People magazine names Selena Gomez, George Clooney, Regina King and Anthony Fauci as its People of the Year

(Clockwise from top left) Selena Gomez, George Clooney, Regina King and Dr Anthony Fauci. PHOTOS: AFP, REUTERS, INSTAGRAM

People magazine has named singer Selena Gomez, actor George Clooney, actress Regina King and the leading American infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci as its People of the Year.

The American magazine's editor-in-chief Dan Wakeford said the four were chosen for their talent and for being "forces for good in the world".

Gomez launched her chart-topping album Rare in January and hosted the cooking show Selena + Chef.

The 28-year-old singer is one of the most-followed celebrities on Instagram with more than 195 million followers. She was praised for using the platform to support the Black Lives Matter movement in June after the death of black American George Floyd while in police custody in May.

Gomez also launched Rare Beauty, an inclusive makeup brand which has set the goal of raising US$100 million (S$133 million) in 10 years to help give people access to mental health services.

Her willingness to discuss her own mental health journey and commitment to helping others is inspiring, according to Mr Wakeford.

Clooney, who is already touted for possible Oscar nominations for The Midnight Sky, the sci-fi film which he directed and starred in, was noted for his civil rights advocacy.

The 59-year-old had donated US$500,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative after Floyd's death, US$1 million for Covid-19 relief efforts in Italy, London, and Los Angeles, and significant aid to Lebanese charities after the deadly explosion in Beirut in August.

King, 49, had won the Oscar Best Supporting Actress in 2019 for her role in romantic drama If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) and an Emmy Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series in September for her role in superhero drama Watchmen (2019).

Regina King in a still from Watchmen. PHOTO: HBO

She has been lauded for calling for support for marginalised communities during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and an end to police violence in the United States.

Dr Fauci, 79, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the best-known member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, was hailed for providing steady guidance in the US during the pandemic and for remaining out front despite death threats against him and his family.

Last year, People named actress Jennifer Aniston, singer-actress Jennifer Lopez, former US first lady Michelle Obama and singer Taylor Swift as its People of the Year.

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