Taylor Swift has been cleared to perform many of her earlier hits at the American Music Awards this Sunday.
The 29-year-old pop megastar has been given the green light by both Big Machine and Dick Clark productions to perform Shake It Off among other signature tracks according to a statement released today.
“The Big Machine Label Group and Dick Clark Productions announce that they have come to terms on a licensing agreement that approves their artists’ performances to stream post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms,” the statement read. “This includes the upcoming American Music Awards performances for Thomas Rhett and former Big Machine Records recording artist Taylor Swift.”
It has always been made clear that Taylor could perform the songs during a live broadcast but the real issue would come after it aired on television.
It was all cleared up in the statement as it continued: ‘It should be noted that recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television or any other live media.
‘Record label approval is only needed for contracted artists’ audio and visual recordings and in determining how those works are distributed.’
This comes just a day after it was reported that Scooter Braun ‘is frustrated’ with the way he’s coming off amid the latest ongoing controversy involving Swift, who said he and Scott Borchetta are blocking her from performing her hits unless she stays silent about them.
The 38-year-old music manager ‘is frustrated because his name is being dragged in the mud,’ a source told E! News Sunday, and he’s displeased with how Borchetta has handled the issue with Swift, 29.
Braun, whose clients include Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Demi Lovato, ‘hasn’t taken part in these negotiations,’ the source told the outlet.
The source added that Braun ‘doesn’t run Big Machine or have operational control of’ the company, and is hoping Borchetta will ‘calm down’ in the contentious business affair.
‘This fight with Taylor is not something Scooter agrees with,’ the source said, adding that Braun has reached out to Swift but she won’t return his calls.
Swift last week said she will be unable to perform a planned medley of her greatest hits at the American Music Awards next Sunday where she is due to receive Artist of the Decade; and has also allegedly denied permission to use her old songs on a Netflix documentary that has been two years in the making.
Borchetta, who owns Swift’s original label Big Machine Label Group, sold the rights to her previous material to Braun this past summer. The music manager acquired rights to Swift’s old music in what she described as her ‘worst-case scenario.’
The feedback came after Swift took to social media with a post captioned, ‘Don’t know what else to do.’
In it, she said: ‘Guys – It’s been announced recently that the American Music Awards will be honoring me with the Artist of the Decade Award at this year’s ceremony.
She continued: ‘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.’
On Thursday, she shared that she has faced obstacles since then.
‘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 Thursday.
‘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,’ she said. ‘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. 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,’ she wrote.
Swift continued: ‘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.’
With the rights to masters from Swift and other artists on their roster, the Big Machine Records catalog is estimated to be worth around $1 billion.
Reba McEntire, Thomas Rhett and Rascal Flatts are some of the artists on the label.
‘I’m especially asking for help from The Carlyle Group, who put up money for the sale of my music to these two men,’ the Love Story singer added. ‘I just want to be able to perform MY OWN music. That’s it.
‘I’ve tried to work this out privately through my team but have not been able to resolve anything.’
She then dropped the bombshell that she may not perform at the November 24 awards show at all and the documentary about her may never stream.
‘Right now my performance at the AMA’s, the Netflix documentary and any other recorded events I am planning to play until November of 2020 are a question mark,’ she said.
A number of the singer’s fans also rallied behind the cause as the hashtag #IStandWithTaylor began trending Thursday, while celebs including Gigi Hadid and Halsey were among those to speak in support of Swift.
‘Scott and Scooter, you know what the right thing to do is,’ Hadid tweeted Thursday. ‘Taylor and her fans deserve to celebrate the music!!’
On her Instagram Stories page, Halsey wrote a detailed piece about why she disagreed with the business tactics Swift described.
‘Not only are we looking at an awful business move (because one would be incentivized to allow Taylor to perform her songs seeing as it would be direct to rediscovery of a catalog they currently profit off of???) but this is just mean.’ Halsey said. ‘This is punishment. This is helping to silence her from speaking about things by dangling this over her head.’
The Without Me singer, who also sang Taylor’s Mean on her Instagram Stories account, pointed out the imbalance of power in the situation between the artist and executives.
‘These people are protected because they inspire complicity with fear,’ she said. ‘Banking on the illusion that people will not stand up for her. That the world will say she’s overreacting. You’re barking up the wrong tree.
‘It is her grace and patience in this moment make her the Artist of the Decade.’
Selena Gomez said, ‘My heart is so heavy right now.
‘It makes me sick and extremely angry. (I don’t mind if there may be retaliation) this is my opinion.’
She went on to say ‘this is greed, manipulation, power.’
Camila Cabello also shared a long note. She said that ‘I can’t wrap my head around how this could happen. A record label can’t be allowed to do this to an artist… whatever needs to happen to get this situation fixed, needs to happen.’
Tinashe, in response to Swift’s post, wrote, ‘F*** that. We’re with you,’ adding of the situation: It genuinely genuinely makes me sick to my stomach.’
Singer Lily Allen posted: ‘Solidarity with Taylor here, this sounds awful, and people wonder why music hasn’t had its #MeToo moment?’
Singer Jordan Pruitt also chimed in on the dispute, questioning the legality of the business tactics the men purportedly employed to hush the outspoken artist.
‘The things that @scottborchetta + Scooter Braun are continuing to do to @taylorswift13 are not only wrong, they should be illegal!’ she wrote. ‘You “men” should focus your sights on things other than bullying the Artist of this CENTURY. LEAVE TAYLOR ALONE. PERIOD.’
The Big Machine Label Group issued a statement Friday denying they blocked Swift from performing her work, and that she owes them ‘millions of dollars.
‘At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special, the company said, adding that Swift ‘made a unilateral decision last night to enlist her fanbase in a calculated manner that greatly affects the safety of our employees and their families.’
The 2019 American Music Awards will air on ABC Sunday, November 24, at 8 p.m. ET.