Taylor Swift Claims Big Machine Is Releasing an 'Album' of Live Performances Without Her Approval
The singer took to Instagram Stories on Thursday, revealing that her former record label is planning to release an "album" of some of her live performances at midnight. Swift claims that she did not approve of the album, and only recently learned about it from her fans.
"Hey guys - I want to thank my fans for making me aware that my former record label is putting out an 'album' of live performances of mine tonight. This recording is from a 2008 radio show performance I did when I was 18," she wrote. "Big Machine has listed the date as a 2017 release but they're actually releasing it at midnight."
"I'm always honest with you guys about this stuff so I just wanted to tell you that this release is not approved by me. It looks to me like Scooter Braun and his financial bankers, 23 Capital, Alex Soros and the Soros family and The Carlyle Group have seen the latest balance sheets and realized that paying $330 MILLION for my music wasn't exactly a wise choice and they need money," she continued. "In my opinion... just another case of shameless greed in the time of coronavirus. So tasteless, but very transparent."
A source close to the situation tells ET, "This is not a new release. All that's being done is taking music available through YouTube and Target since 2008 and distributing it to streaming services so fans can enjoy wherever they listen. This is standard practice."
ET has reached out to Big Machine for comment.
Braun and Swift's feud first started brewing last summer, when the "Lover" singer accused Braun of "bullying" her after he purchased her former label, Big Machine Records, and thus her master recordings. It reignited in November 2019 when Swift claimed that Big Machine's founder, Scott Borchetta, and Braun were blocking her from performing her older songs at the AMAs and preventing the release of an upcoming Netflix documentary. After back-and-forth statements, Big Machine said it had reached an agreement to allow Swift to perform her songs at the AMAs.
Braun addressed the drama with Swift at the time during a Q&A session at the 2019 Entertainment Industry Conference, co-sponsored by Variety and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Though Braun didn't mention Swift by name, he shared a clear message about the artist's beef with him, suggesting a face-to-face conversation could help clear the air.
"I haven’t talked about this in six months. Not once. I haven’t made a statement about it," he said. "When there’s a lot of things being said and a lot of different opinions, yet the principals haven’t had a chance to speak to each other, there’s a lot of confusion."
"I’m not going to go into details here, because it’s just not my style. I just think we live in a time of toxic division, and of people thinking that social media is the appropriate place to air out on each other and not have conversations," he added. "And I don’t like politicians doing it. I don’t like anybody doing it, and if that means that I’ve got to be the bad guy longer, I’ll be the bad guy longer, but I’m not going to participate."
One month later, at Billboard's Women in Music Awards, Swift called out Braun while accepting the Woman of the Decade accolade.
"Lately, there has been a new shift that has affected me personally and that I feel is a potentially harmful force in our industry. And, as your resident loud person, I feel the need to bring it up," Swift said. "And that is the unregulated world of private equity coming in and buying up our music as if it was real estate. As if it's an app or a shoe line."
"This just happened to me, without my approval, consultation or consent. After I was denied the chance to purchase my music outright, my entire catalog was sold to Ithaca Holdings in a deal that I'm told was funded by the Soros family, 23 Capital and the Carlyle Group," she continued. "And yet, to this day, none of these investors have ever bothered to contact me or my team directly…. To ask me how I might feel about the new owner of my art. Scooter never contacted me or my team to discuss it prior to the sale or even when it was announced. I'm fairly certain he knew exactly how I would feel about it though."
Hear more in the video below.
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