Scooter Braun, who manages Justin Bieber, J. Balvin, Ariana Grande and more, purchased Big Machine Records for $300 million.

Scooter Braun is making money moves. The famous manager just acquired Big Machine and its roster of artists, including Sheryl Crow, Lady Antebellum, Thomas Rhett, Rascal Flatts and Florida Georgia Line, the Wall Street Journal reports. That also includes all of Taylor Swift’s masters for her first six albums (so everything pre-Lover). This is in addition to the artists he oversees on music publishing company, Schoolboy Records label with Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Zac Brown Band and J. Balvin.

Swift has since moved onto Universal’s Republic Records where she’ll reportedly have more control over her new material moving forward.

“We decided to build our own thing that makes us part of the global conversation,” Mr. Braun said. Thanks to the combined companies’ roster of high-profile artists and assets, he adds, “we’ve got a seat at the table.”

Braun’s move raises several questions amongst Swifties. Why didn’t Taylor fork over the dough to own her own material? And what exactly will Braun do with her music moving forward? As owner, he may have opportunities now to utilize it in capacities that Swift would have originally never intended.

Taylor Swift responds.

After the news surfaced, Taylor wrote a note explaining she’s extremely disturbed and unhappy about the situation. The 1989 singer claims she found out about the deal when the rest of the world did. She also says Scooter bullied her and calls this her “worst case scenario.”

For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. 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. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums.

Some fun facts about today’s news: I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world. All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.

Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it. (See photo) Or when his client, Kanye West, organized a revenge **** music video which strips my body naked. 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.

This is my worst case scenario. This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says ‘Music has value’, he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.


When I left my masters in Scott’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.

Thankfully, I am now signed to a label that believes I should own anything I create. Thankfully, I left my past in Scott’s hands and not my future. And hopefully, young artists or kids with musical dreams will read this and learn about how to better protect themselves in a negotiation. You deserve to own the art you make.
I will always be proud of my past work. But for a healthier option, Lover will be out August 23.

Sad and grossed out,
Taylor

Taylor’s reps confirm via People she found out about Scooter buying her masters when the rest of the world did.

“Scott Swift is not on the board of directors and has never been. On June 25, there was a shareholder phone call that Scott Swift did not participate in due to a very strict NDA that bound all shareholders and prohibited any discussion at all without risk of severe penalty.”

“[Taylor’s] dad did not join that call because he did not want to be required to withhold any information from his own daughter. Taylor found out from the news articles when she woke up before seeing any text from Scott Borchetta and he did not call her in advance.”


https://taylorswift.tumblr.com/post/185958366550/for-years-i-asked-pleaded-for-a-chance-to-own-my

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber posted a letter on Instagram following Taylor’s Tumblr post. He defends Scooter and attempts to make amends to Swift. Some wonder whether Braun is personally behind Justin’s letter because the spelling and grammar is, for the most part, pretty accurate (something JB typically fails at). Read that below:

Hey Taylor. First of all i would like to apologize for posting that hurtful instagram post, at the time i thought it was funny but looking back it was distasteful and insensitive.. I have to be honest though it was my caption and post that I screenshoted of scooter and Kanye that said “taylor swift what up” he didnt have anything to do with it and it wasnt even a part of the conversation in all actuality he was the person who told me not to joke like that.. Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you.! As the years have passed we haven’t crossed paths and gotten to communicate our differences, hurts or frustrations. So for you to take it to social media and get people to hate on scooter isn’t fair. What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog? seems to me like it was to get sympathy u also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully scooter. Anyway, One thing i know is both scooter and i love you. I feel like the only way to resolve conflict is through communication. So banter back and fourth online i dont believe solves anything. I’m sure Scooter and i would love to talk to you and resolve any conflict, pain or or any feelings that need to be addressed. Neither scooter or i have anything negative to say about you we truly want the best for you. I usually don’t rebuttal things like this but when you try and deface someone i loves character thats crossing a line..


View this post on Instagram

Hey Taylor. First of all i would like to apologize for posting that hurtful instagram post, at the time i thought it was funny but looking back it was distasteful and insensitive.. I have to be honest though it was my caption and post that I screenshoted of scooter and Kanye that said “taylor swift what up” he didnt have anything to do with it and it wasnt even a part of the conversation in all actuality he was the person who told me not to joke like that.. Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you.! As the years have passed we haven’t crossed paths and gotten to communicate our differences, hurts or frustrations. So for you to take it to social media and get people to hate on scooter isn’t fair. What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog? seems to me like it was to get sympathy u also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully scooter. Anyway, One thing i know is both scooter and i love you. I feel like the only way to resolve conflict is through communication. So banter back and fourth online i dont believe solves anything. I’m sure Scooter and i would love to talk to you and resolve any conflict, pain or or any feelings that need to be addressed. Neither scooter or i have anything negative to say about you we truly want the best for you. I usually don’t rebuttal things like this but when you try and deface someone i loves character thats crossing a line..

