Taylor Swift says she’s been blocked from performing her own songs on TV by her ex-record label
Taylor Swift has accused Scott Borchetta, the owner of her former record label Big Machine Records, and his business partner Scooter Braun of blocking her from performing her own songs on TV.
The singer accused Borchetta and Braun – who own the rights to all of her albums up until this year’s Lover – of trying to sabotage a planned performance at the American Music Awards.
“I’ve been planning to perform a medley of my hits throughout the decade on the show,” she wrote on Twitter. “Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I’m not allowed to perform my old songs on television.”
Swift claims to have been told that any televised performance would qualify as “re-recording [her] music” – something she says she isn’t allowed to do until November 2020.
The stipulation has reportedly also stymied an as-yet-unannounced Netflix documentary “about [Swift’s] life for the past few years”.
“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 Record anywhere in the film.”
Don’t know what else to do pic.twitter.com/1uBrXwviTS
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 14, 2019
In a statement, Borchetta refuted Swift’s claims and accused her of “owing millions of dollars and multiple assets to our company”.
“As Taylor Swift’s partner for over a decade, we were shocked to see her Tumblr statements yesterday based on false information,” he said, according to Variety.
“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.
“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.”
Swift’s publicist countered this, pointing out that Borchetta had “never actually denied” telling Swift she could not perform old songs at the AMA or as part of her Netflix special.
“Borchetta flatly denied the request for both American Music Awards and Netflix,” a statement said.
“Big Machine is trying to deflect and make this about money by saying she owes them but an independent, professional auditor has determined that Big Machine owes Taylor $7.9 of unpaid royalties over several years.”
Swift also claimed in her original post that private efforts to remedy the situation had not been fruitful.
According to Borchetta, Big Machine Records has honoured all of Swift’s requests to license her catalogue since their public falling out, and has been locked in discussions with her team regarding her masters.
“We started to see progress over the past two weeks and were optimistic as recently as yesterday that this may get resolved.
“However, despite our persistent efforts to find a private and mutually satisfactory solution, Taylor made a unilateral decision last night to enlist her fanbase in a calculated manner that greatly affects the safety of our employees and their families.”
Taylor Swift plans to re-record songs after label split.
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Swift left Big Machine Records last November, and later claimed that she had been denied the chance to own the masters to her records.
She has been feuding with Borchetta since June, when it was announced that he had sold the label – and with it, her back catalogue – to Braun as part of a $300 million deal.
Swift said that she had been subjected to “incessant, manipulative bullying” at Braun’s hands “for years,” and called the situation a “worst nightmare”.
The message is clear: be a good little girl and shut up.
It later emerged that she planned to re-record her back catalogue to circumvent the deal. However Swift now says she has been told “they’ll allow me to use my music only if I agree not to re-record copycat versions… and stop talking about [Borchetta and Braun]”.
“The message being sent to me is very clear,” she wrote.
“Be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished.”