Our 2023 Annual Report hits a high note as we reveal Taylor Swift is our Artist of the Year. We’ll have more from our annual report, highlighting the best music, film, and television of the year, coming soon. Check it all out here.
There’s a strong chance that Taylor Swift is the most famous person on the planet. Her former New York City apartment has become a place of pilgrimage; she can’t snack at a football game without the Empire State Building lighting up in her honor. Bookies are taking bets on her possible engagement to Travis Kelce. Christ the Redeemer in Brasil, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, welcomed Swift to Rio de Janeiro by donning a projection of her shirt from the “You Belong With Me” music video.
It’s safe to say the mania of her fame reached a new peak this year.
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Swift has been a part of public consciousness for a long time and in many different forms, but her place in the pop culture landscape of 2023 feels distinct. “The Eras Tour” is largely responsible for this latest ascent; the ongoing global trek reshaped how a “greatest hits” outing can look, and there was simply no hotter ticket on the concert circuit this year. In fact, by financial metrics, it’s the hottest ticket of all time, recently crossing the previously inconceivable milestone of $1 billion in ticket sales.
“The Eras Tour” made more money than the second and third most profitable outings of the year (Beyoncé and Bruce Springsteen) combined. The trek isn’t even over and dates keep getting added, with the tour expected to generate another billion dollars in 2024. For reference, Michael Jackson’s 1989 “Bad” tour set a record at the time when it raked in $125 million, which adjusted for inflation would be just north of $300 million today. Swift is in entirely new territory — and that’s before you add in the record-breaking gross of the Eras Tour concert film.
The three-hour spectacle of both the live show and the movie have played to rave reviews, proving it’s never been cooler to be a Swiftie. That marks a shift in perspective that’s been interesting for longtime fans to reconcile. Of course, there are many ways to become interested in an artist, and gatekeeping just isn’t fun. However, 2020’s folklore and evermore helped some critics see Swift’s pen in a different light; more people were inclined to acknowledge Swift’s songwriting abilities than ever before, despite the fact that the biggest difference in her rootsy pandemic-era albums was one of production, not lyricism.
Then came the release of 2022’s Midnights, followed by the announcement of “The Eras Tour,” and suddenly people who may have once rolled their eyes at Swift wanted a spot in the stands, too. It’s an especially bittersweet moment of reconciliation for the young women who used to be belittled for their interest in Swift. It’s finally acceptable to wear her merchandise — it’s coveted, even. As her reach continues to expand beyond levels of any pop star that has ever lived, more and more people are learning what it means to be in the Swiftiverse.