Taylor Swift Cleared to Play Old Music at 2019 American Music Awards
Taylor Swift will be able to perform her non-Lover-era music on Sunday night's (Nov. 24) 2019 American Music Awards. Big Machine Label Group, Swift's former record label, confirmed the news in a statement to Billboard on Monday (Nov. 18), after a few days of public back-and-forth between the two parties.
According to the statement, BMLG and Dick Clark Productions, which produces the AMAs, "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."
"It should be noted that recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television or any other live media," the statement continues. "Record label approval is only needed for contracted artists' audio and visual recordings and in determining how those works are distributed."
Since Big Machine Founder and CEO Scott Borchetta sold the record label to celebrity talent manager Scooter Braun over the summer, Swift has been open about her battle for the rights to her old music. On Thursday (Nov. 14), the country-turned-pop superstar claimed in a social media post that Borchetta and Braun were refusing to let Swift perform the songs she released while with BMLG during the 2019 American Music Awards, at which she will receive the Artist of the Decade honor.
"Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I'm not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I'm allowed to this year," Swift explained, adding that Borchetta and Braun's stipulations for allowing her to perform her old material at the ceremony included her agreeing not to re-record those songs as planned. In exchange for the performance, the singer says, they also asked her to stop talking about Borchetta and Braun, and were refusing to allow the use of Swift's older music in a forthcoming Netflix documentary.
Swift's dedicated fanbase quickly stepped into action following her remarks. PopCrush reports that social media users shared what are reportedly Borchetta and Braun's home, office and cell phone numbers, and fans also launched a Change.org petition in support of Swift.
In a statement of their own, made on Friday (Nov. 15), Big Machine denied Swift's accusations and claimed that she owes the record label money. However, in reply, a representative for Swift shared with Billboard an Oct. 28 message from BMLG's vice president of rights management and business affairs supporting Swift's version of the dispute, and adding that it's actually Big Machine that owes Swift money.
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