Taylor Swift will be honored with the Artist of the Decade Award at this year’s American Music Awards on November 24th, but it’s not clear whether she’ll actually be able to perform any of her hits.
On Thursday night, Swift took to Tumblr to claim that Big Machine Label Group’s Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have told her that she’s “not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year.”
Earlier this year, Scooter Braun announced a $300 million deal to acquire Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Label. Swift was dismayed, as Braun, a mega-manager who works with Kanye West and whom she has been feuding with for years, would own her masters. This past summer, Swift announced in an interview with CBS This Morning that she intends to re-record her first six albums, thus taking control of her masters. During an appearance on Good Morning America, she further revealed that she can begin recording after November 2020, presumably following the expiration of her contracts with Big Machine.
Now, it seems, there’s a wrench in the works — and not just when it comes to the AMAs. Swift also wrote that there’s currently a Netflix documentary about her life — and it’s now in jeopardy. “Scott and Scooter have declined the use of my older music or performance footage for this project, even though there is no mention of either of them or Big Machine Records anywhere in the film,” she wrote.
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Additionally, Swift said that Borchetta has set terms for her to use her old recordings: “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) and also told my team that I need to stop talking about him and Scooter Braun.”
“I feel very strongly that sharing what is happening to me could change the awareness level for other artists and potentially help them avoid a similar fate,” Swift wrote. “The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished.
”This is WRONG,” she added. “Neither of these men had a hand in the writing of those songs. They did nothing to create the relationship I have with my fans. So this is where I’m asking for your help.”
In an earlier blog post, Swift wrote, “Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.”
At the end of the post, Swift announces that her participation in the AMAs and the Netflix doc are now questionable. She then calls on her fans to rally for her rights. “Please let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this,” she wrote. “I’m hoping that maybe they can talk some sense into the men who are exercising tyrannical control over someone who just wants to play the music she wrote.”
Borchetta and Scooter Braun did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
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