Each year, readers of People magazine look forward to the publication’s “Person of the Year” issue. You just never know who you’re going to get!
Well, for 2019, we all are getting a true treat: People has named four women as its “People of the Year.”
When explaining the choice, People‘s Dan Wakeford wrote, “Our People of the Year issue celebrates the stars who have made an impact on our culture, the individuals who have moved us and entertained us. We wanted to see if we could soak up a little of their wisdom. When we sat down to look at who we thought deserved this honor, I wasn’t surprised that we ended up with an all-female foursome — this year has been dominated by strong women.”
And who are the women in question? Jennifer Aniston, Taylor Swift, Michelle Obama, and Jennifer Lopez. Boom.
Dan also went on to explain: “The accomplishments are varied but have one thing in common: They came when these women got to know themselves better and focused their work on what makes them happy. Success followed those decisions and journeys — and that’s something we can all learn from.”
People shared each of the covers on Instagram. The caption for Jennifer Aniston’s cover reads: “Jennifer Aniston is proving there isn’t much she can’t conquer. After shattering records at Netflix with Murder Mystery, marking her return to series television with The Morning Show, and even crashing Instagram, 2019 has taught her ‘how much I’m capable of’ she tells PEOPLE in this week’s #PeopleOfTheYear issue.”
“Michelle Obama’s eye-popping 2019 included the 11.7 million sales of her memoir, Becoming, and a sellout book tour. And as one of PEOPLE’s #PeopleOfTheYear, she’s looking back on the ‘panic,’ vulnerability and gratitude of her record-setting year.”
“Jennifer Lopez out-J.Lo’ed herself this year. The megastar enjoyed a dizzying series of career highs, from a hit tour to an Oscar buzz-worthy performance in Hustlers to landing the coveted Super Bowl halftime show gig. ‘It just shows you that dreams come true,’ she tells PEOPLE in this week’s #PeopleOfTheYear issue.”
“To say 2019 has been an incredible year for Taylor Swift would be an understatement. The superstar released her record-shattering new album Lover and embraced her voice — and power — more than ever.”
Each of these women truly has had a wild and gigantic 2019. Jennifer Aniston is currently taking the Apple TV+ audience by storm with The Morning Show. “Doing it, I mean we were really flying by the seat of our pants. Apple itself was building a streaming service so everyone was like, we’re all in this together and this is exhilarating and terrifying. But at the same time, it was unbelievably rewarding.”
She also said that 2019 has been her biggest year in terms of knowing herself and that the year has taught her “how much I’m capable of. The words, ‘I dare you’ or ‘No’ always make me kind of go, ‘Oh, okay. Well, let’s just see.’”
With the release of her memoir, Becoming, Michelle Obama has also had a massively successful year. Despite that, she’s still pretty humble. “If you saw me on most days, in my sweats or workout clothes, you’d see that I don’t make a very good rock star. Of course, life feels a little different than it did while we were in the White House.”
She also said that embarking on her book tour was pretty terrifying, even though she was used to public speaking. “Here I’d been first lady of the United States for eight years, giving speeches in front of huge crowds, but this felt so different.”
Jennifer Lopez is enjoying a lot of highs right now: Her movie Hustlers did well. She recently got engaged. She’ll be performing at the Super Bowl in 2020 — there’s so much goodness. J.Lo says, “It just shows you that dreams come true. But you have to work at it and not give up. The key is the not giving up part. For me, it’s not a choice. You can’t stop.”
Taylor Swift has a lot to celebrate as well, and she’s especially proud of what she has overcome. “This is the first time I’ve been able to put out music that I feel is connecting with people, yet look back on everything I’ve made and feel a quiet sense of pride. I’m proud of the things I’ve withstood, and I’ve been able to carve out a life for myself.”
The “Lover” singer and actress is also aware of her position of authority in the music industry, “I’m in a position to speak out, thankfully, so if somebody who’s younger who’s signing a record deal can learn from that, then that’s a good day. When I signed my record deal with Universal Music Group, they agreed to pay their artists a significant portion when they sell their Spotify shares. It’s a hugely important thing to me as an artist because I think that’s our pension plan, and that’s our thing we get to leave to our kids.”