Taylor Swift's old masters are changing hands. The music mogul Scooter Braun, whom Swift never truly hid her dislike for, sold the masters for a whopping $300 million.
The buyer is the private equity company Shamrock Holdings. According to Variety, which broke the news, the deal took two weeks to complete. The sale happens just around 17 months after Braun acquired the rights over Tay-Tay's first six albums, when his Ithaca Holdings bought out Big Machine Label Group and its assets.
Of course, Swift responded to the news, not containing her outrage.
Taking to her social media account, Swift posted a lengthy message detailing exactly what she thinks and feels of the development. She revealed that she actually knew of the sale because Shamrock informed her despite being prohibited by Braun to do so.
The artist claimed that she and her team tried hard to buy back her masters from Braun, but they were met with an "ironclad NDA" stating she "would never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive."
"This was the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge," Swift detailed in her note on Monday. "The letter told me that they wanted to reach out before the sale to let me know, but that Scooter Braun had required that they make no contact with me or my team, or the deal would be off."
Her anger is palpable in her long message. Taylor added that Braun would never even give her team a price for reasons unknown. She only found out her masters were already being sold to Shamrock a couple of weeks ago.
"This was the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge," Swift added. "The letter told me that they wanted to reach out before the sale to let me know, but that Scooter Braun had required that they make no contact with me or my team, or the deal would be off."
Taylor Swift then revealed that she was amenable to partner up with Shamrock. However, she then realized that under the terms between Shamrock and Braun, the latter is still likely to profit from her masters--even if the rights were already sold.
Not keen to work in any way with Braun, Swift said she has slashed off any possibility to partner up with Shamrock on anything. "Scooter's participation is a non-starter for me," she wrote.
Been getting a lot of questions about the recent sale of my old masters. I hope this clears things up. pic.twitter.com/sscKXp2ibD — Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 16, 2020
In a statement to EW, Shamrock said, "Taylor Swift is a transcendent artist with a timeless catalog. We made this investment because we believe in the immense value and opportunity that comes with her work."
The company added it has no ill-feelings towards the artist for not wanting to partner with them officially, because they fully respect and support her decision. The artist is said to be truly professional and transparent for the past weeks.
While they cannot work on anything now, the investment fund said they are looking forward for a chance in the future.
The Nashville-based independent record label Big Machine, founded by Scott Borchetta in 2005, was sold to Ithaca in June 2019 for just over $300 million. The acquisition covered all parts of BMLG's business, such as its client roster, distribution deals, publishing and even owned artist masters--Taylor Swift's masters not exempted.
Swift signed with BMLG at the beginning of her career. Her contract ended in 2018.
She has now signed a deal for future recordings with Universal Music Group. As of this month, Swift is given the leeway to re-record songs from her first five BMLG-issued albums.
In June of last year, Swift did not hide her dismay that Braun had bought the rights to her masters when he acquired Big Machine. She particularly did not like the guy because Braun allegedly "bullied" her for years.
She was not able to stop the sale then, and she was not able to stop it now.