Taylor Swift had some big news for fans on Nov. 16, in that she has confirmed she’s begun re-recording the songs off of her first six albums, of which the masters were sold to nemesis Scooter Braun without her knowledge in June 2019. “I have recently begun re-recording my older music and it has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling,” she wrote in a message to fans. Taylor, 30, revealed that she has “plenty of surprises in store” and “I can’t wait for you to hear what I’ve been dreaming up.” But it came as almost a footnote, appearing at the end of a long message to fans about how Scooter has just sold her music catalog without giving Taylor the chance to purchase her own work.
Taylor opened her letter by explaining to fans that her team had been in contact with Scooter, 39, to acquire her masters, which his Ithaca Holdings obtained when it purchased Big Machine Records in June 2019. Taylor recorded her first six albums there, up through 2017’s Reputation. She claimed he wanted her to sign a non-disclosure agreement where she would only say nice things about her enemy before he would consider even entering into negotiations.
Taylor then said that he refused to even quote a price to her team and that her masters were never going to be for sale to the singer. She said that two weeks ago she received a letter from the private equity group Shamrock Holdings that they had bought her masters from Scooter, but he “had required that they make no contact with me or my team or the deal would be off.” Taylor also claimed that Scooter — who manages Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato — will continue to profit off of her first six albums under the deal.
Taylor even shared a letter she wrote to Shamrock Holdings when they informed her of the purchase of her music catalog, and Scooter’s continued income off of her albums, artwork and music videos. The “Betty” singer wrote that because of Scooter still benefitting off of her work, “I cannot currently entertain being partners with you. It is a shame I will now be unable to help grow the future of these past works and it pains me very deeply to remain separated from the music I spent over a decade creating, but this is a sacrifice I will have to make to keep Scooter Braun out of my life.”
Taylor explained to Shamrock’s leaders that she would be going forward with re-recording her albums that Scooter had owned, and that “I know this will diminish the value of my old masters, but I hope you understand this is my only way of regaining the pride I once had when hearing songs from my first six albums and also allowing my fans to listen to those albums without feelings of guilt for benefitting Scooter.”
In Nov. 2018, Taylor left Big Machine Records and signed a deal with Universal Music Group, under which she owns the masters to the albums she records there, including 2019’s Lover and 2020’s Folklore. In June 2019, she learned about the sale of Big Machine to Scooter along with the rest of the world, and was “sad and grossed out” by him owning her life’s work, calling it “my worst case scenario.” In an open letter to fans, she revealed, “All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.” She also placed blame on Big Machine owner Scott Borchetta, who made the sale to Taylor’s enemy.
“When I left my masters in Scott’s hands, I made peace with the fact that eventually he would sell them. Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine the buyer would be Scooter. Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words ‘Scooter Braun’ escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to. He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever,” Taylor added.