This past September, our editors and reporters gathered to debate who should be TIME’s Person of the Year.

Sam Lansky, the writer of this year’s Person of the Year profile of Taylor Swift, has known the singer

Earlier this fall he visited with Swift at home for her first in-depth conversation with a journalist in nearly four years.

Swift makes her fourth, fifth, and sixth appearances on our cover. It’s been 14 years since Swift’s first interview with TIME,

“No matter what path you choose,” she said, “you’re going to miss something, and I don’t want to miss this.”

Taylor Swift is telling me a story, and when Taylor Swift tells you a story, you listen, because you know it’s going to be good

She was 17, she says, and she had booked the biggest opportunity of her life so far—a highly coveted slot

Swift’s accomplishments as an artist—culturally, critically, and commercially—are so legion that to recount them seems