Your queen Taylor Swift is No. 6 on Fortune's second annual list of the World's Greatest Leaders. Swift is featured alongside equally powerful international figures, like Apple CEO Tim Cook, human rights activist Beatrice Tetwa, and of course, Pope Francis.
To make this roster, it was not enough to be brilliant, admirable, or even supremely powerful (see Moisés Naím's essay on Vladimir Putin). We set out to find singular leaders with vision who moved others to act as well, and who brought their followers with them on a shared quest. We looked for effectiveness and commitment and for the courage to pioneer.
As far as entertainment, LeBron James and Yao Ming are featured, but Swift is the only pop star on there. She is the chosen one because:
Taylor Swift didn't become the highest-paid woman in the music business by accident. Pop's savviest star has crossed swords with Spotify, embraced corporate sponsorship, and moved to secure dozens of trademarks (including phrases like "This sick beat")—plus she has proved shrewder at honing a brand in the social media age than virtually any other person or company. And she's done it without resorting to dumbed-down salacious gimmickry. (Swift, ahem, is arguably the anti–Miley Cyrus.) With 1989, the top-selling album in 2014, Swift's efforts to ensure she gets paid for her music could have a huge ripple effect on the way artists are compensated in an era of free streaming.
Swift is sufficiently shocked.
Image via Getty
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