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Taylor Swift TIME Person Of The Year, Top 10 Takeaways From Her Interview

Taylor Swift graces TIME's Person of the Year cover, marking a milestone at 33 and a historic first for an entertainer. The pages of the magazine unfold, revealing Swift's dynamic journey through a monumental year. From reclaiming her narrative to hinting at the release of "Reputation (Taylor's Version)," Swift's candid interview unveils the resilient artist behind the global success.

Taylor Swift Is TIME Person Of The Year
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Taylor Swift ended 2023 on a high note, becoming the first entertainer to receive TIME's revered Person of the Year accolade on Wednesday, December 6th. She is also the first person to take her cat for the Magazine Cover!

"It feels like the breakthrough moment of my career, happening at 33," she told TIME in a wide-ranging cover story. "And for the first time in my life, I was mentally tough enough to take what comes with that."

She added, "This is the proudest and happiest I've ever felt, and the most creatively fulfilled and free I've ever been."

The news emerged exactly one week before the pop star's 34th birthday. Swift not only adorned three distinct global covers of the magazine but also participated in a rare confessional interview that delved into her life, career, and numerous accolades over the years. In 2023 alone, the pop sensation achieved significant milestones, securing two new No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, releasing two Taylor's Version rerecords—Speak Now and 1989, both claiming the top spots on the Billboard 200. Additionally, she embarked on the highly successful Eras Tour, unveiled a record-breaking concert film in theaters, and earned six Grammy nominations.

Concluding the year, Taylor Swift boasts an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion. Forbes forecasts that she has amassed $500 million from royalties and touring, another $500 million from her music catalog, and approximately $125 million in real estate. Furthermore, Swift claims the title of 2023's leading global artist on both Spotify and Apple Music, in addition to being Billboard's Top Artist of the year.

“Picking one person who represents the eight billion people on the planet is no easy task. We picked a choice that represents joy. Someone who’s bringing light to the world,” said Sam Jacobs, the magazine’s editor in chief, on NBC’s “Today” program on Wednesday morning. “She was like weather, she was everywhere.”

In her TIME interview, Swift openly discussed everything—from the remarkable achievements of 2023 to the numerous highs and lows of previous years that paved the way. Continue reading to discover the key insights from the profile, including details about her public disclosure of her romance, conflicts with Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Scooter Braun, and other significant events.

Psychological Impact of the Kimye Feud on Swift

“Make no mistake — my career was taken away from me.”

Swift directly addressed her longstanding feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, reaching its peak in 2016 when Kim released snippets claiming to be a phone conversation between her then-husband and the "Karma" singer, discussing the lyric, "I made that b—h famous." “You have a fully manufactured frame job, in an illegally recorded phone call, which Kim Kardashian edited and then put out to say to everyone that I was a liar,” Swift described the situation to TIME.

“That took me down psychologically to a place I’ve never been before,” she continued. “I moved to a foreign country. I didn’t leave a rental house for a year. I was afraid to get on phone calls. I pushed away most people in my life because I didn’t trust anyone anymore. I went down really, really hard.”

She responded to the scandal by releasing the album "Reputation" in 2017, which she remembers was met with both uproar and skepticism. Reflecting on that time, she shared with the magazine,  “I thought that moment of backlash was going to define me negatively for the rest of my life”.

The "Other" Springboard Of Her Success- Her Stolen Masters

In the interview, Swift portrayed her rift with Kardashian and West as one of the two springboards for her current success. The second one? "Having my life’s work taken away from me by someone who hates me," she stated.

She's referring to the 2020 transaction where her initial six album masters were sold to Scooter Braun. He acquired them from Scott Borchetta, the owner of Swift's former label, Big Machine Records. Describing the situation to TIME, Swift stated, "With the Scooter thing, my masters were being sold to someone who actively wanted them for nefarious reasons, in my opinion. I was so knocked on my a– by the sale of my music, and to whom it was sold. I was like, ‘Oh, they got me beat now. This is it. I don’t know what to do.’”

Following extensive public exchanges, she made the decision to regain control of her lost albums by re-recording them individually. She is currently two-thirds into the project, with only her 2006 self-titled debut and "Reputation" remaining. Reflecting on her approach, she expressed “My response to anything that happens, good or bad, is to keep making things,”. With regards to coping with the turbulent waves of her life, she said, “Keep making art … But I’ve also learned there’s no point in actively trying to quote unquote defeat your enemies. Trash takes itself out every single time.”


Reputation (Taylor's Version)" Is En Route

The magazine covers along with her TIME's interview seem to be pregnant with her signature 'Easter Eggs', all pointing towards the re-release of her Reputation Album (Taylor's Version).

Swift took a moment to hint at her upcoming "Taylor's Version" release, expressing her thoughts on the 2017 album. Describing it as a "goth-punk moment of female rage" in response to societal gaslighting, she remarked, "I think a lot of people see it and they’re just like, ‘Sick snakes and strobe lights.’”

As for the 'From the Vault' tracks coming on the still unannounced Reputation (Taylor’s Version), Swift teases they’re nothing short of “fire.”

