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Ready for it? Taylor Swift ruled pop culture in 2023. She will dominate again in 2024

Ready for it? Taylor Swift ruled pop culture in 2023. She will dominate again in 2024

Entertainment

Swift’s Eras Tour sold out stadiums and pumped millions of dollars into each city

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop superstar Taylor Swift rocked concert stages, cinemas, local economies - and even the Earth - in 2023.

Swift's Eras Tour sold out stadiums and pumped millions of dollars into each city it visited. A movie version of the show lit up theaters, racking up $250 million in ticket sales.

With 26 billion streams, Swift ranked as Spotify's most popular artist of the year. In July, the 33-year-old became the first female artist to have four albums on Billboard’s top 10 list at the same time.

"She keeps leveling up," said Colin Stutz, news director at Billboard. He ranked Swift's achievements alongside musical elites such as The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson.

If Swift were a record label, Stutz said, the "Anti-Hero" singer would stand as the fourth largest in the US by revenue from her touring, merchandise, streams and other sources.

Time magazine named Swift its 2023 "Person of the Year".

“This is the proudest and happiest I’ve ever felt, and the most creatively fulfilled and free I’ve ever been,” Swift told the magazine.

In 2023, the singer released re-recordings of two records - "Speak Now" and "1989" - as part of her effort to take control of her back catalog.

A Swift concert in Seattle caused a small earthquake. Thousands of dancing fans set off a nearby seismometer, registering the equivalent of a magnitude 2.3 quake.

For 2024, the Swift Effect will spread around the world as her tour hits Asia, Australia, Europe and Canada.

WHY IT MATTERS

Swift did not just rule the music business. She lifted local economies, encouraged voter registrations and brought more viewers to professional football.

The Eras Tour grossed more than $900 million in ticket sales, Billboard estimates. The media outlet projects that will nearly double by the end of 2024 and surpass Elton John's Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour as the highest-grossing tour in history.

Each stop by Swift brought an influx of Swifties who spent money on hotels, meals and more. Celebrities and moms and dads also joined their superfan children for one of the hottest tickets of the year.

While it is hard to reliably estimate Swift's economic impact, it was notable enough for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia to cite a three-night Eras run as a driver of tourist traffic.

One contact told Fed researchers that May was "the strongest month for hotel revenue in Philadelphia since the onset of the pandemic, in large part due to an influx of guests for the Taylor Swift concerts," a July report said.

Two shows in Denver injected $140 million into Colorado, local authorities estimate. Six nights near Los Angeles added $320 million and 3,300 jobs to the area, according to the California Center for Jobs and the Economy.

Swift's impact had local politicians embracing her.

"Mayor after mayor would rename their city for a day," said Arizona State University Professor Margaretha Bentley. Glendale, Arizona, for example, temporarily became Swift City.

Bentley is teaching a class next year called Taylor Swift (Public Policy Version). It will explore government through the lens of Swift, looking at topics such as her impact on voter registration. After Swift urged fans to register, Vote.org reported 35,000 signups.

Harvard, Stanford and other colleges also offer courses on Swift's songwriting and influence.

In sports, Swift's high-profile romance with Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce brought new viewers to football games. Sales of Kelce jerseys jumped 400% in one day, online seller Fanatics said.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR 2O24

While Swift was seemingly everywhere in 2023, her Eras Tour only spanned the US, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. In February, it heads to Tokyo before swinging through Australia, Singapore and Europe. It wraps in Vancouver in December 2024.

Swift may be seen at February's Grammys, where her record "Midnights" will contend for album of the year.

The superstar also may release another re-recording, or two in the coming year, Stutz said. A prolific songwriter, Swift could debut new material.

"To have this level of popularity sustained, and continue to grow, is pretty remarkable," Stutz said. "It will be interesting to see how long she's able to keep that success and what it looks like as she grows and matures."




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