Published Nov 18, 2019Following some next-level drama, it appears Taylor Swift will be allowed to perform her old material at the American Music Awards after all. Or at least that's according to a newly revealed licensing agreement made by Swift's former label Big Machine Label Group
As previously reported, Swift penned a scathing open letter late last week accusing her former Big Machine label boss Scott Borchetta and music manager Scooter Braun of blocking her from performing her early material at the upcoming AMAs, as well as during long-in-the-works Netflix documentary about her life.
And while Big Machine quickly denied those claims, it now seems that the label and AMAs producer Dick Clark Productions have reached an agreement to let Swift perform her old material. As Variety reports, a statement explains that a licensing agreement "approves their artists' performances to stream post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms."
The statement continues, "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 by the looks of things, Swift can actually perform her old songs. As of press time, though, she has issued no statement about the supposed agreement.
UPDATE (11/18, 5:20 p.m. EST): Adding a serious level of confusion to this all, a rep for Dick Clark Productions now has denied that there has been any deal made with Big Machine for Swift to perform her songs on the AMAs. As Variety reports, "At no time did Dick Clark Productions agree to, create, authorize or distribute a statement in partnership with Big Machine Label Group regarding Taylor Swift's performance at the 2019 American Music Awards. Any final agreement on this matter needs to be made directly with Taylor Swift's management team. We have no further comment."
As previously reported, Swift had said she planned to re-record her back catalogue in order to regain control of the masters of her early work. She lost the rights to those master recordings after Braun's Ithaca Holdings acquired Big Machine from Borchetta in June.
"I've been planning to perform a medley of my hits throughout the decade on the show," Swift wrote in her open letter last week. "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."
Swift added, "Scott Bocchetta 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 message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you'll be punished."
The American Music Awards take place on November 24, when Swift is set to receive honours as Artist of the Decade.