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on


Yael Braun

Scooter’s wife Yael responded jumped in on the action as well. She eviscerates Swift in a fiery letter posted on Instagram. As expected, Yael vehemently defends Scooter, puts Taylor on blast, then hilariously captions her note, “I’m here to talk privately anytime.”

You were given the opportunity to own your masters, you passed. Interesting that the man you’re so “grossed out” by believed in you more than you believe in yourself…

And girl, who are you to talk about bullying? The world has watched you collect and drop friends like wilted flowers. My husband is anything but a bully, he’s spent his life standing up for people and causes he believes in…

Scott (Scooter) was so excited to work and build with you. How embarrassing this temper tantrum is because you didn’t get your own way.


View this post on Instagram

@taylorswift, I’m here to talk privately anytime.

A post shared by Yael Cohen Braun (@yael) on


Kacey Musgraves

Miss Musgraves inserted herself into the drama when she “liked” Yael’s Instagram post.



Todrick Hall

Todrick Hall, who was reportedly under Braun’s management team for six years, opened fire on Braun. Hall frequently collaborates with Swift – he recently co-produced her music video for “You Need To Calm Down.” He says, “[Braun] is an evil person who’s only concern is his wealth and feeding his disgusting ego. I believe he is homophobic & I know from his own mouth that he is not a Swift fan.”



Allison Scarinzi

One of Braun’s employees, Allison Scarinzi, skull-dragged Todrick.

“This is disgusting and defamatory statement,” she said. “We dropped you after finding out you were stealing from your fans on your Christmas tour. Scooter has been nothing but supportive of all disenfranchised groups. He is against dishonesty. Not those living in their truth.”

The two went back and forth and began a screenshot war.



Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato also shared her two cents regarding Todrick’s claims that Braun is homophobic.

“Hey boo, idk you or anything and this isn’t hate, but making claims that someone is homophobic is really serious. Please don’t spread information that isn’t true because I can guarantee you Scooter isn’t,” she said.

“As a member of the LGBTQ+ community myself, he wouldn’t have signed me if he was. No hate just trying to clear that up.”

Todrick responded to Demi as well.



Cara Delevingne

Actress/model, Cara Delevingne, jumped into the comments on Justin Bieber’s Instagram post. She saw Justin’s wife, Hailey Bieber, defend Bieber and Braun in the comments section, calling Braun a “gentleman.”

“Gentleman? @haileybieber @justinbieber you must be bored. I wish you spent less time sticking up for men and more time trying to understand women and respecting their valid reactions. As a married man, you should be lifting women up instead of tearing them down because you are threatened. I am not sure you understand what an apology is. The issue that @taylorswift is talking out is about far more than a picture and you know that. As you said, you haven’t spoken to her in years which means you definitely don’t understand the situation. I do. Take a step back and try to learn from this. We should all be on the same team. End of story”



Scott Borchetta

President and CEO of Big Machine, Scott Borchetta, wrote a lengthy letter about the ordeal. He’s pretty awful towards Taylor and claims his former client knew about the deal prior to Sunday’s publishing. He says “Scooter was never anything but positive about Taylor” and claims Swift passed on several charity functions – his way of casting a shadow on Swift’s character.

So, it’s time for some truth…

In regard to a post earlier today from Taylor, it’s time to set some things straight.
Taylor’s dad, Scott Swift, was a shareholder in Big Machine Records, LLC. We first alerted all of the shareholders on Thursday, June 20th for an official shareholder’s call scheduled for Tuesday, June 25th. On the 6/25 call the shareholders were made aware of the pending deal with Ithaca Holdings and had 3 days to go over all of the details of the proposed transaction. We then had a final call on Friday, June 28th in which the transaction passed with a majority vote and 3 of the 5 shareholders voting ‘yes’ with 92% of the shareholder’s vote.


Out of courtesy, I personally texted Taylor at 9:06pm, Saturday, June 29th to inform her prior to the story breaking on the morning of Sunday, June 30th so she could hear it directly from me.

I guess it might somehow be possible that her dad Scott, 13 Management lawyer Jay Schaudies (who represented Scott Swift on the shareholder calls) or 13 Management executive and Big Machine LLC shareholder Frank Bell (who was on the shareholder calls) didn’t say anything to Taylor over the prior 5 days. I guess it’s possible that she might not have seen my text. But, I truly doubt that she “woke up to the news when everyone else did”.


