“Picking one person who represents the eight billion people on the planet is no easy task. We picked a choice that represents joy. Someone who’s bringing light to the world,” said Sam Jacobs, the magazine’s editor in chief, on NBC’s “Today” program on Wednesday morning. “She was like weather, she was everywhere.”
Swift beat out eight other finalists who were announced on “Today” 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.
Swift grabbed many headlines in 2023, in part spurred by her immensely popular Eras Tour that proved too much for Ticketmaster to handle, the release of the rerecording of her 2014 album “1989” that broke sales records and her relationship with the Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
Swift has also become the subject of academic and (even more) journalistic interest: Harvard University will offer a “Taylor Swift and Her World” class, and Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the United States, appointed a special reporter to cover nothing but Swift.
Time awards the title to “the individual, group, or concept that has had the most influence on the world throughout the previous 12 months.” Launched as a marketing gimmick in the 1920s, the award has continued to drive fanfare as weekly print magazines struggle to remain relevant.