Sonu Sood’s philanthropic activities in 2020 including his efforts in helping migrant workers during the lockdown in India and those in need grabbed him the top position in the first-of-its-kind 50 Asian Celebrities In The World list, which is published by UK-based Eastern Eye newspaper.

He ranked ahead of global stars, including from Hollywood, the music industry, television, literature, and social media, for his inspiring philanthropic work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, reports the publication.

“…As the pandemic broke, I realised it was my duty to help my countrymen, it was an instinct that came from within. Eventually, this was something I came to Mumbai for, it was my responsibility as an Indian which I did. I think all the love of the people, which I received was simply their wishes and prayers who I helped. Once again, I won’t stop till my last breath,” Sonu told the publication.

The list was based on those who did good work, made a positive impact, broke boundaries, shattered glass ceilings, gave hope, did philanthropic deeds or were just inspiring in their unique way.

According to Eastern Eye entertainment editor Asjad Nazir, no celebrity did more to help others during lockdown than Sonu Sood.

“What started off with the big-hearted Bollywood star helping impoverished migrant workers stranded by lockdown get back home evolved into a spectacularly philanthropic mission that made a difference to so many during the pandemic. Whether it was paying for surgeries, donating food, setting up scholarships, campaigning for women’s rights, or buying a new tractor for a farmer, so his daughters could study and not plough a field, super Sonu helped in countless ways in 2020. He fully deserves The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which is handed out by the Academy Awards,” said Nazir.

Canadian YouTuber and TV personality Lilly Singh came in second while Half-Indian British pop superstar Charli XCX was third for creating her album ‘How I Am Feeling Now’. British actor Dev Patel was fourth for his colour-blind lead roles in ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield and The Green Knight’.

Indian singer Armaan Malik came in fifth for his immense musical output that included barrier-breaking English language songs. Priyanka Chopra Jonas took the sixth position for being the most famous Indian star on the planet.