Taylor Swift blasts sale of her old label, calling it 'my worst case scenario'

Taylor Swift signed with Big Machine at 15 and has sold more than 40 million albums on the label.
Taylor Swift signed with Big Machine at 15 and has sold more than 40 million albums on the label.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (NYTimes) - Taylor Swift put typically opaque, backroom music-industry dealings and rivalries on public display on Sunday (June 30) in a post on Tumblr in which she called out two executives involved in a major deal as manipulative and controlling.

The online missive from Swift concerned the ownership of her master recordings - including all six of her multi-platinum albums - which are controlled by Nashville-based record company Big Machine.

The Big Machine Label Group, which includes multiple labels, announced on Sunday that it was being acquired by Mr Scooter Braun, the manager behind Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, and his company Ithaca Holdings.

Swift, in her note, addressed both Braun - accusing him of years of "incessant, manipulative bullying" related to her tiffs with rapper Kanye West - and Big Machine founder Scott Borchetta, whom she said refused to sell her control of her masters.

In November, Swift left Big Machine, her first and, until that point, only label, and signed a multi-year agreement with Universal Music Group and its subsidiary, Republic Records, with the singer owning her master recordings moving forward.

"For years, I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work," she wrote on Sunday.

"Instead, I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and 'earn' one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in.

"I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future."

Swift added: "Now Scooter has stripped me of my life's work, that I wasn't given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it."

Ithaca Holdings, which includes Braun's companies in music, television, film and tech, announced on Sunday that it had bought Big Machine Label Group, which, in addition to Swift's music, is home to country artists like Florida Georgia Line, Rascal Flatts and Thomas Rhett.

Swift, who signed with Big Machine at 15, has sold more than 40 million albums on the label. "This is what happens when you sign a deal at 15 to someone for whom the term 'loyalty' is clearly just a contractual concept," she wrote.

In concluding her note, she plugged her upcoming seventh album.

"I will always be proud of my past work," she wrote.

"But for a healthier option, Lover will be out on Aug 23."