To be young, gifted, disruptive and black. This year the Fortune 40 Under 40annual ranking of the most influential and innovative young people in business includes several of our best and brightest — Serena Williams (#7); Kevin Hart (#17) and Chance the Rapper (#29).
Here’s why they made the cut:
Serena Williams, 35: This has been a banner year for the tennis pro. Williams got married, had a baby girl, set a new record for number of Open-era grand slam titles (23) and was the highest-paid female athlete ($27 million over the past 12 months from June). In May, she also joined the board of online survey giant SurveyMonkey, a month later she expanded her portfolio by investing in food startup Daily Harvest, and has spoken out forcefully for equal pay for women of color. In other words, Serena’s a boss.
Kevin Hart, 38: He’s the world’s hottest comic: He filled the massive Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia for his latest show, What Now?, which he made into a movie that grossed $23.5 million. Hart also stars in the upcoming holiday blockbuster,, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and is planning another tour. Additionally, the former shoe salesman opened a sprawling production studio and launched a streaming TV network. How does he juggle it all? “I am addicted to success,” Hart told Fortune. “And at the end of the day I want my name to have a powerful meaning. Every [business venture] I’m looking at as a building block. It’s helping me become the mogul that I want to be.”
Chance the Rapper, 24: Reportedly worth $9 million, the Chicago rapper is the youngest person on 2017’s Fortune 40 Under 40 list. Born Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, Chance is the first streaming-only artist to win a Grammy and the first male rap solo artist to win Best New Artist. He reportedly earned $500,000 through an Apple Music deal and back in October he partnered with the ride-sharing service Lyft to generate contributions to his New Chance Arts and Literature Fund, which supports arts education in Chicago Public Schools (CPS). He also donated $1 million to the struggling CPS and bought out a Chicago movie theater’s showings of Get Out – earning him the nickname “Chance the Giver.”