9 Times Taylor Swift Crushed 2023
There’s no question that 2023 belongs to Taylor Swift. The 34-year-old pop star was already known as a trailblazer in the music industry — not only as an advocate for female empowerment, but also as a champion for musicians who want greater ownership of their work.
Fueled by her record-breaking Eras Tour, blockbuster concert film, and Taylor’s Version re-recordings, the Pennsylvania native managed to become even more influential than she already was — all while boosting the economy, making historic deals with movie distributors, and becoming a billionaire.
Her immense success and unique achievements haven’t gone unrecognized. She was named Time Magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year. Forbes declared her the most powerful woman in the entertainment industry and the fifth in the world. In honor of her 34th birthday, here are nine accomplishments the Lover singer has achieved in 2023.
1. She Became A Billionaire
In October 2023, Forbes declared the 12-time Grammy winner a billionaire and estimated her net worth to be $1.1 billion. What makes the Midnights artist’s fortune unique (compared to other wealthy musicians like Rihanna or Jay-Z) is that her net worth doesn’t primarily come from profitable side hustles (think: beauty brands, fashion lines, alcohol investments, etc.).
If we dive into the numbers, more than $500 million of Swift’s fortune is from music royalties and touring. She made an estimated $190 million after taxes from the first leg of the Eras Tour and another $35 million from the first two weeks of screenings of the corresponding concert film, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour. Meanwhile, another $500 million of her earnings came from the increasing value of her music catalog.
2. Her Eras Tour Grossed Over $1 Billion
The singer’s highly anticipated Eras Tour launched in March 2023. Lucky fans who secured tickets witnessed a phenomenal three-hour show that took them through her career’s different “eras.” From performing tracks from her nostalgic country roots and iconic pop anthems to everything in between, even those who couldn’t get tickets flocked to stadiums all over the country to camp out in parking lots in enormous amounts — something we’ve never seen at this scale.
Unsurprisingly, the Eras Tour quickly became the highest-grossing tour of all time. Pollstar reported that the singer achieved the impressive feat after performing 60 shows in 2023, surpassing Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour (which grossed about $939 million).
3. She Was Named Time Magazine’s 2023 Person Of The Year
Swift was recently named Time Magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year, beating out King Charles III, Barbie, and the prosecutors of former President Donald Trump. In her interview with journalist Sam Lansky, Swift told the magazine, “This is the proudest and happiest I’ve ever felt, and the most creatively fulfilled and free I’ve ever been.” She was previously honored by Time in 2017 as one of the “Silence Breakers” who bravely spoke out against sexual misconduct.
Time revealed that they chose Swift as their frontrunner because the artist “achieved a kind of nuclear fusion,” fueled by entertaining and writing songs that connect with people. They also noted that the pop icon represented a symbol of generational change. Here's a fun fact: She’s only the fourth solo Person of the Year born in the past half-century.
4. She Landed A Historic Deal With AMC
Like Netflix’s NFLX +3.7% Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour film, she turned the Eras Tour into a concert movie in an untraditional way. She bypassed studios and went straight to the distributor, AMC Entertainment, breaking the cinema’s highest single-day ticket sales record. Based on the deal, she earns 57% of ticket sales while theaters keep 43% of revenues.
“We met with all the studios and we met with all the streamers, and we sized up how it was perceived and valued, and if they had high hopes and dreams for it. Ultimately I did what I tend to do more and more often these days, which is to bet on myself,” Swift explained in the Time interview. She added her father had the thought to godirectly to the source. “He just said, why does there have to be a—for lack of a better word—middleman?”
5. The Eras Tour Movie Became The Top Concert Film In History
After an explosive debut weekend, the Eras Tour movie became the highest-grossing concert film, beating the $73 million lifetime gross of 2011’s Justin Bieber: Never Say Never movie. Since its premiere, the movie has collected more than $178 million in domestic sales and over $249 million globally, according to Box Office Mojo.
Swift surprised fans by releasing the The Eras Tour concert movie on streamers earlier than expected. “Well, so, basically I have a birthday coming up and I was thinking a fun way to celebrate the year we’ve had together would be to make The Eras Tour Concert Film available for you to watch at home!” the singer wrote via Instagram on Nov. 27.
6. “Cruel Summer” Charted No. 1 On Billboard Hot 100
Four years after its release, the fan-favorite single “Cruel Summer” from Swift’s seventh studio album Lover hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The rare feat entered Swift into a small group of artists with 10 or more No. 1s on the Hot 100, per the music site.
The renewed interest in “Cruel Summer” came after her label began promoting it as a single in June. Swift also sang it on her Eras Tour (encouraging fans to scream the famous bridge), and the track also went viral on TikTok.
Swift and the song’s co-writer, Jack Antonoff, reacted to the news with an Instagram video on Oct. 23. “The song that we said was the best song, but we thought, ‘Oh, you know what? This will be our secret best song.’ That’s what we thought,” Antonoff said, while Swift added, “We just wanted to say thank you so much for making ‘Cruel Summer’ a Hot 100 No. 1, and it’s not even summer anymore. It’s deep fall, I’m wearing a sweater.”
7. Her Eras Tour Boosted The U.S. Economy
Swift will reign in a considerable chunk of change from The Eras Tour (so far, the tour has earned $1.04 billion in ticket sales, according to Pollstar), and she’s estimated to take home as much as $4.1 billion from the tour, according to the Washington Post. But as much as Swift is making, her massive impact on the U.S. economy is worth noting.
By the end of her Eras Tour, it’s estimated that she could have contributed to a $5.7 billion boost to the country’s economy, the Post estimates. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia announced this summer that the artist helped boost travel and tourism in the region — a sentiment echoed by other U.S. cities that also Swift visited on her tour.
8. She Released Two Taylor’s Version Albums
In 2023, Swift released her most successful re-recordings to date. Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) was released on July 7, while 1989 (Taylor’s Version) came three months later on Oct. 27. Both albums debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
She only has two more re-recordings left (Reputation and debut) until she fulfills her goal of re-recording her masters. She starting doing so after her first six albums were infamously purchased in 2019 by Scooter Braun. Swift previously said that the deal occurred behind her back. Braun eventually sold her masters to Shamrock Capital for $300 million in 2020.
Following the success of re-recording her past works, top music attorneys told Billboard in October 2023 that some record labels were trying to keep artists from re-recording their songs for extended periods — and in some cases, never again.
9. She Was Spotify’s Most-Streamed Artist Globally
When Spotify Wrapped was released this year, Spotify named Taylor Swift as 2023’s most-streamed artist globally. Between January 1 and sometime in November (when Spotify stopped tracking data for Wrapped), her music earned more than 26.1 billion streams on Spotify. She dethroned Bad Bunny, who held the title for three years since 2020.
While you may wonder where the superstar can go from here, her 2024 looks brighter than ever. She’ll continue her historic tour run abroad, while her next release, Reputation (Taylor’s Version), is also rumored to come in 2024. Knowing Swift, she’ll likely have more surprises (and a lot of Easter Eggs for fans to decipher) in the new year, so stay tuned!
Mercuri, M. (n.d.). 9 Times Taylor Swift Crushed 2023. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/monicamercuri/2023/12/13/the-year-of-taylor-swift-9-things-the-singer-accomplished-in-2023/?sh=7ead11b85daa