Kelly Clarkson Wants Taylor Swift to Re-Record Her BMLG Songs
Kelly Clarkson has a bit of advice for Taylor Swift regarding her recently sold Big Machine Label Group-era music: Re-record it. The original American Idol champion offered the country-turned-pop superstar her thoughts in a tweet on Saturday night (July 13).
"Just a thought," Clarkson tweeted at Swift, "U should go in & re-record all the songs that U don’t own the masters on exactly how U did them but put brand new art & some kind of incentive so fans will no longer buy the old versions. I’d buy all of the new versions just to prove a point."
Clarkson's tweet makes her the latest celebrity to weigh in on the drama between Swift, BMLG founder and CEO Scott Borchetta and Sooter Braun, the celebrity talent manager who, it was revealed at the end of June, has bought BMLG, which owns the masters to Swift's first six albums, and its publishing arm, Big Machine Music, for upwards of $300 million. Although she was signed to Big Machine from the start of her career through the release of 2017's Reputation, Swift was never part of the Big Machine Music roster, having been signed to Sony / ATV Publishing since 2005.
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Clarkson's plan is possibly viable, given that Swift's publishing deal is not tied to Big Machine, though Variety points out that most major-label record deals include clauses prohibiting re-recordings of songs for a certain number of years after an artist's contract expires. BMLG could face a separate uphill battle in regards to future Swift releases however: As Billboard explains, Big Machine could use a compulsory mechanical license to re-release music that Swift recorded while on the label, but may need Sony / ATV and/or Swift's approval to release previously unreleased music that she recorded with BMLG.
After the news of Big Machine's sale was announced, Swift -- who left the label for UMG after her contract ended in November -- posted a note to Tumblr stating that the sale was her "worst case scenario" because of Braun's "incessant, manipulative bullying" of her via clients including Kanye West and Justin Bieber. Braun has yet to publicly comment on the situation, but Borchetta wrote his own blog post refuting Swift's claim of bullying by Braun, and her claim that she did not find out about the sale of BMLG until it was announced to the world. Bieber, too, has publicly apologized for his behavior toward Swift, and stated that Braun supported Swift.
Swift's Tumblr post also stated that she was never given the opportunity to buy back her masters, instead being offered the chance to earn them back, one at a time, for each album she turned in under a new deal with Big Machine. According to Borchetta, however, had Swift signed a new, 10-year contract with the label, she would have immediately been given ownership of all previous music. Swift's lawyer later clarified in a statement: "Scott Borchetta never gave Taylor Swift an opportunity to purchase her masters, or the label, outright with a check in the way he is now apparently doing for others."
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