"She is such an enormous star," Walters tells PEOPLE of the "Blank Space" singer

By Patrick Gomez
December 11, 2014 07:00 AM
Jason DeCrow/AP

It has been 21 years since Barbara Walters hosted her first 10 Most Fascinating People special – and now she’s adding 10 more people to her list of honorees.

“It’s crazy. I’m so fortunate to have been doing this for so many years,” Walters tells PEOPLE of hosting the annual special at the age of 85. “I would’ve had to have been out of my mind to think that would happen.”

Her past lists have been filled with names ranging from celebrities (like Tom Hanks and Barbra Streisand) to politicians (like Madeleine Albright and Hillary Rodham Clinton) to those changing the world (like Mother Teresa and Steve Jobs).

“We try to see who made a particular mark in various areas during the last year,” says Walters. “We just don’t do criminals or scandals. It’s a very upbeat program.”

This year’s diverse list includes billionaire David Koch, entrepreneur Elon Musk, TV personality Michael Strahan, actor Neil Patrick Harris, and six others Walters and her team deemed “fascinating.”

Walters also sat down with actress Scarlett Johansson and singer Taylor Swift for the ABC special.

“She is such an enormous star, but she has as many fans as she possibly can to her house!” Walters says of Swift. “Most people don’t want to get close, but she goes out of her way to. I think that is remarkable.”

Making the list for the fourth time is Oprah Winfrey.

“The challenge with Oprah is to try and find new things that she hasn’t talked about,” says Walters. “But she keeps changing and emerging in new ways. This year she is producing [the film] Selma, which is another stretch for her.”

But just because Walters has been doing her specials for more than 20 years does not mean she’s fulfilled her wish list of dream interview subjects.

“I would have loved to interview the last pope – or this pope! Or Queen Elizabeth,” says Walters. “You always want to interview the person who was most in the news.”

Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014 airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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