Taylor Swift Addresses Sale Of Her Early Masters
Scott “Scooter” Braun has sold the master rights to Taylor Swift’s first six albums to an investment fund in a deal worth more than $300 million U.S., Variety reported Monday.
There was no immediate comment from Braun – but Swift quickly addressed the transaction.
On Twitter, Swift said she was advised “a few weeks ago” by Shamrock Holdings that it had purchased “100% of my music, videos, and album art” from Braun. Swift said she learned that the terms of the sale meant Braun would “continue to profit off my old musical catalog for many years.”
She wrote: “I was hopeful and open to the possibility of a partnership with Shamrock, but Scooter’s participation is a non-started for me.”
Shamrock Holdings is a private company owned by the estate of Roy E. Disney, the son of Disney co-founder Roy O. Disney.
The singer said she tried to make a deal with Braun to regain ownership of her masters but he allegedly demanded that she agree to only say positive things about him in public. “I would have to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work,” Swift said.
The pop superstar also shared a copy of her response to Shamrock Holdings, in which she made it clear she could not “in good conscience bring myself to be involved in benefitting Scooter Braun’s interests directly or indirectly.”
Swift added: “It pains my very deeply to remain separated from the music I spent over a decade creating, but this is a sacrifice I will have to make to keep Scooter Braun out of my life.”
Braun drew the ire of Swift in June 2019 when his Ithaca Holdings LLC purchased Big Machine Label Group (BMLG) and its music assets in June 2019. In a statement she published online, Swift – who left BLMG for Universal in 2018 – called Braun’s ownership of her masters the “worst case scenario” and accused him of trying to “dismantle” her musical legacy.
Swift vowed to re-record her first five albums to reduce Braun’s profits. “My contract says that starting November 2020 … I can record albums one through five all over again,” she told GMA in August 2019. “I’m very excited about it. Artists deserve to own their work. I just feel very passionately about that.”
In her statement on Monday, Swift said she has recently started re-recording those early songs. “It has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling,” she said. “I have plenty of surprises in store.”
According to Variety, Braun and Borchetta continue to own BMLG, which has acts like Florida Georgia Line, Lady A and Rascal Flatts on its roster.
Braun, who manages Canada's Justin Bieber, is married to Canadian Yael Cohen.
This article has been updated since it was first published.
Listen to music from Taylor Swift