Braun’s company, Ithaca Holdings, was deluged with calls after Swift alleged that he and Big Machine Label Group co-founder Scott Borchetta were preventing her from performing her hits at the American Music Awards and refused to permit her music to be used in a Netflix doc. She had asked her fans, “Please let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this.”
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Big Machine has denied Swift’s claims they tried to block her from performing certain songs at the AMAs or in her Netflix special and said, “Despite our persistent efforts to find a private and mutually satisfactory solution, Taylor made a unilateral decision … to enlist her fan base in a calculated manner that greatly affects the safety of our employees and their families.” Nashville Police said no threats were reported.
Swift’s team doubled down on her claims, “Scott Borchetta … flatly denied the request for both the AMAs and Netflix.” The star also claimed he told her she could only use her music if she agreed not to re-record her masters and “stop talking about him and Scooter Braun”.
Ithaca bought the masters of Swift’s first six albums and her former record label Big Machine for $US300 million in June.
According to a source, Braun has repeatedly reached out to Swift since June to meet in person and broker a partnership, but she has ignored him. But Swift insiders say, “He should have reached out before the deal closed.”
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A music source added, “Scooter never had a relationship with Taylor, he should have offered her a partnership when he bought the company. Even if he offers Taylor a 50-50 deal now and allows her to buy in, her masters have dramatically increased in value since the sale. Taylor is very unlikely to give Scooter hundreds of millions given the bad blood.”
Reps for Swift and Braun declined to comment.
SWIFT’S EXPLOSIVE LETTER
Swift ignited the public feud last week in a lengthy note to fans titled “Don’t know what else to do”.
Swift wrote to her fans: “Guys – It’s been announced recently that the American Music Awards will be honouring me with the Artist of the Decade Award at this year’s ceremony. 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.
“Additionally – and this isn’t the way I had planned on telling you this news – Netflix has created a documentary about my life for the past few years. Scott and Scooter have declined the use of my older music or performance footage for this project, even though there is no mention of either of them or Big Machine Records anywhere in the film.
“Scott Borchetta told my team that they’ll allow me to use my music only if I do these things: If I agree to not re-record copycat versions of my songs next year (which is something I’m both legally allowed to do and looking forward to) and also told my team that I need to stop talking about him and Scooter Braun,” Swift continued.
“I feel very strongly that sharing what is happening to me could change the awareness level for other artists and potentially help them avoid a similar fate. 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,” Swift wrote. “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.”
“Please let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this. Scooter also manages several artists who I really believe care about other artists and their work.
“Please ask them for help with this – I’m hoping that maybe they can talk some sense into the men who are exercising tyrannical control over someone who just wants to play the music she wrote. I’m especially asking for help from The Carlyle Group, who put up money for the sale of my music to these two men.
This article originally appeared on Page Six and was reproduced with permission