TIME Editor-in-Chief Sam Jacobs writes, “The [TIME Person of the Year] has typically been a ruler over traditional domains of power…very often a politician or a titan of industry…And yet the person whose singular influence was revealed throughout 2023 has held none of these roles—or anything remotely similar….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.”
Jacobs continues, “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.”
Swift is the first figure from the arts to be named Person of the Year for her success as an entertainer.
In the cover story, which features an exclusive interview with Swift— her first in-depth conversation in nearly four years—TIME’s Sam Lansky writes, “This was the year she perfected her craft—not just with her music, but in her position as the master storyteller of the modern era. The world, in turn, watched, clicked, cried, danced, sang along, swooned, caravanned to stadiums and movie theaters, let her work soundtrack their lives.”
On taking a few hits in her career, Taylor Swift tells TIME, “I’ve been raised up and down the flagpole of public opinion so many times in the last 20 years…I’ve been given a tiara, then had it taken away.”
On her year in 2023: “It feels like the breakthrough moment of my career, happening at 33…And for the first time in my life, I was mentally tough enough to take what comes with that….This is the proudest and happiest I’ve ever felt, and the most creatively fulfilled and free I’ve ever been.”
On training for The Eras Tour: “Every day I would run on the treadmill, singing the entire set list out loud…Fast for fast songs, and a jog or a fast walk for slow songs…Then I had three months of dance training, because I wanted to get it in my bones…I wanted to be so over-rehearsed that I could be silly with the fans, and not lose my train of thought.”
On how fame is a seesaw: “Nothing is permanent…So I’m very careful to be grateful every second that I get to be doing this at this level, because I’ve had it taken away from me before. There is one thing I’ve learned: My response to anything that happens, good or bad, is to keep making things. Keep making art.”
On life in the public eye: “Over the years, I’ve learned I don’t have the time or bandwidth to get pressed about things that don’t matter. Yes, if I go out to dinner, there’s going to be a whole chaotic situation outside the restaurant. But I still want to go to dinner with my friends…Life is short. Have adventures. Me locking myself away in my house for a lot of years—I’ll never get that time back. I’m more trusting now than I was six years ago.”
Read more from the interview and explore related content: time.com/person-of-the-year.