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Swift did take a moment to tease that she’s already thinking about her next “Taylor’s Version” release. “It’s a goth-punk moment of female rage at being gaslit by an entire social structure,” she said of her 2017 album. “I think a lot of people see it and they’re just like, ‘Sick snakes and strobe lights.’”

Swift Contemplated Re-Recording Her Albums

Swift initially had reservations about undertaking her "Taylor's Version" quest. Recalling encounters with Kelly Clarkson and advice from her father urging her to "just redo it," she expressed skepticism, saying, "How can I possibly do that? Nobody wants to redo their homework if on the way to school, the wind blows your book report away."

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“It’s all in how you deal with loss,” she added. “I respond to extreme pain with defiance.”

Reclaiming Her Masters Is Like "Collecting Infinity Stones" For Her

If you've ever pondered Swift's sentiments about re-releasing her initial six albums, she likens the experience to a scene from Harry Potter. "I'm collecting horcruxes," she quipped, and then playfully alluding to Marvel and the Lord of the Rings. "I'm collecting Infinity Stones. Gandalf’s voice is in my head every time I put out a new one. For me, it is a movie now."


Prepping For the Record Breaking Eras Tour

Since the commencement of Swift's Eras Tour in March, there has been running curiosity about how she manages to effortlessly navigate the physically demanding three-hour show each night. Sharing her preparation routine with TIME, Swift revealed, "Every day I would run on the treadmill, singing the entire set list out loud. Fast for fast songs, and a jog or a fast walk for slow songs."

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In addition to her vocal exercises, she adopted a customized fitness routine from her gym, incorporating strength training, conditioning, and weights. Concerning her effortlessly coinciding performances and antics, she added, "Then I had three months of dance training because I wanted to get it in my bones. I wanted to be so over-rehearsed that I could be silly with the fans and not lose my train of thought."

Furthermore, Swift mentioned abstaining from alcohol, except for one exception: Grammy night. "Doing that show with a hangover ...," she added, "I don’t want to know that world."

She Isn't A Fan Of The Beyonce Comparisons

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Swift and Beyoncé have been on tour throughout the year. Despite their longstanding friendship and attendance at each other's concert film premieres this fall, comparisons of their talents and stage performances continue to persist.

“She’s the most precious gem of a person — warm and open and funny,” Swift said of the “Single Ladies” singer. “And she’s such a great disrupter of music-industry norms. She taught every artist how to flip the table and challenge archaic business practices.”

“There were so many stadium tours this summer, but the only ones that were compared were me and Beyoncé,” she added. “Clearly it’s very lucrative for the media and stan culture to pit two women against each other, even when those two artists in question refuse to participate in that discussion.”

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Beginning Of The Travis Kelce Romance

The world was astonished when Swift made an appearance at one of Kelce's Chiefs games at Arrowhead Stadium earlier this year. This sparked a frenzy among fans, speculating about the nature of her relationship with the Kansas City tight end. However, Swift clarified that they were already in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship by the time she attended the game.

"This all started when Travis very adorably put me on blast on his podcast, which I thought was metal as hell,” she recalled. “We started hanging out right after that. So we actually had a significant amount of time that no one knew, which I’m grateful for, because we got to get to know each other. By the time I went to that first game, we were a couple. I think some people think that they saw our first date at that game? We would never be psychotic enough to hard launch a first date.”

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Angry NFL Fans Can't Faze Her

As beloved as her relationship with Kelce already is, there have been some grumblings from football fans who think the NFL is focusing too much on the pop star. “I don’t know how they know what suite I’m in,” she said of the sports media attention. “There’s a camera, like, a half-mile away, and you don’t know where it is, and you have no idea when then camera is putting you in the broadcast, so I don’t know if I’m being shown 17 times or once.”

Despite the adoration surrounding her relationship with Kelce, there have been murmurs from football enthusiasts expressing concern that the NFL is placing excessive emphasis on the pop star. Addressing these sentiments, Swift remarked, "I don’t know how they know what suite I’m in. There’s a camera, like, a half-mile away, and you don’t know where it is, and you have no idea when the camera is putting you in the broadcast, so I don’t know if I’m being shown 17 times or once."

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“I’m just there to support Travis,” she continued. “I have no awareness of if I’m being shown too much and pissing off a few dads, Brads and Chads.”

She's No Longer Keeping Her Relationships Under Wraps

Swift is well aware of the widespread astonishment people have expressed regarding the public nature of her current relationship, particularly when compared to her previous long-term romance. In just the past few months, for context, she and Kelce have likely been spotted together more frequently than she and her ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn were throughout their six-year relationship. However, Swift suggests there's a specific reason for this

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"When you say a relationship is public, that means I’m going to see him do what he loves, we’re showing up for each other, other people are there and we don’t care,” she said. “The opposite of that is you have to go to an extreme amount of effort to make sure no one knows that you’re seeing someone. And we’re just proud of each other.”

 “Over the years, I’ve learned I don’t have the time or bandwidth to get pressed about things that don’t matter,” she added. “Yes, if I go out to dinner, there’s going to be a whole chaotic situation outside the restaurant. But I still want to go to dinner with my friends … Life is short. Have adventures. Me locking myself away in my house for a lot of years — I’ll never get that time back. I’m more trusting now than I was six years ago.”

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