Billie Eilish and Olena Zelenska make BBC’s 100 Women list

Singer Billie Eilish and Ukrainian President’s wife Olena Zelenska are both on a list celebrating inspirational and influential people around the world.

The theme for this year’s annual BBC 100 Women list, which began in 2013, focuses on progress as it once again honors campaigners, politicians, entertainment personalities and healthcare workers.

American megastar Eilish is both the first singer born in the 21st century to achieve number one on the charts and an Oscar.

Priyanka Chopra, who is also on the BBC list, is pictured here with her husband Nick Jonas (Ian West/PA)

The 20-year-old topped the Billboard 100 with her 2019 electropop hit Bad Guy and the US album charts with When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? in 2019 and happier than ever in 2021.

Her performance of No Time To Die for the James Bond film of the same name won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2022 and topped the official UK charts in 2020.

The American singer-songwriter is also known for her activism, including speaking out on issues such as the environment and women’s equality.

At Glastonbury in June, she called the Supreme Court case, which decided to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide, a “truly dark day for women in United States “.

Glastonbury Festival 2022

Billie Eilish has joined WaterAid’s call for climate action (Water Aid/PA)

Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell have also joined WaterAid’s call for climate action by becoming the festival’s youngest solo headliner.

This month, she also headlined the Earthshot Prize, an environmental awards ceremony for people who find solutions to climate change.

Other entertainment personalities on the list include Indian actress and producer Priyanka Chopra, actress and disability activist Selma Blair and Puerto Rican West Side Story actress Rita Moreno.

From the world of politics, the first female President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the first female Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley and the first lady of Ukraine Zelenska, are named.

Volodymyr Zelensky’s wife traveled to the UK in November to focus on the use of sexual violence and alleged rape by Russian forces during the months-long war now heading towards a long winter.

She told MPs that the youngest known victim of “thousands” of such crimes was a four-year-old girl raped by the Russian occupiers.

The 44-year-old also called on the UK to lead efforts to set up a criminal tribunal to prosecute senior Russian officials over the invasion, similar to the post-war Nuremberg trials against the main Nazis.

The 90th Academy Awards – Press Room – Los Angeles

Sebastian Lelio with his Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for A Fantastic Woman as he is pictured alongside Rita Moreno (Ian West/PA)

BBC director-general Tim Davie called all the women on the list “remarkable” for “what they have achieved and contributed to their communities and to society”.

Previous years have seen education activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, actress and activist Jane Fonda, environmental activist Greta Thunberg and actress Rebel Wilson.

For the first time, the BBC has asked some of the previous 100 Women to nominate women they think deserve a spot.

Wilson put South Korean film producer and cultural leader Miky Lee and Yousafzai named Alice Pataxó, a climate activist from Brazil, for the honor.

BBC World Service director Liliane Landor said: “They, like all women before them, have contributed to our world in incredible ways, and we celebrate that.

“It’s about increasing visibility and giving recognition where it’s due.”

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