Taylor Swift took to Tumblr on Sunday to express disappointment over her catalog of music with former record label, Big Machine, being sold off to a company owned by Justin Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun. The "You Need to Calm Down" singer admitted she also felt betrayed and even accused Braun of "bullying" to get the deal done.
On Sunday, Billboard reported that Braun's Ithaca Holdings bought Scott Borchetta's Big Machine for more than $300 million in a deal supported by the Carlyle Group. The deal also includes the Big Machine Music publishing arm and Borchetta became a minority stakeholder, and board member at Ithaca.
Swift left the label last year to join Universal Music Group, but Big Machine still has some top-shelf talent signed. Country stars Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Reba McEntire and more still record for the label. Braun's clients still include Bieber, Kanye West and Demi Lovato.
"For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work," Swift wrote. "Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and 'earn' one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in. I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums."
Swift went on to write that she did not even learn about the deal until it was announced online. "All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I've received at his hands for years," she wrote.
She went on to accuse Braun of having a hand in Kim Kardashian's infamous decision to leak an illegally recorded phone call between Swift and West. Swift said Braun "got his two clients together to bully me online about it."
"Or when his client, Kanye West, organized a revenge porn music video which strips my body naked," Swift wrote. "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."
Swift called the deal her "worst case scenario" and said this is what can happen when you sign a contract at 15 years old "to someone for whom the term 'loyalty' is clearly just a contractual concept."
"When I left my masters in Scott's hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter," Swift said. "Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words 'Scooter Braun' escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn't want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever."
In the end, Swift said she is happy to now be signed to a label "that believes I should own anything I create," so Braun will not have a hand in her future career.
"Hopefully, young artists or kids with musical dreams will read this and learn about how to better protect themselves in a negotiation. You deserve to own the art you make," Swift continued.
Swift's last album for Big Machine was 2017's Reputation. Her next album, Lover, will be released on UMG's Republic Records on Aug. 23.
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