I am attaching a few very important deal points in what was part of our official last offer to Taylor Swift to remain at Big Machine Records. Her 13 Management team and attorney Don Passman went over this document in great detail and reported the terms to her in great detail.

Taylor and I then talked through the deal together.

As you will read, 100% of all Taylor Swift assets were to be transferred to her immediately upon signing the new agreement. We were working together on a new type of deal for our new streaming world that was not necessarily tied to ‘albums’ but more of a length of time.

We are an independent record company. We do not have tens of thousands of artists and recordings. My offer to Taylor, for the size of our company, was extraordinary. But it was also all I could offer as I am responsible for dozens of artists’ careers and over 120 executives and their families.

Taylor and I remained on very good terms when she told me she wanted to speak with other record companies and see what was out there for her. I never got in her way and wished her well.

The morning that the new Taylor/UMG announcement was going to be made, she texted me shortly before letting me know that the announcement was coming in a few minutes.
As we both posted on our socials, we saluted each other and cheered each other on.
Taylor had every chance in the world to own not just her master recordings, but every video, photograph, everything associated to her career. She chose to leave.

As to her comments about ‘being in tears or close to it’ anytime my new partner Scooter Braun’s name was brought up, I certainly never experienced that. Was I aware of some prior issues between Taylor and Justin Bieber? Yes. But there were also times where Taylor knew that I was close to Scooter and that Scooter was a very good source of information for upcoming album releases, tours, etc, and I’d reach out to him for information on our behalf. Scooter was never anything but positive about Taylor. He called me directly about Manchester to see if Taylor would participate (she declined).

He called me directly to see if Taylor wanted to participate in the Parkland March (she declined). Scooter has always been and will continue to be a supporter and honest custodian for Taylor and her music.

This is the text Taylor sent to me on Monday, November 19th at 8:57am:

Scott,
I hope this finds you well. Since communication ran dry on our negotiations, I’ve done what I told you I would do and gone out exploring other options. Owning my masters was very important to me, but I’ve since realized that there are things that mean even more to me in the bigger picture. I had a choice whether to bet on my past or to bet on the future and I think knowing me, you can guess which one I chose. I also saw a rare opportunity to effect positive change for a lot of other artists with the leverage I have right now. I know you believe in the same things I do and I’d like to think you would be proud of what I’ve negotiated for in my deal. I wanted to tell you first that I’ll be signing with Lucian. I honestly truly cherish everything you and I have built together and I plan on saying so in my announcement of the new deal. What we accomplished together will be a lasting legacy and a case study on excellent partnerships, and may it continue. I still view you as a partner and friend and I hope you feel the same. Sending you a hug and my most sincere gratitude.
And SO much love,
Taylor

Here is the text I sent on the evening of June 29 at 9:05pm:
Dear Taylor,
Hope all is well and congratulations on the success of your first two singles from “Lover”!
I can’t wait to hear the entire album…
I wanted to pass along to you the same courtesy that you passed along to me in regard to my future.

Tomorrow morning (Sunday, June 30th) at 10a central, the Wall Street Journal will announce that I am entering into a merger/acquisition with Scooter Braun and Ithaca Holdings. This move will give us more pop culture super-power than ever before and I’m so excited about the future.

I want you to know that I will continue to be the proud custodian of your previous works and will continue to keep you and your team abreast of all future plans for releases of you work.

Nothing but the best,
Scott
And, that’s the truth…
Scott Borchetta

Brendon Urie

Panic! At The Disco frontman Brendon Urie, who collaborated with Taylor on “ME!,” called Scooter a piece of s–t, and that Swift’s statement broke his heart.



Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande is reportedly frustrated with Scooter, but is being pressured to keep silent on the topic, according to Variety.

Halsey

Halsey wrote a letter on Twitter showing support for Swift. She wrote:

“Taylor Swift is a huge reason why I always insisted to write my own music. She catapulted her stadium into the Milky Way. And it turns my guts that no matter how much power or success a woman has in this life, you are still susceptible to someone coming along and making you feel powerless out of spite. It speaks volumes to how far we have to come in the music industry. The way writers are treated. How as an entertainer you are respected but as a writer you’re walked all over. Even when you are both in one single body. I am standing with her.”



Iggy Azalea

Iggy also showed support for Taylor, writing:

“I think from what I can see; it’s more about the fact they didn’t even give her the opportunity to at least bid on her own masters; when she’s made it known she wanted to purchase,” she said. “I can totally understand where she’s coming from.”



Camila Cabello

Camila, who toured with Swift on the Reputation Tour, is throwing her support behind her famous friend.

“I don’t know a lot about what’s going on but I will say I really believe artists should own their own life’s work,” she said.



There will inevitably be more to add to this story as it continues to unfold, so keep checking back.

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