‘The year isn’t 2023, this year was 2023 (Taylor’s Version)’

Taylor Swift poses for a Person of the Year cover of TIME magazine. She was announced 2023’s person of the year on Wednesday, Dec. 6. (Photo courtesy of @taylorswift, via Instagram)

Taylor Swift was named Time’s 2023 Person of the Year. She was awarded the title for her achievements in the arts — “culturally, critically, and commercially” — and as a business woman with an estimated empire of $1 billion, according to Time.

Time’s Person of the Year is just the latest of Swift’s many achievements. 

On Nov. 1, 2022, after the release of her tenth album “Midnights,” Swift announced her Eras Tour. The tour would be “a journey through the musical eras of my career (past and present!)” she said in her Instagram announcement.

The tour began in March 2023 and will continue into 2024.

According to Billboard, the 2023 shows brought in more than $900 million and could become the “highest-grossing global tour in history.”

Swift won 10 Billboard Music Awards, including top female artist, top Billboard 200 artist, top Hot 100 songwriter, top Radio Songs artist, top Song Sales artist, top Billboard Global 200 artist, top Billboard Global Excl. U.S. artist, top country female artist and top selling song for “Anti-Hero,” according to Billboard.

Economics student and major Swift fan Brendan Armstrong said he would have been shocked if Swift hadn’t been chosen as Person of the Year.

Armstrong said in addition to her artistic and economic achievements, she fostered an uplifting and kind community, leaving a positive social impact.

“I just feel like we’ve lived in a world that has just been very isolated … I feel like she does a lot of good in bringing out the best in people and like, creating a community,” he said. 

Brendan Armstrong shows off his Eras Tour outfit. He said his favorite album is “Lover.” (Photo courtesy of Brendan Armstrong)

Armstrong said he experienced this positive community at the Eras Tour concert, which he attended twice. 

Eric Thurman, a BYU linguistics major from Washington, D.C., called the tour Swift’s most significant personal achievement. He attended three of the 66 North American concerts.

“Taylor Swift’s innumerable accomplishments have consistently pushed the music industry to new heights,” he said.

In addition to her record smashing tour, Swift also released two re-recorded albums: “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” released on July 7, 2023 and “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” released on Oct. 27, 2023. 

On Aug. 31, Swift announced a concert film version of the Eras Tour.

“The Eras Tour has been the most meaningful, electric experience of my life so far and I’m overjoyed to tell you that it’ll be coming to the big screen soon,” she said in an Instagram post.

The film is the highest grossing concert movie of all time and holds the Guinness World record for “highest-grossing concert or performance film at the global box office.”

Janelle Mammen, an art student from Springville, said the re-recorded albums are significant because they represent Swift regaining ownership of her music.

Mammen said that as an artist herself, she understands wanting to have complete ownership over the art. 

“I can understand from an artist’s perspective why it would be really violating to have someone else have ownership … especially when it’s so personal,” she said. 

Armstrong said he thinks that fans embracing the new versions of Swift’s music is an indication of their loyalty to her.

He said he has been able to see Swift’s confidence grow over the last year, and he is an even bigger fan of Swift now than before because of who she has become.

“Seeing that confidence in her makes it very easy to feel it in myself,” Armstrong said. 

Swift continues to tour internationally, is active on social media and dominates pop culture.

Janelle Mammen and her mom pose together at the Eras Tour. Mammen has been a fan of Swift since she was six years old. (Photo courtesy of Janelle Mammen)
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