Taylor Swift tops People's 2023 Most Intriguing People of the Year list


The global phenomenon has electrified stadiums and ruled the charts worldwide. But, after her biggest year yet, friends say she's still "just getting started"

Swift at the 2022 American Music Awards in Los Angeles.
Swift at the 2022 American Music Awards in Los Angeles.SHUTTERSTOCK

Taylor Swift has topped People magazine's 2023 Most Intriguing People of the Year list.

The billionaire pop star — who was also just named Forbes' fifth-most powerful woman on the planet — has landed the coveted cover of the magazine after her most successful year to date, which saw her go from millionaire to billionaire, as reported by the financial outlet in October.

Thanks to the 33-year-old musician's ongoing record-breaking global Eras Stadium Tour and stellar streaming figures, the Grammy winner has dominated the past 12 months.

The Anti-Hero hitmaker is Spotify's most-streamed artist globally in 2023, having surpassed 26.1 billion streams worldwide. She's also reinvented the wheel by re-recording her earlier records due to a feud over her master rights, with two more still to be released, following 1989 (Taylor's Version), Speak Now (Taylor's Version), Red (Taylor's Version) and Fearless (Taylor's Version).

Many of the singer's friends and collaborators believe her success is partially owed to how "down-to-earth" and "human" the superstar is. "She knows when, where, how to promote [her work], but she also knows when, where, how to be normal and be a human just living her life. I think she has brilliantly navigated that line," country legend Tim McGraw, 56, told the magazine.

The National frontman Aaron Dessner, 47, who has co-written and produced Taylor's songs, agreed with him. "She never really stops writing songs. I've spent a lot of time with her, and I've never seen anyone wait on her. When I have stayed at her house, Taylor herself was cooking everyone breakfast and dinner. She's legitimately just a very down-to-earth and hard-working person," he explained.

Aaron — who started working with Taylor on the 2020 sister records folklore and evermore — predicts that she will continue to "invent" ways to "keep expanding" her "enchanted universe" for fans to enjoy for years to come.

"Taylor has so many stories to tell. I think she'll keep inventing new ways and methods of writing and keep expanding this enchanted universe of her own making that we all get to enjoy," he added.

Sabrina Carpenter, 24, has opened for Taylor on her tour and hailed the Cruel Summer hitmaker "fearless" and "smart", while she quipped that she is "a superstar who's really good at baking".

She told the issue: "Since I was a little girl, I've really looked up to how fearless and how smart she is. As a performer, I look up to how she's able to connect with every single person in the crowd, like she's singing to them personally.

"She sets such a beautiful tone, and it's why the shows are as magical as they are. And offstage she is still a superstar, but she's a superstar who's really good at baking."

Paramore's Hayley Williams, 34, who is a close pal of Taylor and will support her with her bandmates next year, believes she is "just getting started". "I'm almost afraid to say it, but I kind of think she's just getting started."