Taylor Swift is TIME Magazine's Person of the Year -- and if we're being frank ... nobody's really surprised, 'cause she stands out as the far and away winner of 2023.
The mega pop star was tapped by TIME's editorial staff to grace their big end-of-year cover -- and the publication's editor-in-chief, Sam Jacobs, apparently felt it was important for him to come on 'Today' to explain the pick ... considering everyone/everything else as possibilities.
Obviously, there were a lot of choices this year ... in fact, TIME's finalists included all the big names from Trump to Putin and King Charles to Barbie -- not to mention a ton of other notable people/groups that made a splash -- but Jacobs said the staff chose joy this year.
He says, "Taylor Swift found a way to transcend borders and be a source of light. No one else on the planet today can move so many people so well."
Jacobs adds, "Achieving this feat is something we often chalk up to the alignments of planets and fates, but giving too much credit to the stars ignores her skill and her power. Swift is the rare person who is both the writer and hero of her own story."
Check out his full explanation here ... he says he acknowledges the world's on fire right now and that they could've gone in a number of contentious directions with the POTY -- but considering how much light and happiness TS spreads, TIME went with a lighter pick.
Of course, her influence and success was unmatched this year ... so on that front, there's no justification needed. She rolled out a worldwide tour that sold just about everywhere it stopped, released a concert film of that same concert ... and dominated music services.
Plus, Taylor ended one high-profile relationship ... and started another one with NFL star Travis Kelce -- so even in the sports world, she transcended and drew eyeballs. BTW, Taylor revealed in her TIME interview that she and TK were a couple way before anyone knew.
TayTay's quoted as saying ... "This is the proudest and happiest I’ve ever felt and the most creatively fulfilled and free I’ve ever been," before epically adding, "Are you not entertained?"
While TIME might normally be considered for somewhat heftier/more serious editorial coverage ... they clearly opted to crown the people's champion this year, and it doesn't sound like anyone's grumbling about it. Like the EIC says ... she's just larger than life itself.
The piece they did on her was glowing and positive ... however, there are old issues Taylor brought up that she clearly has sour feelings about -- namely, her beef with Kanye West/Kim Kardashian.
Specifically, she brought up that whole phone call debacle from years ago ... when Kim and Ye had TS on the phone and discussed his "Famous" song that invoked Taylor's name.
Taylor claims Kim, at first, released an edited version of their conversation that made Taylor look like she hadn't been truthful -- and she reflects on that in this TIME interview, saying ... "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."
Taylor adds, "That took me down psychologically to a place I’ve never been before. 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."