NEW YORK: 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”.
“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,” editor-in-chief Sam Jacobs wrote in a statement.
“Much of what Swift accomplished this year 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$92.8 million (RM434 million) opening earlier this year of Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” film set the tone for the “Cruel Summer” singer’s 2023. Advance ticket sales for the movie topped US$100 million worldwide, theatre operator AMC said, making it the bestselling feature-length concert film in history.
This year, Swift’s blossoming romance with Kansas City Chiefs tight end 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.
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 artiste 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.