Swift will be receiving the AMAs Artist of the Decade Award this year. She’s also been planning to perform a medley of her greatest hits. However, she said in a lengthy Twitter statement that Braun and Borchetta are allegedly prohibiting her from doing so “because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year.”
Last July, music manager Scooter Braun bought Big Machine Records (Swift’s former record label) from Scott Borchetta for over $300 million. When this happened, Taylor Swift already moved to Universal Music Group, meaning that Big Machine still has the rights to ALL her music—from her very first album in 2006 to 2017’s “Reputation.”
However, several people have backed up Braun and Borchetta. The former’s wife Yael Cohen Braun claimed in an Instagram post that Swift had been notified about this and that she allegedly passed on owning her masters.
Swift later announced that she would be re-recording her first six albums once her Big Machine contracts expire in November 2020. But Rolling Stone cites certain roadblocks like being unable to make a direct copy of the original songs, and the fact she might only re-release five albums in 2020.
The first roadblock is mentioned in Swift’s Twitter statement, saying that Braun and Borchetta will only allow her to use her music if “I agree to not re-record copycat versions of my songs next year (which is something I’m both legally allowed to do and looking forward to).”
“The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished.” She continues by calling on to her fans to let Braun and Borchetta know this isn’t okay, especially since Braun manages several artists like Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande. Swifties are currently tweeting using the hashtag #IStandWithTaylor, which has reached Twitter’s top trends.
Neither men have released statements on the matter. As of now, Swift is still unsure if she can perform her medley at the AMAs on Nov. 25.
Again, we don’t know if it’s true that Braun and Borchetta are doing this to smite the musician. But no artist should have to beg to own their work, regardless if they’re a big-time star like Taylor Swift or an up-and-coming talent.