Published Dec 13, 2019Taylor Swift received Billboard's Woman of the Decade award last night (December 12), and she used her time onstage to reflect on her own career and pave the way for other artists in the future. She also opened fire on Scooter Braun yet again.
Braun, of course, purchased Big Machine Music and the master rights to Swift's first six albums earlier this year, resulting in a scathing online post from Swift and the wrath of her fans on social media.
Towards the end of her speech last night, she said:
After I was denied the chance to purchase my music outright, my entire catalog was sold to Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings in a deal that I'm told was funded by the Soros family, 23 Capital, and that Carlyle Group. Yet, to this day, none of these investors have bothered to contact me or my team directly — to perform their due diligence on their investment. On their investment in me. To ask how I might feel about the new owner of my art, the music I wrote, the videos I created, photos of me, my handwriting, my album designs.
And of course, 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, and let me just say that the definition of toxic male privilege in our industry is people saying "but he's always been nice to me" when I'm raising valid concerns about artists and their right to own their music. And of course he's nice to you — if you're in this room, you have something he needs.
The fact is that private equity enabled this man to think, according to his own social media post, that he could "buy me." But I'm obviously not going willingly. Yet the most amazing thing was to discover that it would be the women in our industry who would have my back and show me the most vocal support at one of the most difficult times, and I will never, ever forget it. Like, ever.
Following the revelation of the purchase, a number of celebrities did jump to Swift's defence, like Halsey, Camila Cabello, Cara Delevigne, Iggy Azalea and Kelly Clarkson (though artists like Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato and Sia were quick to defend Braun).
Braun has since reached out via social media, arguing that his repeated attempts to negotiate with Swift in conversation have all been rejected, saying he and his family have now received death threats due to her actions.
Swift has previously stated that she intends to re-record old albums and purchase the masters. Her contract allows her to do so as of November 2020.
Watch Swift's full speech below.