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2023: Taylor's Version

Updated: Dec 22, 2023

By James Li and James Yu Dec. 14, 2023

Arrowhead Stadium roars with exuberant screams and thunderous applause. But the cheers are not for the Kansas City Chiefs—they are for pop superstar Taylor Swift, who is watching from the stands. The fans' deafening roar for Swift captures her dominating influence on popular culture this year, which extended far beyond her best-selling music and stadium-smashing shows into football, academia and society as a whole—and ultimately led to her being named Time Magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year.


Caitlynn Sue Art

Hot off of the release of her 10th studio album “Midnights” in 2022, Swift kick started her “Eras Tour” on March 17 in Glendale, Arizona. As Swift’s second stadium tour, the ongoing 45-track setlist features songs across all “eras” of Swift’s career, from pop smashes “Shake it Off” and “22” to recent hits such as “Karma” and “Bejeweled.” Spanning five continents with 52 shows in just the United States alone, the tour has brought in massive amounts of revenue. In Pittsburgh, her two concerts accounted for $46 million dollars in spending. In Los Angeles, six shows accounted for $320 million dollars. Aside from just revenue generated from tickets, fans’ travel and tourism in these cities also provided an influx of money into communities.


“After a tiring 4-day robotics tournament, seeing Taylor Swift at the Eras Tour in Houston, Texas rejuvenated my spirits, making for a memorable experience. The Eras Tour will cement Swift as one of the most influential artists of all time,” Senior Leo Chen said.

Swift also held true to her roots as a singer and songwriter this year, re-recording two of her previous albums: “Speak Now” and “1989.” Swift has been re-recording her past albums since 2019 to regain the master rights to her discography from music mega-manager Scooter Braun. The re-recordings have been wild successes; Billboard reports that “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” with over 1.81 million album sales since its release, surpassed its original recording by over a million sales. Furthermore, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” garnered over 2.86 billion streams since release, whereas “Red” in the same period received just 476.48 million.


Swift’s influence also extends to academia: The University of South Dakota reports that next semester, Law Professor Sean Krammer will teach a new law course based on Swift’s music, where students will debate over musical interpretations and compare them to legal interpretation theories. Krammer decided to make the course after witnessing students’ positive reactions to Swift’s concert; he believes that utilizing concepts that students are already familiar with will help students connect with the class’s material and apply them to the real world.


Another surprising influence of the global popstar is on American football. As Country Living explains, Swift began dating Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce over the summer, which led to the amalgamation of two of the largest consumer markets in America—football fans and Swifties. This new demographic’s effect was seen quickly, with Vox reporting that NBC’s broadcast audience for a game attended by Swift reached a record-high viewership of 29 million—which included an increase of around two million female viewers. Kelce also experienced an increase of almost 400,000 followers to his Instagram account, and Chiefs tickets searches and prices increased significantly.


“Swift and Kelce’s relationship seems endearing and Swift looks very happy to be with him. However, many people have been saying that the relationship is for publicity. No matter the intention, their relationship will continue to attract interest and viewership for the NFL as fans rush to see their favorite superstar in attendance cheering on her man,” Junior Drishti Koushik, who attended the Eras Tour, said.

Swift’s far-reaching influence on culture this year has been dubbed by Forbes and many others as the “Taylor Effect”: whatever she does, millions of fans will follow. Overall, with influential stars such as Swift able to fundamentally change the business models and culture of America, their influence may be the song which leads listeners around the world into society’s next “era.”

 

About the Contributors


James Li

staff writer


James Li is a senior at Leland High School and is a Staff Writer for the Charger Account. When not working, he enjoys bowling, running, and playing video games.









James Yu

staff writer


James Yu is a sophomore at Leland High School and a staff writer for The Charger Account. During his free time, he's obsessing over Speech and Debate, an active Boy Scout, and hanging out with friends.







Caitlynn Sue

artist


Caitlynn Sue is a sophmore at Leland High school and an artist for The Charger Account. During her free time, she enjoys drawing, playing violin, and dancing.

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