World-renowned pop star Britney Spears took first place in this year’s TIME100 reader poll, in which TIME asked readers to vote for who they think should make the annual list of the most influential people. Nearly 1.8 million votes were cast in total, with Spears claiming 4% of the vote.
The famed artist dominated the news cycle this year as a fan-led campaign to end her 13-year conservatorship under her father gained momentum, with people around the world calling to #FreeBritney. Spears spoke openly in court for the first time in June about her circumstances, alleging she’d been subject to “abusive” conditions, and her legal battle for autonomy highlighted a system that many disability rights advocates have long fought to reform.
Health Care Workers followed Spears in second place with 3.1% of the vote, as the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to endanger lives around the world. But progress has been made in the fight against the virus, reflected in the third place winners: Vaccine Developers, who garnered 2.5% of readers’ votes.
Award-winning K-pop group BTS followed in fourth place with 2.1%, having previously won both the 2019 and 2018 TIME100 reader poll. Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast of all time, came in fifth with 2% of the vote. The American gold medalist stunned the world in July when she pulled out of several events citing mental health concerns, shining a light on an often under-acknowledged aspect of professional sports.
TIME’s editors ultimately select the honorees on the TIME100 list, which will be announced Wednesday, Sept. 15.
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