EW 2018 Entertainers of the Year: Cardi B, Crazy Rich Asians, women of Black Panther, Darren Criss and more

Entertainment Weekly has spoken. After a banner year — in pop culture, not politics — filled with groundbreaking steps towards greater diversity, parity, and all-around originality, there were countless performers who contributed to making Hollywood a better place. But, as always, a few have risen above the fold.

Your faithful EW editors couldn’t pick just one entertainer to hold the crown, so we chose four cover stars. Or, technically, 10 cover stars if you’re doing the math.

The women of Crazy Rich Asians — Constance Wu, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, and Gemma Chan — grace the first iteration, which honors their reign as the queens of summer. While Henry Golding contributed a standout performance, it was movie’s female counterparts who captivated audiences, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.


And speaking of cash, our second cover star didn’t do too shabby in 2018. Cardi B had arguably the best year in music, thanks to her debut album, Invasion of Privacy, going double platinum. The 26-year-old also surpassed Beyoncé to become the first woman to have five top 10 singles. And she achieved all that in the same year she got married and gave birth.

Darren Criss, who graces our third cover, didn’t tackle parenthood, but he did have a completely transformational year. After building a name as a song-and-dance man — thanks mostly in part to his time starring on Glee — he caught the attention of prestige TV fans and Emmy voters alike in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. His portrayal of killer Andrew Cunanan, under the watchful eye of director Ryan Murphy, spooked even the biggest American Horror Story devotees.

And, finally, we honor the women of Black Panther on our fourth cover. It says a lot about a film that here, almost a year after it first hit theaters, we are still just as enamored as we were at our first viewing. Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, and Letitia Wright completely stole the show during the revolutionary superhero flick, and seem to have inspired the Marvel Cinematic Universe to make great strides in the strong female lead department.

Check out interviews with our esteemed cover stars, and stay tuned as we unveil six more of the 2018 Entertainers of the Year on EW.com throughout the day.

For more on Entertainment Weekly’s 2018 Entertainers of the Year, pick up the latest issue when it hits stands on Friday, or buy all four covers now. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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