Swift was picked from a group of nine finalists that included Barbie, King Charles III, and OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman, among others.
"While her popularity has grown across the decades, this is the year that Swift, 33, achieved a kind of nuclear fusion: shooting art and commerce together to release an energy of historic force," says Time on her selection.
Her year included the wildly popular Eras Tour and concert movie, the release of her reimagined '1989' album, and her closely watched relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. She's even the subject of college courses.
Says Time magazine, “Swift’s accomplishments as an artist—culturally, critically, and commercially—are so legion that to recount them seems almost beside the point.
“As a pop star, she sits in rarefied company, alongside Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and Madonna; as a songwriter, she has been compared to Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and Joni Mitchell.”
Earlier Spotify announced she was the most-played artist on the streaming platform.
“As a businesswoman, she has built an empire worth, by some estimates, over $1 billion,’ Time continued.
“And as a celebrity—who by dint of being a woman is scrutinized for everything from whom she dates to what she wears—she has long commanded constant attention and knows how to use it.
“But this year,” says Time,” something shifted. To discuss her movements felt like discussing politics or the weather—a language spoken so widely it needed no context. She became the main character of the world.”
The magazine says Swift “deploys the most efficient medium of the day—the pop song—to tell her story… Yet over time, she has harnessed the power of the media, both traditional and new, to create something wholly unique—a narrative world, in which her music is just one piece in an interactive, shape-shifting story. Swift is that story’s architect and hero, protagonist and narrator.”
Says Time, “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.”