Tony Blair joins teen star Miley Cyrus on Time's Top 100 list

Posted at 05/02/08 4:15 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and tween idol Miley Cyrus have joined Time magazine's "100 most influential people" list alongside other world leaders, celebrities and sports stars.

U.S. television talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey again featured on the fifth annual list that was published online on Thursday and hits newsstands on Friday -- the only person listed every year the list has been published.

All three U.S. presidential candidates -- Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain -- were included in the 2008 list alongside Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, the head of India's ruling Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and media magnate Rupert Murdoch were also named.

Blair's exclusion from the list previously raised eyebrows but it appears his influence has grown since he retired as prime minister. He won a slot under "heroes and pioneers," one of five categories, for his work as a Middle East envoy.

Britain's current prime minister, Gordon Brown, did not get a mention in the list of nominees from 23 countries.

"Tony listened to my advice graciously but ignored it completely by immediately accepting a new job as Middle East envoy for the Quartet (of peace negotiators)," former U.S. President Bill Clinton wrote in a piece for the magazine.

Cyrus, 15, who plays secret rock star "Hannah Montana" in the Disney Channel TV show of that name, became the youngest person to be included, under the category "artists and entertainers."

"As an idol to tweens the world over, singer-actress Miley Cyrus, 15, is riding a huge tidal wave at the pinnacle of her career," wrote former child star Donny Osmond.

He added that Cyrus, daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, would have "bumps in the road ahead" as she faces adulthood -- unaware a controversy over a Vanity Fair magazine photo of the star wrapped only in a bedsheet would erupt this week.

Other celebrities on the list included Hollywood power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Peter Gabriel and Mia Farrow, all of whom were listed in the category "heroes and pioneers" for their charity work and campaigning.

The Time magazine list includes not just those with a positive influence but people who may have changed the world for the worse.

Baitullah Mehsud, an al Qaeda-linked militant commander accused of being behind a wave of suicide attacks, including one that killed former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto last December, was listed. Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was not on this year's list.

When Time asked its readers to name the most influential people of the year, the No. 1 choice from 200 candidates was Nintendo video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto.

Miyamoto tallied almost 2 million votes, 300,000 more than the runner-up, Korean pop singer Rain. Popular U.S. TV comedian Stephen Colbert came in third.