Popstar Taylor Swift is expressing disappointment after learning that the second sale of her music catalogue will continue to benefit recording industry executive Scooter Braun. Swift expressed outrage last year when Braun purchased 11 years’ worth of her master recordings when he acquired Big Machine, her former record company. In interviews and social media posts, Swift called Braun “manipulative” and accused him of bullying her in the past. Although Swift was relieved to learn that Braun intended to sell her music to Shamrock Holdings, a private equity firm, she nonetheless remains upset as the deal still allows him to profit from her music.
Details of the sale were first reported by Variety. According to the terms, Shamrock Holdings obtained the rights to Swift’s music for $300 million. While this a large sum, industry experts predict that Swift’s catalogue will climb in value to over $450 million in a few years. Shamrock Holdings, which is owned by Roy Disney, has also reached out to Swift in the hopes of securing her cooperation with the deal, but the popstar maintains that Braun’s involvement with the deal makes it impossible for her to participate with the firm.
In a letter to the company that she subsequently posted to Twitter, Swift said that is unhappy that she will no longer have access to over a decade of her music. Nonetheless, Swift says that she has made this decision to avoid further contact with Braun. Swift has further announced plans to re-record some of the songs now owned by Shamrock Holdings in the hopes of regaining control of them. In a separate statement, Shamrock Holdings praised Swift’s creativity as an artist and, although saying that they are disappointed that she will not join them as a partner, expressed their respect for her decision.
Swift’s feud with Braun is rooted in his management of rapper Kanye West. In a now infamous exchange from the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, West cutoff Swift during her acceptance speech for Best Female Video for “You Belong with Me.” Several years later, in 2016, West addressed Swift in vulgar and sexist terms in his song “Famous.” The feud deepened when a photo of Justin Bieber, West, and Braun mocking Swift was posted to social media. The situation came to the breaking point in June of 2019, when Ithaca Holdings, which is owned by Braun, purchased Big Machine for $300 million.
Swift said that the sale was her “worst-case scenario,” and blasted Braun for what she called toxic, misogynistic behavior. For his part, Braun has expressed interest in meeting with Swift to iron out their differences. The music industry mogul says that he has received death threats since acquiring Big Machine and does not understand how his public feud with Swift got so out of control. Swift is not willing to negotiate with Braun, however. In a music video for a song entitled “The Man,” Swift chastised Braun for his behavior, portraying him as uncouth and chauvinistic.