Time’s Person of the Year 2023 is Taylor Swift. As she puts it: ‘Are you not entertained?’
This may be Taylor Swift's best era yet.
The pop superstar was announced as Time magazine's Person of the Year live on TODAY on Dec. 6. It's the latest milestone for Swift, 33, in a year highlighted by her sold-out “Eras Tour,” the biggest concert movie of all time and a headline-grabbing romance with Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce.
In the 96 years that Time has named a Person of the Year, Swift is the first entertainer to receive the designation solo. In 2005, U2 frontman Bono was part of a group of philanthropists dubbed “The Good Samaritans.”
In an introduction before Time's wide-ranging profile of the singer, the magazine's editor-in-chief Sam Jacobs expanded upon the reasoning behind the selection.
“Taylor Swift found a way to transcend borders and be a source of light,” Jacobs' piece reads. “No one else on the planet today can move so many people so well. Achieving this feat is something we often chalk up to the alignments of planets and fates, but giving too much credit to the stars ignores her skill and her power. Swift is the rare person who is both the writer and hero of her own story.”
In an interview with Time, the "Blank Space" singer reflected on her historic 2023, which made her a billionaire and the most-streamed artist in the world on Spotify. She also reflected on the start of her relationship with Kelce, clarifying that the two had quietly started seeing one another long before the Sept. 24 Chiefs-Bears game she attended — you know, the one seen 'round the world.
“By the time I went to that first game, we were a couple," she reveals in her Time interview.
Her banner year began in March when she kicked off her global “Eras Tour” in Arizona. The epic shows — filled with fans wearing friendship bracelets and DIY-themed costumes — led to booming ticket sales, increased revenue for hotels across the country and billions of dollars in impact on the economy.
Even Kelce flew to Argentina last month to see her perform, which ended with Swift running into his arms for a kiss.
Footage from the concerts was used to make an “Eras Tour” concert movie, which has brought in more than $250 million at the box office.
Swift also released her re-recorded versions of her “1989” album and “Speak Now” albums this year, which helped her unseat Bad Bunny as the most-streamed artist in the world on Spotify.
Her reign also shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. The international portion of the “Eras Tour” will continue throughout all of next year, concluding on Dec. 8, 2024, in Vancouver.
According to her conversation with Time, the singer is pleased by her influence in 2023, which saw her extend her reach beyond the scope of music, including into the box office and to Rio’s iconic Christ The Redeemer.
“This is the proudest and happiest I’ve ever felt and the most creatively fulfilled and free I’ve ever been,” she told the magazine.
“Ultimately, we can convolute it all we want or try to overcomplicate it, but there’s only one question,” she continued before repeating the words once recited by Russell Crowe in the film “Gladiator” nearly 20 years ago: “Are you not entertained?”
Swift was selected from a group of nine finalists that also included Britain's King Charles III, China president Xi Jinping, the Hollywood actors and writers who went on strike, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, Russian President Vladimir Putin, the prosecutors who have brought charges against former President Donald Trump, and the iconic Barbie doll that inspired the summer’s hit movie.
The “Cruel Summer” singer was also the clear choice for Person of Year among TODAY fans, 43% of whom voted for her in a TODAY.com poll. Barbie was a distant second, with 19% of the vote.
The 2022 Time Person of the Year was Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who followed 2021 recipient Elon Musk of Tesla, X and SpaceX.
Time also named soccer superstar Lionel Messi as its 2023 Athlete of the Year, revealed on TODAY on Dec. 5.