The singer-songwriter is the first entertainer to receive the honor from the publication.
The Taylor Swift era continues.
The superstar singer-songwriter has been named Time‘s 2023 Person of the Year, the first time that an entertainer has received the honor from the long-running publication.
Time announced the Person of the Year on Wednesday morning.
“The selections over the years have tended to follow certain patterns. The person chosen has typically been a ruler over traditional domains of power. He — and yes, usually it has been a ‘he’ — is very often a politician or a titan of industry. Fourteen U.S. presidents, five leaders of Russia or the Soviet Union and three Popes have all been recognized,” the magazine’s editor Sam Jacobs wrote about naming Swift.
“And yet the person whose singular influence was revealed throughout 2023 has held none of these roles — or anything remotely similar,” he added. “Every year contains light and dark; 2023 was a year with significant shares of darkness. In a divided world, where too many institutions are failing, Taylor Swift found a way to transcend borders and be a source of light. No one else on the planet today can move so many people so well.”
Swift, of course, is in the midst of her global Eras Tour, and has had three No. 1 albums this year. Time notes that she has had more No. 1 albums than any woman in history.
In the cover story, Swift addressed a number of hot-button topics, from her ongoing tour, her relationship with NFL star Travis Kelce (Swift says it began when he called her out on his podcast, “which I thought was metal as hell”), and Scooter Braun‘s acquisition of her masters: “With the Scooter thing, my masters were being sold to someone who actively wanted them for nefarious reasons, in my opinion.”
She revealed that by the time she went to Kelce’s first game, they were a couple (“I think some people think that they saw our first date at that game? We would never be psychotic enough to hard launch a first date”) and why she publicly shows up for him, acknowledging all of the attention she’s brought by attending his games, “I’m just there to support Travis. I have no awareness of if I’m being shown too much and pissing off a few dads, Brads, and Chads.”
But she also addressed her reaction to the claims made by Kim Kardashian and Kanye West about his song “Famous”:
“Make no mistake — my career was taken away from me … You have a fully manufactured frame job, in an illegally recorded phone call, which Kim Kardashian edited and then put out to say to everyone that I was a liar,” Swift told Time. “That took me down psychologically to a place I’ve never been before. I moved to a foreign country. I didn’t leave a rental house for a year. I was afraid to get on phone calls. I pushed away most people in my life because I didn’t trust anyone anymore. I went down really, really hard.”
In fact, those challenges helped fuel her desire to launch the Eras Tour:
“It’s not lost on me that the two great catalysts for this happening were two horrendous things that happened to me,” she said. “The first was getting canceled within an inch of my life and sanity … The second was having my life’s work taken away from me by someone who hates me.”
Of Braun and West’s fortunes turning recently (the former having lost major clients and the latter having lost endorsement deals over antisemitic comments), Swift added, “Nothing is permanent. So I’m very careful to be grateful every second that I get to be doing this at this level, because I’ve had it taken away from me before. There is one thing I’ve learned: My response to anything that happens, good or bad, is to keep making things. Keep making art. But I’ve also learned there’s no point in actively trying to quote unquote defeat your enemies. Trash takes itself out every single time.”