2021 TIME100 Next
Sydney Claire
By Leslie Odom Jr.
February 17, 2021 6:55 AM EST

For the culture, we must protect Anthony Ramos at all costs. I think the greatest performers of any age are cumulative. They are everything that’s come before, and they stand on a timeline that connects the audience to the Great Ones that have come before. A tradition of excellence is recorded in their work. Ramos is one of those. He is charting his own path but, watching, we are reminded of the genius and magic of John Leguizamo, even Ritchie Valens when we witness the talent and the craft. Remarkable. And necessary.

The emotional range and acting facility, the wit and wicked sense of humor, the one-in-a-millon singing voice come together within a special person whose bounty of gifts is matched with a rock-solid humanity and core of integrity. We can trust Ramos with the keys he is about to be given. He has been well-prepared. His voice matters. The space he occupies matters.

I hope we leave room for him to grow and maybe even fall short from time to time. I hope his path is marked by grace. For Bushwick, for Brooklyn, for the benefit of these babies who are watching his every move, we gotta protect young Anthony Ramos at all costs.

Odom is a Tony Award-winning actor and musical artist

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