In just under a year and half, record exec Scooter Braun has made back the $300 million he spent to acquire Big Machine Label Group by selling the rights to Taylor Swift’s first six albums to an investment fund, Variety reports.
Bruan’s Ithaca Holdings LLC acquired BMLG in June 2019 in a deal that included everything from Big Machine’s client roster, distribution deals, publishing and owned artist masters. Swift signed with BMLG at the start of career but left the label in 2018 for Universal Music Group and has been in a feud with Braun since he bought the company—and the rights to her music.
Swift has maintained that she learned about the BMLG sale at the same time as the public, and she resents that Braun, or anyone else, owns her early work.
In November 2019, Swift accused Braun and her former label’s CEO, Scott Borchetta, of barring her from performing any of the songs Braun had bought, writing on social media, “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.”
This afternoon, Swift cleared the air about the deal in a tweet: “A few weeks ago my team received a letter from a private equity company called Shamrock Holdings, letting us know that they had bought 100% of my music, videos, and album art from Scooter Braun. This was the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge…As soon as we started communication with Shamrock, I learned that under their terms Scooter Braun will continue to profit off my old musical catalog for many years. I was hopeful and open to the possibility of a partnership with Shamrock, but Scooter’s participation is a non-starter for me.”
Been getting a lot of questions about the recent sale of my old masters. I hope this clears things up. pic.twitter.com/sscKXp2ibD
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 16, 2020
Swift adds that she recently began re-recording her old music, as she promised she would last year. The new recordings could devalue of the originals, particularly if Swifties, who are notoriously loyal to their idol, go for Swift’s new versions of her “Best Of” compilations.
In a letter to the members of the private equity group who bought the masters from Braun, Swift says, “I will be going forward with my original re-recording schedule and will be embarking on that effort soon. I know this will diminish the value of my old masters, but I hope you will understand that this is my only way of regaining the sense of pride I once had when hearing songs from my first six albums…”
In the past, Braun has painted himself as the victim in the controversy, saying his family received death threats after he fell out with Swift.
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