Later this month, the American Music Awards will honor Taylor Swift with the Artist of the Decade Award. But for all her achievements over the last 10 years, she'll have little to show for it.
Swift had planned a medley to showcase her musical evolution, but the owners of her master recordings have allegedly prohibited her from performing certain songs.
“Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I’m 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,” she wrote in a post.
What To Know About Taylor Swift And Big Machine
Swift had recorded her old albums through Borchetta’s Big Machine Label, which was recently acquired by Braun’s company, Ithaca Holdings. Braun and Swift have had a tense relationship since almost the start of her career. The label sale landed Braun the rights to all of Swift’s songs, which triggered a public dispute over whether he had given the artist a chance to buy back her music.
Swift has now accused the men of “exercising tyrannical control” over her career and requested intervention from The Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ: CG), an asset management firm that backed the label acquisition.
She claimed Borchetta and Braun not only hampered her AMA performance but also other artistic opportunities. The pair allegedly conditionally blocked Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX) from including her music or any performance footage in a new Swift-centered documentary.
“Scott Borchetta told my team that they’ll allow me to use my music only if I do these things: 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,” she wrote of the latest dispute. “...The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished.”
Big Machine Responds
Big Machine Label denied Swift’s allegations.
“As Taylor Swift’s partner for over a decade, we were shocked to see her Tumblr statements yesterday based on false information,” it said in a public statement. “At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special. In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere. Since Taylor’s decision to leave Big Machine last fall, we have continued to honor all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties as she promotes her current record in which we do not financially participate.
“The truth is, Taylor has admitted to contractually owing millions of dollars and multiple assets to our company, which is responsible for 120 hardworking employees who helped build her career.”
The American Music Awards take place Sunday, Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Photo credit: Eva Rinaldi, Flickr