in PR and advertising. Beyond her influence in fashion, Burch actively supports female entrepreneurs as highlighted in the article “The Awards Issue: Tory Burch.” Burch aims to create a charitable foundation to provide support for women in their business efforts. This commitment not only emphasizes her genuine dedication to making a positive impact but also makes her a powerful force in society. 

Jim Carrey
This photo of Jim Carrey by Ian Smith, posted on Flickr, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0.

By Natalie Amaya

Jim Carrey is a hilarious actor and comedianMost well-known for his role of the infamous character “The Grinch,” Carrey has become a legend to all audiences that have watched him throughout the years. According to the article “The Grinch Fans Hail Jim Carrey for Improvised Scene…” by Shannon Mcguigan, fans were shocked to learn that one of the most iconic scenes acted out was completely made up! By Carrey doing this, it showed his fans the creative side he hasEvidently, Carrey’s isn’t all jokes and laughter. In “Carrey: Life is Too Beautiful” by Rebecca Leung, “what began simply enough with a tour of the private screening room, decorated with costumes from his movies, ended four hours later, with Carrey revealing a serious, complicated, introspective artist, constantly searching for answers about himself and the world” which signifies that Carrey also has a vulnerable and serious side to his personality. 

This photo came from a video by Aaron McMurtry and was located on Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5.
This photo came from a video by Aaron McMurtry and was located on Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5. (Videographer: Aaron McMurtry)

By Darren Stokley

Drake is a successful and world-renowned rapper In The “Drake’s Hotline to Hollywood” interview, Drake was described as one of the bestselling artists of this generation. He has even been named the most successful artist of the year after the release of dual albums “Her Loss” and “Honestly, Nevermind” in 2022. According to the biographical article “Drake: Timeline of Rapper’s Life and Rise to Stardom,” Drake did not gain all his popularity from his rapping career. He started early off in theatre and even starred in the hit Canadian teen drama “Degrassi,” where he portrayed the character “Jimmy Brooks.” This role gained him a lot of popularity very early on.  According to “Biography of Drake” by Vogue Magazine, the rapper is very charitable. As seen in his 2018 hit “Gods plan” music video, he visits the residents of his hometown of Ontario, Canada and pays for their groceries, along with giving students $50,000 for their college tuition.   

Billie Eilish
This photo of Billie Eilish was found on Deviant Art and is licensed under Creative Commons 3.0.
This photo of Billie Eilish was found on Deviant Art and is licensed under Creative Commons 3.0.

By Marilyn Martinez

Billie Eilish is a well-known musician, singer, songwriter and actor. She has already achieved wide recognition for her talents despite her young age. On Jan. 8, 2024, she won the Golden Globe for her single “What Was I Made For,” an original song she wrote and recorded with her brother, Fineas, for the Barbie movie. In “Billie Eilish Just Wants to Feel Good” by Arabelle Sicardi, it’s noted that the song had over 200,000,00 streams in Spotify alone in less than 24 hours.

According to the article “Billie Eilish Biography” written by Biography.com editors, she was a Multi- time Grammy before the age of 20. In “The Charming Billie Eilish” by Keziah Weir, her single “Therefore I Am” from her album “Happier Than Ever” received about 12 million views in the first 24 hours. When making her songs, she focuses on feminine power and influences her fans to not care about what others say.

Norman Finkelstein
This photo of Norman Finkelstein, posted on Flickr, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0.
This photo of Norman Finkelstein, posted on Flickr, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. (Miguel de Icaza )

By Kabeer Ali

Norman Finkelstein is a political scientist and activist who has spent the past 40 years of his life publicly criticizing the state of Israel and sharing solidarity with the people of Palestine. He himself is a Jew and his parents were survivors of the Holocaust. He has published over 20 books on the issue of the Israeli occupation of the land which Palestinians consider theirs.

According to Zak Cheney-Rice from “Intelligencer,” his most controversial work is a book he published in 2000 entitled The Holocaust Industry, which argued that the memory of Jewish genocide was being politically exploited by Israel. This landed him a full-time job teaching political science at DePaul in Chicago.

Once the events of Oct. 7 unfolded, he resurfaced, showing his support for Palestine on X. Norman Finkelstein continues to be very outspoken showing solidarity with the people of Palestine. He has very recently debated against Piers Morgan and a Zionist by the name of Alan Dershowitz on whether Israel should cease their aggression on Gaza and stop the constant expansion of settlers in the west bank. He has been labeled by those who disagree with him as a “Self-Hating Jew.” By those who agree with him he has been labeled a hero.

When Finkelstein was interviewed by TRT World, he said, “It’s a good feeling to be respected, so long as you earned the respect, and I felt I didn’t earn the respect, but I felt I did my best.” He doesn’t seek popularity for what he does; rather, the truth is the only thing that matters.

