In a first-of-its-kind ranking released in London on Wednesday, 9 December, Indian actor Sonu Sood was ranked the number one South Asian celebrity in the world for his philanthropic efforts during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic this year. The 47-year-old Bollywood star beat off intense global competition to top the list of ’50 Asian Celebrities in the World,’ reported by the UK weekly newspaper”As the pandemic broke, I realized that it was my duty to help mycountrymen; it was an instinct that came from within,” Sood said, expressing his appreciation for the award, which acknowledged his far-reaching efforts during the Covid-19 lockdown to transport and help Indian migrant workers.
This was, finally, something for which I came to Mumbai. As an Indian, that was my duty, which I did. I think all the love that I got from the people was actually their wishes and prayers. I won’t stop until my last breath again said Sood, who is renowned for his box office hits like Dabangg and Simmba.
For her “pathbreaking journey, remarkable output and most entertaining audiences when they needed it,” Canadian YouTuber, comedian and TV personality Lilly Singh came second.
Charli XCX, the pop sensation, was third during the lockdown to build her Mercury Music Prize-nominated album How I Am Feeling Now. For his glass-ceiling breaking, color-blind lead roles in The Personal History of David Copperfield and The Green Knight, British Indian actor Dev Patel was fourth.
For his immense musical performance that included barrier-breaking English language songs, Indian singer Armaan Malik came in fifth. Priyanka Chopra Jonas remains the world’s most popular Indian star in sixth position, while the rest of the top 10 include pan-Indian star Prabhas (7), Hollywood power player Mindy Kaling (8), Indian TV star Surbhi Chandna (9), and Hollywood heavyweight Kumail Nanjianii, born in Pakistan (10).
Acting legend Amitabh Bachchan (20), 18-year-old Canadian actor Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (22), and nominated author Avni Doshii for the Booker Prize are also included in the list (31).