Taylor Swift isn’t backing down when it comes to the right to play her old songs.
On Thursday the pop star took to Twitter, revealing a damning set of conditions she says she’s being asked to meet if she wants to play a medley of her old hits at the American Music Awards Nov. 24, where she’s being presented with the artist of the decade award.
Swift says Big Machine label owner Scott Borchetta and music tycoon Scooter Braun, who purchased her extensive back catalog in June, are blocking her from performing her old songs on television because “they claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year.”
Swift says they have similarly denied her team’s requests to use her old songs and performance footage for a forthcoming Netflix documentary “even though there is no mention of either of them or Big Machine Records anywhere in the film,” she writes.
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“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.
USA TODAY has reached out to reps for Borchetta and Braun.
The message, Swift continued, “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.”
Taylor Swift says the owners of her back catalog of music won't let her perform those songs at the American Music Awards. (Photo: JOHANNES EISELE, AFP/Getty Images)
So Swift says now she’s going public for help, asking fans to “let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this.”
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She’s also asking fans to reach out to artists managed by Braun, whose roster includes Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, saying “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.”
In late June, Swift publicly denounced Braun after he paid $300 million to acquire Swift’s former record label, Big Machine Label Group, and by extension, the masters of Swift’s music from her first six albums.
Don’t know what else to do pic.twitter.com/1uBrXwviTS
The 29-year-old pop star called the deal her “worst case scenario,” accusing Braun of subjecting her to “incessant, manipulative bullying” for years and “controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated” with him.
Swift and her lawyer have said she and her inner circle were unaware of the business deal, but Borchetta countered that, writing in a blog post that Swift had “every chance in the world to own … her master recordings.”
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With the year coming to a close, “I just want to be able to perform MY OWN music,” Swift wrote Thursday. “That’s it. I’ve tried to work this out privately through my team but have not been able to resolve anything.”
Swift’s seventh studio album, “Lover,” was released under her new label, Universal Music Group. Under her new contract, the singer owns master recordings for all new music.
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