(NEW YORK) — Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce, and Willow Smith are just a handful of the young women who are featured as part of Essence magazine’s 35 Under 35: Young, Black & Amazing Women list. Monica, Brandy and Alicia Keys are on the list, too, alongside stand-out athletes, writers, actors, entrepreneurs and activists, too.
Jennifer is noted for her strength, particularly in the wake of the murders of her mother, brother and nephew in 2008. Essence applauds Willow for celebrating her own uniqueness, and not living in the shadows of her celebrity parents, Will and Jada Smith. The magazine highlights Keyshia, writing that she never let “a rocky upbringing” in Oakland, Calif., stop her from making a success of her life.
Monica is also considered “Young, Black & Amazing” material. She’s noted for always keeping it real, “whether it’s in her lyrics, her reality show or in an interview about her love life.” Essence also includes Kierra Sheard on its list, highlighting the gospel singer’s youth organization, Bold! Right! Life!
Esperanza Spalding gets high marks from Essence for making her name in the jazz world, while Elle Varner is applauded not only for her singing skills but her musicianship, too. She plays the piano, flute and guitar, according to Essence.
Brandy is noted for her nearly 20-year career. Essence gives props to Beyonce for her resume, which is packed with music awards, and some film credits, too. And Alicia Keys is celebrated for her work outside of music, including her role as an ambassador for Keep A Child Alive. The non-profit group helps families affected by HIV/AIDS.
The 35 Under 35 honorees are featured in Essence’s August issue.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Frank Pallotta, CNN
Lisa Respers France, CNN
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Communications