Swift’s AMAs performance and subsequent speech was on everyone’s radar after the singer claimed that Braun refused to allow her to perform her older hits during the show.
Long story short, she didn’t — at least not verbally — but she did make a fashion statement.
At Sunday’s American Music Awards, Taylor Swift took the stage wearing a shirt that featured the titles of her past albums: "Taylor Swift," "Fearless," "Speak Now," "Red," "1989" and "Reputation;" the masters of which are now owned by Scooter Braun and Big Machine Records. She left off the one album from her new label, "Lover." As you can imagine, the messaging was clear to fans.
Taylor then sang a medley of her biggest hits — old and new — starting with "The Man," a song in which she imagines how the media would treat her if she were a man.
Swift, who’s been publicly battling Scooter over the rights to her music, then accepted this year’s Artist of the Decade achievement and took the mic. She spoke about her fans — how they’ve kept her creative and motivated. She spoke about her parents — who instilled in her that music could transcend time. She spoke about her own music — how it’s part of her very core as a person, writer and artist.
What she didn’t speak about is her ongoing feud with the music manager.
Swift’s AMAs performance and subsequent speech was on everyone’s radar after the singer alleged that Braun, Scott Borchetta and Big Machine refused to allow her to perform her older hits during the show. Additionally, Swift claimed they "declined the use of my older music or performance footage" for an upcoming Netflix documentary. She encouraged her fans to "let Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun know how you feel about this."
Big Machine denied the allegations, claiming they were "based on false information."
"At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special. In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere," they said in a statement, also blasting Swift’s decision to "enlist her fanbase in a calculated manner that greatly affects the safety of our employees and their families."
Swift’s spokeswoman then released an additional statement from the singer, sharing a portion of an email that the record label allegedly sent Swift’s team in October, which claimed that Borchetta "flatly denied the request for both American Music Awards and Netflix."
"Please notice in Big Machine’s statement, they never actually deny either claim Taylor said last night in her post," the spokeswoman said of the record label’s statement. "Lastly, Big Machine is trying to deflect and make this about money by saying she owes them but, an independent, professional auditor has determined that Big Machine owes Taylor $7.9 million dollars of unpaid royalties over several years."
On Nov. 18, Big Machine announced that that they and "Dick Clark Productions 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. This includes the upcoming American Music Awards performances."
Braun spoke publicly about the feud for the first time on Thursday. During a Q&A at the 2019 Entertainment Industry Conference, he addressed the "toxic division" and the "confusion" and blamed it in general on social media and a lack of true communication.
The following day, he took to Instagram to share a lengthy message, aimed directly at Swift, claiming he and his family have received death threats. He also touched upon the AMAs controversy, telling Swift that she "can and should perform any song you would like at the AMAs."
And that’s exactly what she did.
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