Music | Celebrity

Taylor Swift Reveals She's Not Allowed To Perform Her Old Songs

Taylor Swift/Instagram

A few months ago, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift revealed that she's been fighting a battle against Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta, the founder of her former record label, Big Machine.

According to the "Lover" singer, Braun purchased her catalog of records, including her first six albums. She also accused him of bullying her over the years.

"I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world," Swift wrote on Tumblr at the time. "All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years." She continued, "Now 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."

Taylor swift
Taylor SwiftGlenn Francis

Swift's revelation caused uproar in Hollywood, but it didn't take long for another news to occupy people's minds.

Now, the country-turned-pop star has released a second open letter regarding her issues with the Borchetta and Braun. Turns out, the situation has yet to be resolved and Swift admits that she doesn't "know what else to do."

She explained that the men have barred her from performing any of her old music at recorded events.

"Guys, it’s been announced recently that the American Music Awards will be honoring me with the Artist of the Decade Award at this year’s ceremony. I’ve been planning to perform a medley of my hits throughout the decade on the show. 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.

Swift added that she's been working with Netflix on a documentary about her life, but she's once again unable to use her old songs or performance footage for the production.

She continued, "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."

The "You Need to Calm Down" singer explained that she is sharing this information to raise awareness about the treatment of artists by their record labels and industry executives.

"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. 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."

Scooter BraunWikimedia Commons

Swift then urged her followers to take action by letting the two men know how her fans feel about this situation.

"Please let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this. Scooter also manages several artists who I really believe care about other artists and their work. Please ask them for help with this—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. I’m especially asking for help from The Carlyle Group, who put up money for the sale of my music to these two men."

"I just want to be able to perform MY OWN music. That’s it. I’ve tried to work this out privately through my team but have not been able to resolve anything. Right now my performance at the AMA’s, the Netflix documentary and any other recorded events I am planning to play until November of 2020 are a question mark. I love you guys and I thought you should know what’s been going on," she concluded the letter.

In addition to her fans, several celebrities, including Selena Gomez, voiced their support for Swift. The hashtag #IStandWithTaylor has been trending since the letter was posted on Twitter.

Neither Braun nor Borchetta have released statements, however, an anonymous source revealed that Braun does not want to be in a feud with Swift.

"Scooter is frustrated because his name is being dragged in the mud,” an anonymous source told E! News. “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,” the source added.

Big Machine shared a message on its website. It reads: "Taylor, the narrative you have created does not exist. 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 statement added that the singer owes the label “millions of dollars and multiple assets."

At this time, it's unclear what the outcome of this situation will be. However, Swift will very likely have a solution for her performance at the 2019 American Music Awards as Big Machine and Dick Clark Productions may have come to an agreement.

"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," read a statement sent to NPR. "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."

Swift is set to receive the Artist of the Decade award at the American Music Awards. This accolade is one of the reasons why the singer wants to perform a medley of her old and new hits.

Do you think Taylor Swift should be allowed to perform her old songs?

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.