From being interrupted by Kanye West during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards to her feud with Big Machine Label Group, Taylor Swift is fearless when it comes to her songs, performances and career.
The record-breaking artist will be awarded the American Music Award's Artist of the Decade on Nov. 24, but her feud with Big Machine Label Group has yet to end.
In a Twitter post from Nov. 14., Swift said she is not allowed to perform songs from her back catalogs, songs that were made during her time with the Big Machine Label Group
"I've been planning to perform a medley of my hits throughout the decade on the show. 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 said.
Taylor Swift entered a contract when she was 14 years old with Big Machine Label Group. According to Marissa R. Moss of Rolling Stone, Big Machine Label Group was founded by Borchetta. It was recently purchased for $300 million by Scooter Braun, who manages Justin Bieber and other artists. When Braun purchased the Nashville label, this meant he would also be the owner of Swift's masters, which she would not be allowed to re-record until 2020. This places the Artist of the Decade's AMA performance and Netflix documentary in limbo.
This feud has been nothing but a he-said, she-said match with claims of nonexistent proof thrown in. This can be seen when Big Machine released a statement to Anastasia Tsioulcas of NPR saying the label and Dick Clark Productions, the company that runs the American Music Awards, have come to an agreement regarding Swift's old music.
"The Big Machine Label Group and Dick Clark Productions announce that they have come to terms on a licensing agreement that approves their artists' performances to stream post-show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms. This includes the upcoming American Music Awards performances," Big Machine Label Group said.
While the statement continues, Dick Clark Productions also released a statement that denied an agreement had been made between the two companies.
"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," Dick Clark Productions stated.
If an agreement between the two never occurred, why would Big Machine Label Group say it did? The label is trying to make themselves look better. Dick Clark Productions called out this attempt because the situation is something that needs to be handled with Swift, not the AMAs or Dick Clark Productions.
There has been an unbelievable amount of support for Swift from many celebrities and politicians and there has also been backlash. Why should Swift be punished for a contract she signed when she was 14? The award she will receive proves she has evolved from a shy and timid girl to a powerful and fearless woman.
Swift wrote something which immediately caught my attention.
"The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you'll be punished. This is WRONG. Neither of these men had a hand in the writing of those songs. They did nothing to create the relationship I have with my fans. So this is where I'm asking for your help," Swift stated.
She is right. This is wrong. She is the only person who can take credit for her success. Five of her albums have each accumulated over $10 million in sales, according to Chart Masters. She also has received the most AMA awards over any artist in the last decade, according to Billboard.
The way Swift is alleging Big Machine is treating her is tyrannical. I am not the biggest fan, but I can most definitely empathize with Swift as a woman. We have been taught to know right from wrong, and this is wrong. Women have had to break the glass ceiling, and some still fight to reach the pinnacle of equality.
Obviously, this argument is not over money. Swift has the most sales out of every artist currently signed with Big Machine. So, why is Big Machine still denying that they did not deny Swift her performance? Why have they changed their story and lied about an agreement with Dick Clark Productions?
This power play by Big Machine turned sour for the label the moment Swift decided to voice her opinion on the issue. I applaud her for the bravery she has shown by taking a stand. Whether we are missing bits and pieces of the puzzle will remain unknown, but I do not doubt there is more than we are getting. This is no surprise as it is the music industry; however, Swift has always been transparent with her fans.
I believe what she is saying to be true. All the Big Machine Label Group has to do is allow her to use her original songs to perform at the AMAs as Artist of the Decade this Sunday and for her Netflix documentary. Odds are, Swift is "never, ever, ever, getting back together" with Big Machine, but she should not have to fight to perform the products of her creativity.
I stand with Taylor.