Young YouTube star Lilly Singh is among just two persons of Indian origin to figure in Time magazine’s list of 30 Most Influential People on the Internet. The other, of course, is Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also appeared in the inaugural listing that was released last year.
In the brief profile accompanying the entry for Singh, Time noted the “Indo-Canadian vlogger is rapidly becoming one of the biggest stars on YouTube, both on and off-screen.” It added that as her “alter ego Superwoman, she is equal parts funny and motivational, which has helped her amass more than 8 million subscribers and over 1.1 billion total views.”
Much of fame originates from her YouTube channel, IISuperwomanII, where she describes herself thus: “I make funny videos every Monday and Thursday. I rant, create sketches and sometimes even dress up as my parents!”
Reacting to the news, Singh said, in an Instagram post: “What an honour! Thank you! Hopefully people are influenced to also wear sweat pants all day like me. Then I wouldn’t be considered lazy. I would be trendy. GOALS.”
In February, the 27-year-old also released a documentary, A Trip to Unicorn Island, that tracks her 27-nation international tour. Singh, born in Scarborough, Ontario, a Toronto suburb, is scheduled to participate in the YouTube FanFest in Mumbai on Friday.
She is hardly a novice to lists since Forbes counted her among its 30 Under 30 list last year and also ranked her eighth among YouTube millionaires.
Modi returns to the list as an “Internet star, boasting more than 18 million Twitter followers and over 32 million Facebook likes. And unlike some of his contemporaries, he often uses social media to break news and conduct diplomacy.”
Time mentioned in particular his surprise Christmas visit to Pakistan to meet its PM Nawaz Sharif, a diplomatic move that was revealed on Twitter. It also dryly alludes to the gaffe when Modi wished Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani on the wrong day.
In explaining how it created this list, Time said it “sized up contenders by looking at their global impact on social media and their overall ability to drive news.”
Others on this list include British author and creator of the Harry Potter series JK Rowling, Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo, US presidential election contender Donald Trump, as well as entertainers like Kanye West, Drake and Kim Kardashian.
The 2015 list had included Indian-American food blogger Vani Hari as well.
Explaining the rationale behind such a list, Time said last year this was because “anyone with a web connection can start a global conversation. Yes, it helps to be famous in real life. But the rise of social networks has leveled the playing field, allowing unknowns to command audiences rivaling those of real-world leaders, even if by accident.”