Taylor Swift is Time’s 2023 Person of the Year. In the year of the blockbuster Eras Tour and accompanying film, as well as “Taylor’s Versions” of Speak Now and 1989, Swift was “the individual who most shaped the headlines over the previous 12 months, for better or for worse,” according to the magazine’s criterion. She is Time’s first Person of the Year to be recognized for success in the arts, the announcement notes. Her cover shoot features a cameo from her cat Benjamin Button, as credited in her acknowledgment post.
Time’s Sam Jacobs wrote, “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.” This year in particular, Jacobs added, Swift “achieved a kind of nuclear fusion: shooting art and commerce together to release an energy of historic force.”
This year alone, Swift has had three No. 1 albums: the two new “Taylor’s Versions” and a brief return to the top for last year’s Midnights. The Eras Tour movie broke box office records for a concert film. And, as Time notes, the tour itself came to symbolize American soft power: “A U.S. diplomat told me how meaningful it was to get Swift to agree to play in his host country,” Jacobs wrote.
This is Swift’s second time on the Person of the Year cover, following her appearance in 2017 among “silence breakers” who contributed to the #MeToo movement. Last year, Time honored “The Spirit of Ukraine” and the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Read “Meet the Argentine Taylor Swift Fans Who Have Been Camping Out for the Eras Tour Since June” and, below, Pitchfork’s review of the Eras Tour movie. Plus, check out the Pitchfork Review podcast on the film and the surrounding mania.