Taylor Swift won’t go quietly into the night.

Taylor Swift’s speech accepting Billboard’s Woman of the Decade award was explosive.

“When this decade began I was 20 years old,” Swift said. “I saw that as a female in this industry, some people will always have the slightest reservations about you.” That includes “whether a male was really responsible in the studio… or whether it was a savvy record label [responsible for your success]. It wasn’t,” she said. “People want to explain away a woman’s success in this industry.”

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After Fearless won album of the year at the Grammys, Swift said: “All of a sudden they weren’t sure if I was the one writing the songs, because sometimes I had co-writers in the room. This is what happens to a woman in music if she achieves success beyond people’s comfort level.”

She added: “Have you ever heard someone say about a male artist, ‘I really like his songs, but there’s something about him I don’t like’? No, that criticism is reserved for us.”

“It comes down to this: Who lets that scrutiny break them and who keeps making great art?” she asked. “I watched as one of my favorite artists of the decade, Lana Del Rey, was ruthlessly criticized early in her career… and she turned into, in my opinion, the most influential artist in pop… And this year, her incredible album is nominated for album of the year.” 

Swift sinks her teeth into the masters controversy.

“Lately there’s been a new shift that has affected me personally, and as your resident loud person, I feel like I need to bring it up. And that’s the unregulated world of private equity and people buying up your music… like it’s a shoe line.”

“This happened to me without my consent,” she said, referring former Big Machine label head Scott Borchetta selling her masters to Scooter Braun. “Scooter [Braun] never contacted me or my team to discuss it prior to the sale,” she said, adding that she should have had the opportunity to buy back her masters.

Swift called Braun “the definition of the toxic male privilege in this industry,” She commented on when her peers say, “Well, he’s always been nice to me”… they are missing the point. “Of course he’s nice to you, you have something he needs,” she said.

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6 Responses

  1. I honestly respect Taylor a lot for this and she makes a lot of great points. Great point about Lana too, because Lana’s first album was torn apart by critics who were commenting on who they thought she was as a person and not even on the album. Not to mention, Lana was the start of melancholy/sad pop songs and cinematic monologue music videos. Most of pop music today is melancholic or depressing. She also paved the way for so many other artists like Lorde and Billie Eilish. Sorry, I know this post is about Taylor, but Lana seriously has been one of the most influential artists of this decade and I hate that she doesn’t get the credit she deserves

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