Paris Hilton
This photo of Paris Hilton was taken by photographer Glenn Francis and is protected by Creative Commons license Attribution-Share Alike 4.0.
This photo of Paris Hilton was taken by photographer Glenn Francis and is protected by Creative Commons license Attribution-Share Alike 4.0.

By Michelle Guevara

The iconic Paris Hilton has made a significant impact in the 2000s and even now, a former reality star on the show “The Simple Life.  According to the article “Paris Hilton” by Biography, the show involves two socialites attempting to work bluecollar jobs. She is also an award-winning actress who won a Teen Choice Award for her portrayal in the film “House of Wax.

The well-known socialite is now a mother of two and an advocate for many social issues. As Emily Maddick states in the article, “Paris Hilton on her Dark Past, Misogyny and Becoming a Mum,” Hilton has met with senators to pass laws to protect children from abuse and campaigned for Stop Institutional Child Abuse.” Her experience in boarding schools is what gave her purpose to advocate for children. She became the hero that her younger self needed but did not have.  

Josh Hutcherson
This photo of Josh Hutcherson found on Wikimedia Commons is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. (Eva Rinaldi)

By Ryan Sorto

Josh Hutcherson is an American actor and a producer, who began acting in 2000s and started acting in commercials and little films before he progressed to the big screen. In “Josh Hutcherson’s Best Roles, From the Hunger Games to Five Nights at Freddy’s” by Alicia Geigel says that Hutcherson has produced his own films like Future Man. According to Taylor Alexis Heady in the article “What is Josh Hutcherson Doing Now?”  in recent times he has tweeted his support for the Pride movement and has spoken about it many times, saying in 2022 that “we’re all humans.”

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
This photo of Beyoncé Knowles, posted on Flickr, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0.
This photo of Beyoncé Knowles, posted on Flickr, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0.

By Taina Bruno

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is an American singer-songwriter and actress known globally for her music, brands, and movies. She has made many contributions that have impacted people everywhere including devoting certain very popular songs to important causes.

According to Elizabeth Grenier in the article “How Beyonce Became a Pop Culture Phenomenon,” her Lemonade album chronicled society’s oppression of Black women in the U.S. in a way that had not yet been expressed in mainstream media. She samples Malcolm X speeches and references victims of police brutality in her songs. She also breaks barriers as a black woman providing girls like her a sincere and hardworking role model.

According to, Biance Gracie in the article “Black Sounds Beautiful: How Beyoncé Has Empowered the Black Community Across Her Music and Art,” the singer holds the title for the most grammy wins as a woman with a staggering 28 awards.

She also headlined Coachella in 2018, marking her as the first ever black woman to do so. Today, she continues to uplift black culture through her music and is currently on a sold-out global tour.

This photo of MrBeast was taken by Steven Khan and is licensed under Creative Commons BY 4.0.

By Michel Martinez

Jimmy Donaldson, also known as MrBeast, is a famous Youtuber with entertaining and crazy content that has earned him over 200 million subscribers. His most viewed video, titled “Last Person to Leave Circle Wins $500,000,” is just one of many videos that have challenges ending with a generous sum of money. Not only does he host challenges, but he also has made a bank where he gives money and a restaurant in which he gives free food. According to “MrBeast: How the World’s Biggest Youtuber Made His Millions” by Tom Gerke, MrBeast has planted trees, opened a philanthropy, paid for surgeries for people who are hard of hearing, and made wells in Africa. He has said that before he dies, he wants all his money to go to others who need it more than he does. MrBeast continues to change the world by helping others with each penny he receives on his videos. 

This photo by Rihanna is protected by Creative Commons license Attribution-Share Alike 2.0.

By Madison Staunton

Rihanna is a Barbadian singer and a businessperson. According to Nadeska Alexis in the interview Rihanna’s Half-Time Press Conference,” Rihanna is a mother of two and represents her country Barbados, and she represents for black women everywhere. In The Story of Rihanna, Life Before Fame,” it’s noted that Jay- Z signed Rihanna to his record label. According to Sarah Paulson in the article “Meet Rihanna the Shy Gal, “Barack Obama has called her ‘a powerful force in the fight to give people opportunity, dignity and hope.’ Rihanna has won 9 Grammy Awards and has 10 signature fragrances, and her 8th album “Anti” has topped the charts. 

Travis Scott
This photo of Travis Scott was created by Frank Schwichtenberg and is protected under Creative Commons license Attribution-Share Alike 4.0.

