30-year-old singer Taylor Swift is firing back about Monday’s revelation that music executive Scooter Braun dumped the master recordings of her first six albums in what could be a $300 million-plus deal.
The NY Post reports Braun’s Ithaca Holdings LLC sold the master rights to the albums, Variety reported Monday, to an investment fund just 17 months after scooping up the Nashville-based Big Machine Label Group (BMLG), a move that included Swift’s early catalog masters.
The “Shake It Off” singer posted a message on Twitter that she hopes “clears things up” regarding the ongoing saga involving ownership of her early works.
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 wrote that “a few weeks ago” her reps were sent a letter by Shamrock Holdings, a private equity company, “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. The letter told me that they wanted to reach out before the sale to let me know, but that Scooter Braun had required that they make no contact with me or my team, or the deal would be off.”
Swift went on to say that, during talks with Shamrock, she discovered under the terms of the sale Braun would “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.”
In the same note, Swift said that Braun’s team wanted her “to sign an ironclad NDA [non-disclosure agreement] stating I would never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive, before we could even look at the financial records of BMLG (which is always the first step in a purchase of this nature),” she wrote. “So, 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. My legal team said that this is absolutely NOT normal, and they’ve never seen an NDA like this presented unless it was to silence an assault accuser by paying them off.”
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Swift also posted a letter to Shamrock representatives, dated Oct. 28, in which she said she “was thrilled with the idea of working with people who value art and understand how much my life’s work means to me.” But, she added, “If I support you, as you request, I will be contributing to these future payments to Scooter Braun and Ithaca Holdings. I simply cannot in good conscience bring myself to be involved in benefitting Scooter Braun’s interests directly or indirectly.”
In a statement to The Post, Shamrock said: “Taylor Swift is a transcendent artist with a timeless catalog. We made this investment because we believe in the immense value and opportunity that comes with her work. We fully respect and support her decision and, while we hoped to formally partner, we also knew this was a possible outcome that we considered. We appreciate Taylor’s open communication and professionalism with us these last few weeks. We hope to partner with her in new ways moving forward and remain committed to investing with artists in their work.”