There isn’t a single day without news about Taylor Swift. If one day she is the most listened to artist of the year on Spotify, the next Bloomberg or Forbes arrive to declare that she is already a billionaire; the other she announces more concerts on her tour or slightly opens the door to her personal life. The 33-year-old artist from Pennsylvania is experiencing a stellar moment in her career. So much so that the magazine time has made a historic decision and has decided to make it the character of the year for 2023, making it reign on its cover.
Without a doubt, 2023 has been Swift’s year after 17 years of career, which she has been building since she was a teenager, when her parents decided to move from her native Pennsylvania to Nashville so that she could pursue a career first in country and then in pop. But these months she has been on stage 66 times in four countries for the concerts of her tour. The Eras Tour, in which he reviews almost fifty songs from his entire career for no less than three and a half hours. A sensational tour that has filled stadiums from Arizona to Los Angeles, and for the first time has set foot in Latin America—Mexico, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo—with unparalleled success, selling each and every ticket ( at an average price of more than $250 each). In fact, the issue of ticket sales has also been in the spotlight, due to the collapse of the system in most of their concerts. The controversy has even reached the US Congress, which has accused the company of a monopoly, in a cause that has united Democrats and Republicans.
“Much of what Swift has achieved in 2023 is immeasurable […]. “It is committed to giving value to the dreams, feelings and experiences of people, especially women, who felt abandoned and regularly underestimated,” the publication’s editor-in-chief, Sam Jacobs, highlighted in a statement. The singer, who has not granted interviews or statements for years, this time has sat down to chat with the magazine. “I have been raised and lowered from the mast of public opinion many times in the last 20 years,” she says during the long talk. “They put a crown on me and then they took it off,” he says, acknowledging that this year is different for her. “It’s the defining moment of my career, at 33 years old,” she says. “And for the first time in my life, I have been mentally strong enough to endure what that entails.”
It is clear that the singer’s creative, business and even personal decisions have crowned her, not only for time, but for the global cultural and concert industry, and for the economy. A quick calculation estimates that nearly four million people have gone to see her at her concerts. The Eras Tour, of which there are still 85 left around the world between February and November 2024 (including Madrid on May 30, when the Santiago Bernabéu will debut). She has earned about 700 million dollars in revenue, she already accumulates a fortune of 1.1 billion and her global impact is about 5.5 billion. “This is the proudest and happiest I’ve ever felt, and the most creatively fulfilled and free I’ve ever been,” Swift explains. “Ultimately, we can spin it all we want, or try to overcomplicate it, but there’s only one question: Are you having fun?”
Swift, who had already made her first steps in cinema, this year has adopted the role of film entrepreneur. She herself decided that her concert would even reach movie theaters: last October she decided to bring the concert to the big screen, directed by Sam Wrench, produced by herself and without distributors involved. The first weekend swept the box office with almost $100 million. It already has more than 250, and it is about to surpass This Is It, Michael Jackson’s world-record-holding 2009 concert. “We met with all the studios and all the platforms, and evaluated how it was perceived and valued, and if they had high hopes and dreams for it. In the end I did what I tend to do more and more often, bet on myself.” According to her, the idea came partly from her father. “He just said, why does there have to be a, for lack of a better word, middleman?”
Not only live music has put Swift on the podium this year, but also recorded music. Throughout her career she has released 10 albums. When she began her journey, she signed with a businessman named Scott Borchetta who, in 2018, decided to sell his masters, the catalog of the six albums he had at that time, to another company. She wanted to buy them, but he didn’t give her the chance to do so, so she lost the rights to her music to someone else (the producer, businessman and manager of, among others, Justin Bieber, named Scooter Braun, with whom had a very bad relationship) who in turn resold them to an investment fund shortly after. In a twist of direction and thanks to a legal loophole, she decided to re-record those albums and release them again, adding everyone’s last name. Taylor’s Version. She did it with Fearless and Grid in 2021 and this year with Speak Now and, more recently, in October, with the successful 1989. If this, their fourth album, sold 1.4 million copies when it was released in 2014, the first week of its release in 2023 has sold 1.7 million copies. “It all depends on how you face the loss,” he says in time. “I respond to extreme pain with defiance.”
In the talk, Swift says that The Eras Tour It has become the biggest professional challenge of his life and how he locks himself away to prepare for it. “I don’t get out of bed except to grab food and take it to bed and eat it there,” she says. “It is a dream scenario. I can barely speak because I have been singing for three consecutive performances. Every time I take a step my feet creak from dancing in heels so much.” She trains daily with a personalized program. “I know I’m going to get on that stage whether I’m sick, injured, heartbroken, uncomfortable or stressed. Now it is part of my identity as a human being. If someone buys a ticket to my show, I’m going to sing unless there’s some kind of force majeure.”
Just a week ago, Swift also made headlines for dethroning Bad Bunny as the most listened to artist on the Spotify platform: “Taylor Swift has been able to intelligently combine new music with re-recorded music, a unique case in the history of music,” she declared then. Spotify’s music director in southern and eastern Europe, Melanie Parejo. She is the first woman to reach the podium in a decade. She has also placed herself as the most listened to on Amazon Music and Apple Music, which has also named her artist of the year.
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