'Time' names Taylor Swift its 2023 Person Of The Year


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Singer/songwriter Taylor Swift appears on the cover of Time Magazine's 2023 "Person of the Year" edition, in an image released in New York City, U.S. December 6, 2023. Photographs by Inez and Vinoodh for TIME/Handout via REUTERS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Time magazine named US pop superstar Taylor Swift as its person of the year on Wednesday, calling the musical force of nature the "hero of her own story."

Swift has smashed industry records this year with both her tour and the film of the globetrotting musical cavalcade that is estimated to bring in almost US$2bil of revenue as her adoring fans flock to see her in the flesh.

"Taylor Swift found a way to transcend borders and be a source of light... Swift is the rare person who is both the writer and hero of her own story," Time editor-in-chief Sam Jacobs wrote in a statement.

Jessica Sibley, CEO of TIME rings the opening bell to celebrate the reveal of the 2023 TIME Person of the Year, Taylor Swift, at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 6, 2023. — Photo: ReutersJessica Sibley, CEO of TIME rings the opening bell to celebrate the reveal of the 2023 TIME Person of the Year, Taylor Swift, at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., December 6, 2023. — Photo: Reuters

"Much of what Swift accomplished in 2023 exists beyond measurement. She mapped her journey and shared the results with the world: She committed to validating the dreams, feelings, and experiences of people, especially women, who felt overlooked and regularly underestimated."

The huge US$92.8mil opening earlier this year of Taylor Swift's "The Eras Tour" film set the tone for the 33-year-old Cruel Summer singer's 2023.

Advance ticket sales for the movie topped US$100mil worldwide, theatre operator AMC said, making it the best-selling feature-length concert film in history.

"(Fans) had to work really hard to get the tickets... I wanted to play a show that was longer than they ever thought it would be, because that makes me feel good leaving the stadium," Swift told Time.

This year, Swift's blossoming romance with Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce has also brought the NFL a whole new wave of fans as her hundreds of millions of social media followers checked out her new squeeze.

"For building a world of her own that made a place for so many, for spinning her story into a global legend, for bringing joy to a society desperately in need of it, Taylor Swift is TIME's 2023 Person of the Year," Jacobs said.

Taylor Swift performs at the Monumental stadium during her Eras Tour concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina. — Photo: APTaylor Swift performs at the Monumental stadium during her Eras Tour concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina. — Photo: AP

Mainstream sensation

The "Eras" tour currently has more than 145 dates.

According to Pollstar, the industry magazine covering the performing arts, each concert generates US$13mil in revenue, which would bring the tour total to around US$1.9bil.

No artist or group has previously crossed the symbolic billion-dollar threshold.

Swift's defining tool has proved to be social media, through which she regularly interacts with fans.

Born in Pennsylvania, Swift started writing country songs on guitar in her early teens.

Her father shifted his job in financial services to the country music capital of Nashville to allow her a chance in the industry.

After winning a growing mainstream audience for her introspective country songs, Swift switched to a thoroughly pop direction for her fifth studio album – 1989, named after her year of birth.

"What makes Swift a cultural phenomenon is not only her musical prowess and versatility but the trademark authenticity she puts on each note and verse," Forbes magazine said in an article published in October.

Time first presented its Person of the Year award in 1927.

Last year's honouree was Volodymyr Zelensky as well as "the spirit of Ukraine" for the resistance the country has shown in the face of Russia's invasion.

Previous selections have included US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, Martin Luther King Jr., former German chancellor Angela Merkel, Pope Francis, and climate activist Greta Thunberg. — AFP

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