Taylor Swift is TIME’s 2023 Person of the Year.
In a remarkable long-form article, Sam Lansky chronicles Taylor’s career and global impact, spiked by sharing candid moments from interviewing Taylor and those close to her.
In the midst of it, he writes:
A few months before I sit with Swift in New York, on a summer night in Santa Clara, Calif., which has been temporarily renamed Swiftie Clara in her honor, I am in a stadium with nearly 70,000 other people having a religious experience. The crowd is rapturous and Swift beatific as she gazes out at us, all high on the same drug. Her fans are singularly passionate, not just in the venue but also online, as they analyze clues, hints, and secret messages in everything from her choreography to her costumes—some deliberately planted, others not. (“Taylor Swift fans are the modern-day equivalent of those cults who would consistently have inaccurate rapture predictions like once a month,” as one viral tweet noted.)
I found it fascinating that he called her concerts a religious experience.
Yet throughout, the reporter notes Taylor’s superlative ability to tell relatable stories, layered with meaning. He notes,
She deploys the most efficient medium of the day—the pop song—to tell her story. Yet over time, she has harnessed the power of the media, both traditional and new, to create something wholly unique—a narrative world, in which her music is just one piece in an interactive, shape-shifting story. Swift is that story’s architect and hero, protagonist and narrator.
One storyline that runs throughout the profile: “After I leave Swift’s house, I can’t stop thinking about how perfectly she crafted this story for me—the one about redemption, how she lost it all and got it back.”
That’s a story that will connect with nearly everyone.
What’s your experience of Taylor - as a celebrity, as a musician, as a storyteller?
And in what ways, if any, has she affected your faith?