Taylor Swift has appealed for her fans’ help over an ongoing feud with her former label manager, whom she says is preventing her from performing old hits – and attempting to silence her in the process.
The singer is set to pick up the Artist of the Decade award at the ceremony on November 25, but says an ongoing fallout with “tyrannical” music managers Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta may prevent her from being able to sing her old hits on TV.
The artist has taken to Twitter to air her frustration over the matter, appealing to her 85 million fans there for help.
“Don’t know what to do,” she writes. “[…] The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished.”
Swift’s plea for help also contained an announcement that Netflix is making a documentary about her life and music; another project that is being thrown into jeopardy by the ongoing rights row.
“This isn’t the way I had planned on telling you this news,” she told fans, adding: “Right now my performance at the AMAs, the Netflix documentary and any other recorded events I am planning to play until November 2020 are a question mark.”
Swift swapped labels at the end of 2018, moving from Big Machine Label Group, which is owned by Borchetta, to Universal Music Group. Borchetta signed Swift when she was 14 years old, and recorded six albums with her.
In June, Borchetta sold his label, along with rights to Swift’s master recordings from her early albums, to Braun. Swift claims she was not consulted on the move, and accused Braun – who also manages Ariana Grande, Kanye West and Justin Bieber – of “incessant, manipulative bullying”. She gained the support of other artists over the controversy, including Lily Allen, who issued her own message aimed at “controlling, belittling” men in the industry.
Swift later announced that she would release copycat versions of her early music next year, in order to regain control of the rights.
In her latest comments on the feud, Swift says Borchetta told her team that she can perform her old hits but only on the condition that she does not re-record them, or speak in public about him and Braun.
The singer says that, having tried to resolve the fallout privately, she now “feels very strongly” about the need to go public over the alleged behaviour of the managers. By doing so, she says she hopes to help other artists avoid a similar fate.
“This is WRONG,” Swift writes. “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.”
She says she wants her fans to be aware of what has been going on, and appealed for them to let their feelings on the issue be known to Borchetta and Braun.
The managers have yet to respond to Swift’s accusations.