7th December 2023 – (New York) Pop superstar Taylor Swift has been named Time Magazine’s 2022 Person of the Year, capping a banner year that saw her achieve new heights of cultural impact. Time highlighted Swift’s record-shattering Eras stadium tour, groundbreaking chart dominance, and growing political activism in selecting her for the annual honour.
“Swift deployed the most efficient musical medium – the pop song – to tell her own story, one about redemption,” Time said. “She built, in the process, an entire artistic universe for her fans to inhabit.”
The designation cements Swift’s status as a once-in-a-generation talent, reaching an imperial phase at age 33. Her connection to global audiences has made her the last true monoculture star.
“It feels like the breakthrough moment of my career…I was mentally ready,” Swift told Time, saying she’s never felt “more fulfilled and free.”
Demand for Swift’s Eras tour tickets famously crashed Ticketmaster last year. The shows are projected to gross over $1 billion, a first. When the tour film premiered, it smashed records for concert movies. On the charts, Swift claimed the year’s top three best-selling albums in the U.S. – the only artist ever to achieve that. She broke the record for most No. 1 albums by a woman, with 13 total.
Time called Swift a “creative synapse” between music, media and connectivity. Her ability to harness fan engagement created an “experiential universe” that drove her broader cultural penetration this year.
“She’s the architect of her narrative world, drawing fans into the story,” Time wrote.
Redemption has been a theme, as past backlash gave way to roaring crowds and acclaim. “My career was taken away from me…now it’s back,” Swift said, referencing the fallout from her feud with Kanye West.
Hitting her stride at 33 subverted the industry tendency to discard female stars by 30, she added.
Swift has inspired college courses, seismic fan pilgrimages and even a “Taylor effect” on local economies she visits. She’s made football more popular through her romance with Travis Kelce.
“How many conversations did you have about Taylor Swift this year?” Time asked, stating she’d become the “main character of the world.”
Fans have lauded Swift for modelling self-acceptance and intimacy in her shows and songwriting. “She’s everything at once,” said singer Phoebe Bridgers.
With Swift dominating charts and culture, her music also amplified advocacy for abortion rights and progressive politics.
“An artist for the ages, one whose influence will reverberate for generations to come,” Time concluded.
The magazine annually recognises the person or concept deemed most influential, for better or worse. Swift is the lone entertainer on Time’s 2022 shortlist, which also includes Xi Jinping, Volodymyr Zelensky and the U.S. Supreme Court.