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Taylor Swift v. Scooter Braun: A Total Breakdown!

Taylor Swift vs Big Machine, a breakdown

The bad blood between Taylor Swift and Big Machine Records runs deep, and it’s NOT calming down anytime soon. 

As we reported, the drama between the songstress and her old label reached new heights last week when Tay penned an open Tumblr letter to her fans claiming Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta had barred her from performing her old songs at the upcoming American Music Awards.

Essentially, the 29-year-old claimed the music powerhouses were holding her music hostage in order to prevent her from re-recording her songs (and effectively causing them to lose serious money) — but they hit back with a statement of their own, claiming the Grammy winner was spinning her own “false narrative.”

Related: John Mayor SHADES Ex Taylor’s Song About Her Current BF!

So, who to believe? Well, first, let’s take a look at how we got to this point…

Scooter Treats Himself

It all started way back in June, when, as Swifties recall, the Wall Street Journal reported that the famed music manager had dropped a couple hundred million dollars to buy Big Machine Label Group and its music catalog through his Ithaca Holdings LLCThis $300 million purchase included the masters for Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, and, of course, everything Miss Swift had ever produced on her first six albums. 

It should be noted Borchetta, who signed Swift to BMLG when she was 15, landed softly at Braun’s holding company, getting a nice new title and position out of the lightning fast deal. 

Yep, the purchase happened so quickly, pretty much everyone in the music biz missed it — until, of course…

Taylor Strikes Back

“Sad and grossed out” over the purchase, the star had no choice but to share an open letter to her fans about the sale on Tumblr, in which she claimed she had long desired to own her own music but wasn’t given the opportunity to make the purchase before Braun, a huge bully in her eyes, swooped in and beat her to it. 

In the letter, Tay explained Big Machine offered her the chance to sign a new deal with them and “‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in,” but the singer refused. (Instead, she signed with Republic and Universal Music Group last year, where she will own her masters going forward.) She wrote:

I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future.”

The Nashville native (who was born and raised in Pennsylvania) went on to say she found out about Braun’s purchase “as it was announced to the world,” and reminisced about his “incessant, manipulative bullying” connected to her drama with Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West.

Painting a vivid picture of her relationship with Braun, Tay penned: 

“Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.”

In response, Borchetta posted a blog on the BMLG site, explaining how the company and Taylor’s team tried to come to an agreement but failed to do so. The music exec confirmed the songstress did have the opportunity to earn back her masters, but only if she signed with the label for another ten years.

Seeing as Swift’s music made up as much as 80% of BMLG’s revenue, according to a 2018 Variety report, there was a lot at stake over this deal.

Now They Got Problems

At that point, the battle lines were drawn — and other celebs in the music industry were quick to take sides. 

Justin Bieber was first to defend Braun, his longtime manager, by penning an Instagram post addressing T.Swift. Scrutinizing her for using social media to “get people to hate on Scooter,” he wrote: 

“What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog? seems to me like it was to get sympathy u also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully scooter.”

Taylor’s response was small but near fatal: she liked a Tumblr post written by one of her fans, which referenced allegations the Purpose singer cheated on ex Selena Gomez

The Biebs piped down after that, and soon other celebs took sides in the music industry’s civil war.

Panic At The Disco frontman Brandon Urie was quick to join #TeamTaylor, chalking up “piece of s**t” Braun’s actions as more “toxic dudes doing toxic bulls**t in this toxic industry” in a live Twitch.TV video. Meanwhile, Sia joined #TeamScooter, writing more diplomatically on Twitter: 

You’re a good kind man @scooterbraun I hope this passes quickly. I love you keep going.”

Things (Temporarily) Calm Down

The dueling factions settled down for the next few weeks, as Tay was preoccupied with releasing her hotly-anticipated seventh album Lover, in August, which debuted at No. 1.

During the promo tour for the album, the star revealed she was “absolutely” planning to re-record her old material as a way of regaining control of her catalog, and went on to like a few Tumblr posts confirming this.

