Taylor Swift, one of the world’s most notorious singer-songwriters, has overcome a multitude of obstacles throughout her successful career. From Kanye West interrupting her acceptance speech at the 2009 VMAs, to receiving firely backlash for her consistent love-oriented lyrics, Swift is no stranger to open and harsh criticism. However, since November 2020, she has been facing what is arguably her most significant battle yet – the selling of her own catalogue without her consent.
Swift decided to leave her rooted label, Big Machine, in November of 2018. She decided to continue her career at Universal Music Group in order to receive ownership of music she composed under the new label at UMG. Despite a fresh beginning under a new label, Swift’s challenges with Big Machine were far from over.
The following year, Big Machine sold Swift’s first six albums to Scooter Braun, the manager of Kanye West (who, for the record, has a long history of disputes with Taylor.) Swift’s hands were tied as purchasing her music from Braun was not an option available to her. Fans were quick to come to her defense, but Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta was not going to remain silent. He revealed that Taylor Swift had the option to own the masters of the first six albums that had been sold, given only if she had signed a 10 year deal with the label. Swift also had to sign a non-disclosure agreement before she gained permission to bid on her own work, which her legal team ‘swiftly’ (haha, get it) became concerned about.
Taylor was placed into a position that was being analyzed by the public eye on a daily basis. The hashtag #IStandWithTaylor instantly became trending worldwide and her immensely large fan base immediately got to work sending passionate, angry tweets on her behalf, to doxxing Braun and Borchetta.
Shamrock Holdings bought Swift’s catalogue for a whopping $300 million while still being affiliated with Braun. This caused Taylor to be unable to collaborate with or use her original recordings. In response, she got to work re-recording her past six albums. While at first a seemingly daunting task, Taylor has stated that the process has become “exciting and creatively fulfilling,” and she promises that there will be lots of surprises in the new album Fearless (Taylor’s Version). While fans across the country patiently await the release of the new album, be sure to stream the early-released single, ‘Love Story: Taylor’s Version’ in order to support Swift’s efforts to reclaim her music. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) comes out April 9th on all streaming platforms.