Big Machine Records denies Taylor Swift's claims, rep fires back

By Wade Sheridan
Taylor Swift arrives on the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards in August. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Taylor Swift arrives on the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards in August. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Taylor Swift's former label Big Machine Records has denied claims the singer made about not being able to use or perform her older music that the company owns. A representative for Swift then fired back, stating that the label owes her money.

On Thursday Swift said on Twitter she is being prevented from using or performing her older music up to her 2017 album Reputation at the 2019 American Music Awards and in an upcoming Netflix documentary.


The pop star is set to perform and receive the Artist of the Decade award at the AMAs on Nov. 24.

The performance was set to be a melody of her greatest hits but Swift said that the new owner of her old music, Scooter Braun, and the founder of Big Machine Scott Borchetta, are preventing her from doing so.


The representative backed up Swift's claims by citing a message Big Machine sent over to her team about not being allowed access to her catalogue and called into question the company's rebuttal.

"Please notice in Big Machine's statement, they never actually deny either claim Taylor said last night in her post. 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 woes Taylor $7.9 million dollars of unpaid royalties over several years," the rep said.

Swift said on Twitter that she will only be allowed to access her master recordings if she agrees to not record new, copycat versions of her old songs and stops mentioning Braun and Borchetta by name.

The 29-year-old is contractually permitted to re-record and release her earlier material as a way to obtain a form of ownership again.

"The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you'll be punished. This is WRONG. Neither of these men had a hand in the writing of those songs," she tweeted.

"I just want to be able to perform MY OWN music. That's it. I've tried to work this out privately through my team but have not been able to resolve anything. Right now my performance at the AMAs, the Netflix documentary and any other recorded events I am planning to playing November of 2020 are a question mark. I love you guys and I thought you should know what's been going on," Swift continued.

Big Machine responded with a statement on its website Friday, saying that the label never told Swift that she could not perform at the AMAs and did not attempt to block the Netflix special.

"Taylor, the narrative you have created does not exist. All we ask is to have a direct and honest conversation. What that happens, you will see there is nothing but respect, kindness and support waiting for you on the other side. To date, not one of the invitations to speak with us and work through this has been accepted," Big Machine said.

"Rumors fester in the absence of communication. Let's not have that continue here. We share the collective goal of giving your fans the entertainment they both want and deserve," the label continued.

Swift on Friday released a new song from the Cats soundtrack, "Beautiful Ghosts."

The track, written by Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber, is available on YouTube in the form of a lyric video and music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Soundcloud, Tidal and Deezer.


"All that I wanted was to be wanted/ Too young to wander London streets, alone and haunted/ Born into nothing/ At least you have something, something to cling to/ Visions of dazzling rooms I'll never get into/ And the memories were lost long ago/ But at least you have beautiful ghosts," she sings.

The upcoming Cats movie is an adaptation of Webber's Broadway musical of the same name, which is based on author T.S. Eliot's book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. It is set to arrive in theaters on Dec. 20.

Swift portrays Bombalurina in the film alongside Jennifer Hudson as Grizabella, Francesca Hayward as Victoria, Idris Elba as Macavity, Ian McKellen as Gus, Rebel Wilson as Jennyanydots, Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy, James Corden as Bustopher Jones and Jason Derulo as Rum Tum Tugger.

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