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Updated Dec 6, 2023, 10:19am EST
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Taylor Swift is Time magazine’s person of the year

Taylor Swift attends a premiere for Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour in Los Angeles, California, U.S., October 11, 2023. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo
REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo
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Taylor Swift is Time magazine’s person of the year for 2023 — beating out finalists including Hollywood strikers, Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and CEO of OpenAI Sam Altman.

“We picked a person that represents joy. Someone who is bringing light to the world,” Sam Jacobs, Time’s editor in chief, told NBC early Wednesday. “She was like weather, she was everywhere.”

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In the nearly 100 years that the magazine has named a Person of the Year, Swift is the first entertainer to receive the designation on her own. In 2017, Swift was part of a group of women who were awarded the title for speaking out about sexual misconduct.

“If you’re skeptical, consider it: How many conversations did you have about Taylor Swift this year? How many times did you see a photo of her while scrolling on your phone?” wrote Time’s West coast editor in a profile of the billionaire singer-songwriter.

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At 33, Swift claims to have had a breakthrough moment in her career. “And for the first time in my life, I was mentally tough enough to take what comes with that,” the artist told Time. Analysts have made note about the “Taylor Effect.” The singer’s ongoing Eras tour is expected to gross over a billion dollars, likely surpassing Elton John’s Farewell Tour to become the highest-grossing tour of all time. Leaders from Canada, Thailand, Australia, and Chile have begged her to play in their countries. Every time Swift plays a concert in a new city, a “mini economic boom” takes place in hotels and restaurants seeing a surge of visitors, Time writes.

Economists believe that Swift is making more than 100% of the face value of a ticket to her concert, which costs hundreds of dollars on average. Swift’s expenses — including things like paying for the staging, costumes and venues, compensating the crew, and sharing proceeds with songwriters — amount to about 25 cents on the dollar, if not more, according to a professor of Northeastern University’s music industry program. In addition to shows, her tour makes money from sponsorships and merchandise sales. A Washington Post analysis estimated that Swift’s personal earnings from the tour will amount to $4.1 billion.


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