Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Taylor Swift was honored with the Woman of the Decade Award at Billboard's Women in Music 2019 event at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.
Swift, who was introduced by The Good Place star Jameela Jamil, delivered a lengthy speech on Thursday that touched on her career, sexism in the music industry, struggles she has endured due to being a woman, and how Scooter Braun has acquired her music catalog from her former label Big Machine Records.
"I saw that as a female in this industry some people will always have slight reservations about you. Whether you deserve to be there, whether your male producer or co-writer is the reason for your success or whether it was a savvy record label. It wasn't," the singer said onstage.
"I saw that people love to explain away a woman's success in the music industry and I saw something in me change due to this realization. This was the decade when I became a mirror from her detractors. Whatever they decided I couldn't do, is exactly what I did," she continued.
Swift mentioned the benefits and issues surrounding music streaming and how she has fought for artists to receive higher compensation from streaming. Swift said that a new issue on the rise is the unregulated world of private equity and how they can purchase an artist's entire catalogue.
The pop star then launched into how Braun's Ithaca Holdings was unfairly able to purchase her catalogue without her approval, consultation or consent after she was denied the right to purchase the catalogue herself.
"Scooter never contacted me or my team to discuss it prior to the sale or even when it was announced. I'm fairly certain he knew exactly how I would feel about it though and let me just say that the definition of the toxic male privilege in our industry is people saying, 'but he's always been nice to me,' when I'm raising valid concerns about artists and their rights to own their music," Swift said.
"Of course he's nice to you, if you're in this room you have something he needs. The fact is that private equity is what enabled this man to think according to his own social media post that he could buy me, but I'm obviously not going willingly," she continued.
Swift ended her speech on a note that encapsulated her decade.
"Lately I've been focusing less on doing what they say I can't do and more on doing whatever the hell I want. Thank you for a magnificent, happy, free, confused, sometimes lonely, but mostly golden decade."
Nicki Minaj was also on hand to honor late rapper Juice WRLD following his death as she accepted the Game-Changer Award. "I felt like he was a kindred spirit," she said.