Taylor Swift speaks out after Scooter Braun reportedly sells her masters for millions
Taylor Swift is breaking her silence following reports that Scooter Braun has sold the masters to her first six albums.
On Monday, Variety reported that Braun's Ithaca Holdings LLC sold the master rights to Taylor Swift’s first six albums. That report did not name the buyer but characterized it as an investment fund that paid "north of $300 million" for the music.
Soon after the story broke, Swift posed a statement to Twitter saying she was notified that Braun had sold her masters to Shamrock Capital Content Fund, a private equity firm. The sale comes more than a year after Braun's controversial acquisition of Swift's masters sparked a public feud between the music mogul and the pop star.
According to Swift, Shamrock "bought 100% of my music, videos, and album art from Scooter Braun."
"This was the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge," she said.
Though Swift noted she was initially hopeful about the purchase and working with Shamrock, her view of the deal changed when she learned that Braun will continue to profit from her work after the sale.
"I was hopeful and open to the possibility of a partnership with Shamrock, but Scooter's participation is a non-starter for me," wrote Swift, who also posted a letter she said was sent to the firm on Oct. 28. In the letter, Swift said she refused to partner with the firm as long as her music continued to benefit Braun and his company, Ithaca Holdings.
The pop star said she had previously reached out to Braun's team about buying back her masters, but that, in order to start negotiations, she would have had to sign "an ironclad NDA," or non-disclosure agreement, which would only allow her to speak positively about the music manager.
"So, I would have to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work," Swift continued.
On Tuesday, Shamrock Capital Content Fund shared a statement with USA TODAY:
“Taylor Swift is a transcendent artist with a timeless catalog. We made this investment because we believe in the immense value and opportunity that comes with her work. We fully respect and support her decision and, while we hoped to formally partner, we also knew this was a possible outcome that we considered. We appreciate Taylor’s open communication and professionalism with us these last few weeks. We hope to partner with her in new ways moving forward and remain committed to investing with artists in their work.”
USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for Swift and Braun.
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In June 2019, Swift publicly denounced music tycoon Braun – who manages Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande – after he paid $300 million to acquire Swift's former record label, Big Machine Label Group, and by extension, the masters of Swift's music from her first six albums.
In August of that year, Swift told "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts that her contract allows her to re-record her music. She can start this month and appears to be doing so.
"I have recently begun re-recording my older music and it has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling," Swift's statement added. "I want to thank you guys for supporting me through this ongoing saga, and I can't wait for you to hear what I've been dreaming up."
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Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff