Time magazine has named Taylor Swift as their Person of the Year for 2023, bucking their tradition of recognising influential political leaders and acknowledging the global superstar as a “source of light” in a “divided world.”
- Time magazine says Taylor Swift “found a way to transcend borders and be a source of light” in a “divided world”
- The publication has previously recognised various politicians, religious leaders and activists
- Other finalists included the Hollywood strikers, Donald Trump prosecutors and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman
Time magazine’s Person of the Year recognises an individual “who most shaped the headlines over the previous 12 months, for better or for worse”.
Swift beat out a shortlist which included Russian President Vladimir Putin, King Charles III and Barbie.
“In a divided world, where too many institutions are failing, Taylor Swift found a way to transcend borders and be a source of light,” Time magazine editor-in-chief Sam Jacobs wrote.
“No one else on the planet today can move so many people so well.
“Achieving this feat is something we often chalk up to the alignments of planets and fates, but giving too much credit to the stars ignores her skill and her power.”
Spotlighting Swift marks a break from convention — since Time magazine began its Person of the Year tradition in 1927 it has recognised 14 US presidents, five leaders of Russia or the Soviet Union and three Popes.
Earlier this year, four million Australians queued up to buy pre-sale tickets to Swift’s Eras Tour, a three-and-a-half hour celebration of her sprawling discography.
The 12-time Grammy-winning artist went from strength to strength when the Eras Tour concert movie debuted at number one at the US box office, breaking the record for the highest opening for a concert film of all time.
Last year Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was honoured for his courage in resisting Russia’s devastating invasion.
In 2021, Elon Musk was acknowledged by the publication in a year that saw his electric car company, Tesla, become the most valuable car-maker in the world.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was shortlisted this year as “his influence was only reinforced” following the Wagner Group rebellion, Time wrote.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, Hollywood strikers and Barbie, which became the high-grossing film of 2023, also formed part of the shortlist.
Swift also beat out King Charles III, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and prosecutors for former US president Donald Trump.
Despite a tumultuous few weeks, Altman was named Time magazine’s CEO of the Year, with Lionel Messi named the publication’s Athlete of the Year.