Back in June of 2019, famed music mogul Scooter Braun purchased Big Machine Records, the label that gave Taylor Swift her start.
As a result, Braun now owns the masters for Swift’s first six albums.
The move led to a feud between Swift and Braun that has left the recording industry sharply divided, as Braun is one of the most beloved behind-the-scenes figures in the business.
While Taylor’s army of diehard fans have happily followed her into battle (at one point overstepping their bounds and threatening Braun’s family), big names such as Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato have sided with Scooter.
The feud was reignited this week when Swift learned that Braun and his team planned to cash in on their purchase by releasing a collection of live tracks that Swift recorded over a decade ago.
“I want to thank my fans for making me aware that my former record label is putting out an ‘album’ of live performances of mine tonight,” Taylor wrote on her Instagram Stories on Thursday.
“This recording is from a 2008 radio show performance I did when I was 18. Big Machine has listed the date as a 2018 release but they’re actually releasing it tonight at midnight.”
Taylor went on to reveal that she had no prior knowledge of the album and did not consent to the songs being released as a collection:
“I’m always honest with you guys about this stuff so I just wanted to tell you that this release is not approved by me,” she wrote.
“It looks to like Scooter Braun and his financial backers, 23 Capital, Alex Soros and the Soros family and The Carlyle Group have seen the latest balance sheets and realized that paying $330 MILLION for my music wasn’t exactly a wise choice and they need money,” Taylor added.
“In my opinion,” Swift concluded, “Just another case of shameless greed in the time of coronavirus. So tasteless, but very transparent.”
Wow. Most of that statement is unsurprising, as Swift’s feud with Braun was already public knowledge.
But there are some unexpected comments in there, as well.
For instance, it’s not every day that you’ll hear an artist saying their catalog has been overvalued.
And it appears Swift’s common ground with Donald Trump doesn’t end with their shared ties to the Kushner family, as the Donald is also not a fan of George Soros.
Also, it’s not quite clear what any of this has to do with the coronavirus, but the point is, Taylor is angry, and the public is still divided.
Some say it’s outrageous that a decade’s worth of creative work should fall into the hands of a team of greedy investors.
Others claim that Taylor previously turned down an opportunity to purchase the masters from Big Machine.
Taylor says she never received such an opportunity and would have seized it, had it presented itself.
Whatever the case, it seems this feud is far from over.
And Scooter should probably brace himself for another round of harsh criticism from millions of Taylor diehards.