By Brian Gamez

Travis Scott, one of the most popular musicians today. He is known for his rage music and his very energetic chaotic concerts. Travis has a big influence in this world by giving out motivation to people to always chase their dreams. Travis also has an influence in the food industry with his Travis Scott meal with Mcdonald’s that had them running out of stock during 2020.He has 27 shoe collabs with Nike and Jordan in total and is still working on new shoes to release as well.

One of the biggest collaborations Scott has ever done was with the game Fortnite where he had his own virtual concert in the game. He had 12.3 million people waiting in the lobby to watch his concert.  In the article “The Wrap” by Samson Amore, it stated that Scott also received his own skin and emote that was able to be purchased in the Fortnite item shop for a limited time.

Scott was nominated for the Grammy Album of the Year in 2019 “ASTROWORLD” which he lost and came 2nd place to Cardi B. Ever since then he has been working on his album UTOPIA” and it received a grammy nomination again this year. According to Alphonse Pierre in the article Travis Scott Utopia album review, Pitchfork” he has included big artists in his album trying to create a new, unique sound. The album features artists like The Weeknd, Kanye West (Ye), SZA, 21 Savage, Drake, and Bad Bunny.  

Will Smith
This photo of Will Smith was taken by Gage Skidmore and is licensed under Creative Commons BY Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.
This photo of Will Smith was taken by Gage Skidmore and is licensed under Creative Commons BY Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

By Annmarie Bonilla

Will Smith is an American actor, rapper and film producer. He has also announced that he will be producing a new podcast entitled Class of ’88, which will be groundbreaking rap music from the 1980s. In the article “How Will Smith Spent His Days Leading Up to the 2023 Oscars” Will Smith could have been part of this year’s Oscar festivities for winning best actor for King Richard at the 2022 show. However, he was banned for 10 years after slapping Chris Rock over a joke about wife Jada Pinkett during the ceremony last year. In “Will Smith Movies & TV Shows List (2023): From the Pursuit of Happiness to Suicide Squadby Dishetta Maheshwari, it’s noted that Will Smith is most famous for his roles in movies like The Pursuit of Happiness, Men in Black, Suicide Squad, and King Richard. He has also won an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Grammy Award. 

Tyler the Creator
This photo of Tyler the Creator was posted by Kyle Brown on Flickr and is protected by Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0.

By Brianna Rodriguez

In “Tyler the Creator Opens Up…”’by HOT 97, it’s noted that the rapper, singer, fashion designer, and producer, Tyler the Creator,has been on the scene for 15 years. He has released 6 albums and 32 singles. His most recent album is “Call Me If You Get Lost.’’ Tyler has won 2 grammy’s, an MTV video music reward and 3 BET hip hop rewards. He has also released two clothing lines, “Golf Le Fleur’’ and “Golf Wang.” 


Kanye West
This photo of Kanye West, posted on Flickr by Robert Castro, is licensed under the Creative Commons 2.0.

By Alvin Amador

Kanye West is a musician, sneaker mogul who has been making music since 1996. He originally started out as a producer making beats for Jay-Z. He then released his first album “The College Drop Out.” This album helped him receive a grammy for the 47th grammy awards in 2005. In September 2007, Kanye West released his “Graduation” album, which had many popular songs on it like “Flashing Lights,” “I wonder,” and “Stronger.” After this success, he lost his mother, Donda West. Kanye loved his mother dearly and when she passed, he used the loss of his mother to be able to make another hit album called “808’s and Heartbreak”. This album was another success in Kanye’s career and had one of his most popular songs “Heartless” which has over 1 billion streams. By 2022, he was struggling with his public image after receiving backlash for making anti-semitic statements on social media.

During that time, he also was released from his contract with Adidas to sell Yeezys and he lost about 246 million dollars in earnings. On Dec. 7, 2023, Kanye finally shared a new song called “Someday We’ll All Be Free,” after not releasing music since his last album, Donda, was put out in August 2021. Kanye then released another new song, called “Everybody, “on January 12th, 2024, which samples the song “Everybody” by Backstreet Boys. Kanye is supposed to release his new album “Vultures” with TY$ very soon this year which could make him a frontrunner for album of the Year this year. 

Vivienne Westwood
This photo of Vivienne Westwood was published on Flickr and is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0.

By Mia Espinal

Vivienne Westwood is a self-taught fashion designer and is known for the fashion house brand named after her. According to “The Rises and Rise of Vivienne Westwood, from pop culture to fashion shows and even amines have featured some of her well-known jewelry. The creation of the planet orb has gained a lot of attention in the media as it’s an iconic symbol for the brand. In “The Story so Far” written by the brand, Westwood got a lot of inspiration from 1970s punk rock and still has elements of such aesthetic to this day. On December 29th 2022, Westwood passed away at the age of 81.  

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