It appeared Tay had finally checkmated her adversaries, finding a way to use the power of music to take back what she felt was hers. But if there’s one thing we know about the music industry, it’s that people like to play dirty…

Look What She Made Him Do

In November, Tay resurfaced on Tumblr to call out Scooter and Scott for allegedly barring her from performing any of her old hits live at the upcoming American Music Awards, at which she was to be honored with Artist of the Decade. 

She wrote in the post:

“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 rerecording my music before I’m allowed to next year.” 

Tay went on to claim the duo had prohibited her from using her old tracks or performance footage for an upcoming Netflix documentary about her life, unless she agrees to two conditions: (1) she doesn’t “re-record copycat versions of [her] songs next year” and (2) promises to stop trash talking them.

In response, Big Machine denied her claims with a statement of its own, writing:

“As Taylor Swift’s partner for over a decade, we were shocked to see her Tumblr statements yesterday based on false information. 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 statement went on to paint the star as a liar:

“Taylor, the narrative you have created does not exist. All we ask is to have a direct and honest conversation. When that happens, you will see there is nothing but respect, kindness and support waiting for you on the other side. To date, not one of the invitations to speak with us and work through this has been accepted. Rumors fester in the absence of communication. Let’s not have that continue here. We share the collective goal of giving your fans the entertainment they both want and deserve.”

At that point, it was unclear which party to believe — but then Tay’s PR goddess Tree Paine came in with RECEIPTS, writing:

“The truth is, on October 28, 2019 at 5:17 p.m. the Vice President, Rights Management and Business Affairs from Big Machine Label Group sent Taylor Swift’s team the following: ‘Please be advised that BMLG will not agree to issue licenses for existing recordings or waivers of its re-recording restrictions in connection with these two projects: The Netflix documentary and The Alibaba “Double Eleven” event.’

To avoid an argument over rights, Taylor performed three songs off her new album Lover at the Double Eleven event as it was clear that Big Machine Label Group felt any televised performance of catalog songs violated her agreement. In addition, yesterday Scott Borchetta, CEO and founder of Big Machine Label Group, flatly denied the request for both American Music Awards and Netflix. Please notice in Big Machine’s statement, they never actually deny either claim Taylor said last night in her post. Lastly, 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 Million of unpaid royalties over several years.”

Scooter Backpedals

Soon, Tay’s famous besties came in to give her support: Selena, Halsey, Camila Cabello, and Ruby Rose all defended the star on social media. Bieber, meanwhile, kept his support vague, writing on his IG Story:

“I’m having a rough day, thought I’d share, remind you ur not alone. Keep pushing.”

As support for Taylor continued to grow, Scooter seemingly tried to distance himself from the drama, with an E! News source claiming Ariana Grande‘s manager was not the bad guy in the situation. An insider said:

“Scooter is frustrated because his name is being dragged in the mud. He doesn’t run Big Machine or have operational control of company. He hasn’t taken part in these negotiations… This fight with Taylor is not something Scooter agrees with.”

And if Scooter throwing Scott under the bus wasn’t enough indication of a Taylor victory…

Taylor Wins The 1st Battle

Mere days before the AMAs, it was reported the two parties reached a “licensing agreement” allowing Taylor to play her old songs during the ceremony. A statement provided to Variety read:

“The Big Machine Label Group and Dick Clark Productions announce that they have come to terms on a licensing agreement that approves their artists’ performances to stream post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms. This includes the upcoming American Music Awards performances. It should be noted that recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television or any other live media. Record label approval is only needed for contracted artists’ audio and visual recordings and in determining how those works are distributed.”

So, Taylor won this battle, but it’s still remains to be seen who will win the war over her music.

Which side are YOU fighting for, Perezcious readers?

[Image via FayesVison/WENN]

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Nov 18, 2019 13:50pm PDT