5 biggest takeaways from Taylor Swift's TIME Person of the Year interview

From Travis Kelce and Beyoncé to that "Reputation" rerecording.

December 6, 2023, 11:05 AM

Taylor Swift is TIME's Person of the Year and she's the first person to receive the title for her work as an entertainer.

After the year she's had, it's no surprise.

"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."

In TIME's cover story -- Swift's first interview in years -- she talks about everything from her "Eras" Tour, her reclamation of her master recordings, her romance with Travis Kelce and much more.

Here are a few of the biggest takeaways from Swift's chat with TIME:

On her prep for the "Eras" Tour and the toll it took on her body

Swift said she began training for the tour six months before the first show, saying, "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. 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."

On her off days, Swift said she didn't leave her bed "except to get food and take it back to my bed and eat it there," calling it a "dream scenario."

But the toll on her body is real. "I can barely speak because I've been singing for three shows straight," she said. "Every time I take a step my feet go crunch, crunch, crunch from dancing in heels."

PHOTO: Taylor Swift is featured on the cover of Time Magazine as Time's 2023 Person of the Year.
Taylor Swift is featured on the cover of Time Magazine as Time's 2023 Person of the Year.
Inez and Vinoodh for TIME

On her friendship with -- and comparisons to -- Beyoncé

Beyoncé turned up to support Swift at the L.A. premiere of the "Eras" Tour concert film and Swift did the same for the London premiere of Beyoncé's similarly groundbreaking concert film for her "Renaissance" Tour.

Swift called Beyoncé "the most precious gem of a person -- warm and open and funny" as well as "a great disrupter of music-industry norms."

"She taught every artist how to flip the table and challenge archaic business practices," she added.

Of comparisons between their tours and concert films, Swift said it vexed her.

"There were so many stadium tours this summer, but the only ones that were compared were me and Beyoncé," she said. "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."

On her relationship with Travis Kelce

Swift opened up about when her relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce began, saying, "This all started when Travis very adorably put me on blast on his podcast, which I thought was metal as hell."

"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," she continued. "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."

She has attended numerous football games and Kelce has seen her perform, which Swift said is them "showing up for each other." The pop star added, "We're just proud of each other."

PHOTO: Taylor Swift is featured on the cover of Time Magazine as Time's 2023 Person of the Year.
Taylor Swift is featured on the cover of Time Magazine as Time's 2023 Person of the Year.
Inez and Vinoodh for TIME

On her forthcoming "Reputation" rerecording

Swift has been rerecording her first six albums from her former label in order to take ownership of the records that made her a household name, a move she announced on "Good Morning America" in 2019.

So far she has released "Taylor's Versions" of 2008's "Fearless" in April 2021, 2012's "Red" in November 2021, 2010's "Speak Now" in July 2023 and 2014's "1989" in October 2023. Still to come are re-recordings of her 2006 debut, self-titled album and 2017's "Reputation."

Of the latter, she teased that the never-before-released "From the Vault" tracks will be "fire."

She revisited the "Reputation" era, remembering it as "a goth-punk moment of female rage at being gaslit by an entire social structure. I think a lot of people see it and they're just like, 'Sick snakes and strobe lights.'"

Of her rerecording quest, Swift offered a slew of references by saying, "I'm collecting horcruxes. 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."

On the biggest lesson she's learned so far

At just 33 and having gone through all she has in her career thus far, Swift has learned a thing or two.

"Nothing is permanent," she said. "So I'm very careful to be grateful every second that I get to be doing this at this level, because I've had it taken away from me before."

"There is one thing I've learned: My response to anything that happens, good or bad, is to keep making things. Keep making art," she continued. "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."

For the full interview with Swift in TIME, visit here.

Related Topics