‘Hero of her own story’: Taylor Swift named Time magazine’s Person of the Year

NEW YORK – Time magazine named US pop icon Taylor Swift as its Person of the Year on Dec 6, calling the musical force of nature the “hero of her own story”.

“Picking one person who represents the 8 billion people on the planet is no easy task. We picked a choice that represents joy. Someone who’s bringing light to the world,” Time editor-in-chief Sam Jacobs said on NBC’s Today show on Dec 6. “She was like weather, she was everywhere.”

“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,” he said.

The huge US$92.8 million (S$124 million) opening earlier in 2023 of Swift’s The Eras Tour film set the tone for the Cruel Summer singer’s year.

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

In 2023, Swift’s blossoming romance with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has also brought the US National Football League 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,” Mr Jacobs said.

‘Mainstream sensation’

Swift beat out eight other finalists who were announced on NBC’s Today show this week, including King Charles III and Barbie.

“Swift’s accomplishments as an artist – culturally, critically and commercially – are so legion that to recount them seems almost beside the point,” the magazine wrote.

The Eras tour currently has more than 145 dates.

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

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.

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