Big Machine's Scott Borchetta finally shares his "truth" after Swift attacks him and Scooter Braun and industry stars line up on both sides of the feud -- check out all the reactions!
UPDATED at 12:37 a.m. on 7/2/19:
"ME!" collaborator and Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie the latest to join the battle. "I read Taylor's statement and I was like, 'That sounds about right, ya know; toxic dudes doing toxic bulls--t in this toxic industry," Urie said during a Twitch livestream, calling the sale of Swift's masters to Braun "disgusting."
Urie called Braun both a "piece of s--t" and a "f--king a--hole," while questioning the legality of selling her masters without proper notice.
"I thought that was illegal, to do a business turn behind the people who wrote the stuff," Urie said. "Like, you can't do it without their knowledge. There's a certain amount of time legally that you have to let the people know ... like there's gotta be a precedent for that - not toxic masculinity
"I stand with Taylor, of course. It's a s--tshow to learn how awful people can be," he went on. "Just for some profit ... and maybe some clout."
UPDATED at 8:00 a.m. on 7/2/19:
A previous version of this story credited Just Jared with claims Ariana Grande posted, then deleted support for Taylor Swift on her Instagram Stories. Her rep later denied she posted anything on the situation, saying screenshots posted online were fake. Just Jared later removed its post.
ORIGINAL STORY at 8:01 p.m. on 6/30/19:
To say that Taylor Swift is not thrilled about the buyout of her former label, Big Machine Label Group, by Scooter Braun may just be the understatement of the past 13 years.
That's how long Swift has been making music under that label, encompassing her first six albums, before she shifted to Universal Music Group for her forthcoming seventh full-length effort, "Lover," due out August 23.
Now, all of that work has been sold out from under her, and the "You Need to Calm Down" singer is anything but calm, lashing out online at Big Machine owner Scott Borchetta for basically selling her career to this point to Braun, a man Swift described as someone who has "incessantly, manipulatively" bullied her and tried to dismantle her career.
Even worse, Swift claims she learned of the loss of her masters to Braun at the same time as the rest of the world, though Borchetta denies this. In a response of his own to Swift's post, he wrote, "Out of courtesy, I personally texted Taylor at 9:06 PM, Saturday, June 29th, to inform her prior to the story breaking." The story broke Sunday morning.
As the story broke on Sunday and only grew after Swift's angry response, celebrities from across the music industry and beyond joined the fray, with Halsey being the first to throw her support behind Swift, tweeting that she "deserves to own the painstaking labor of her heart."
Katy Perry also appeared to sign a change.org petition calling for Swift to be allowed to re-release all six albums under her new label, which could conceivably result in her regaining control of her music. "I stand with Taylor," Perry -- or someone using her name -- wrote alongside her response, per Hollywood Life. "Stay strong my friend." Nearly 90,000 fans have signed the petition at time of publication.
Alessia Cara pleaded on her Instagram stories for the industry to "stop stealing from women who work hard," while Iggy Azalea tweeted, "They really do people crazy dirty on ownership of their intellectual property in the biz."
Azalea joined several other artists in reportedly unfollowing Braun on social media, including Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Selena Gomez, Camila Cabello, Gwen Stefani, and Adele. Even Braun's own client, Ariana Grande, reportedly deleted her own congratulatory post to Braun after Swift's post went live.
Others came out on Braun's side, including Justin Bieber, who tried to have his cake and eat it, too, by apologizing to Swift for his earlier "what up" post regarding her Kim Kardashian/Kanye West feud that Swift used as fuel for her own post. "At the time i thought it was funny but looking back it was distasteful and insensitive," Bieber said, going on to say that West and Braun had nothing to do with its content and Swift was "crossing a line" in targeting Braun.
He went on to ask, "What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog? Seems to me like it was to get sympathy. You also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully Scooter." In fact, Bieber says that it was Braun "who told me not to joke like that.. Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you."
Bieber's wife Hailey praised her husband, simply writing, "Gentleman," in his comments. But Swift's longtime friend Cara Delevigne took issue with that, calling out the famous couple with her own comment. "I wish you spent less time sticking up for men and more time trying to understand women and respecting their valid reactions," she wrote.
"As a married man, you should be lifting women up instead of tearing them down because you are threatened," the model continued. "I am not sure you actually understand what an apology is. This issue that Taylor Swift is talking out is about far more than a picture and you know that.
"As you said, you haven't spoken to her in years which means you definitely don't understand the situation," she added. "I do. Take a step back and try and learn from this. We should all be on the same team. End of story."
Cara's comment is no longer on the post, though many Swift fans have jumped in and pasted it there over and over again.
Another of Swift's close friends, Todrick Hall, also jumped to her defense, tweeting, "I am saddened by this news, but not shocked. He is an evil person who's only concern is his wealth and feeding his disgusting ego. I believe he is homophobic & I know from his own mouth that he is not a Swift fan."
This led to a back-and-forth with another Braun client, Demi Lovato, who came to her manager's defense. In a since-deleted tweet captured by one of Hall's fans, Lovato asserted that Braun is not homophobic. "As a member of the LGBTQ+ community myself, he wouldn't have signed me if he was," she wrote. "No hate, just trying to clear that up."
She went on to plead with Swift's fans to stop "bullying" Braun in her Instagram stories, with Just Jared reporting that she wrote, "I have dealt with bad people in this industry and Scooter is not one of them. He's a good man. Personally, I'm grateful he came into my life when he did. Please stop 'dragging' people or bullying them. There's enough hate in this world as it is.
Erik Logan of the Big Machine board of directors turned the tables on Swift, calling her a bully. "As I watch you attempt to re-write history and parse words, all from your massive platform, I'm reminded that's what a real bully would do," he wrote. "You're the real bully." He then dug in a little deeper, adding, "Your power is fading, you shine is dull and this is what bully's do, they lash out."
Braun's wife was even more heated, countering Swift's claims that she'd been trying to purchase her masters by saying she'd actually passed on that opportunity, as well as arguing that Braun notified both her and her father of the impending sale of Big Machine. "And girl who are you to talk about bullying?" she continued. "The world has watched you collect and drop friends like wilted flowers."
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Swift paired her initial message with that image Justin Bieber shared to his own social media years ago when Kim Kardashian recorded and shared a bit of he conversation with Swift. Of the image, Swift claims "Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it."
Bieber is seen on a video chat with Braun and fellow Bruan client Kanye West, but he claims it was he alone who targeted Swift with that post.
"For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work," Swift wrote in an impassioned Tumblr post. "Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and 'earn' one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in."
She walked away from that deal because she said she knew Borchetta intended to sell his company, and she didn't want to be legally tied to an uncertain future. What she didn't expect was who he might sell to.
"Any time Scott Borchetta has heard the words 'Scooter Braun' escape my lips, it was when I was either crying or trying not to," Swift continued. "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."
She then went on to cite West's "Famous" music video, which featured naked lookalikes of several celebrities, including Swift. "Now Scooter has stripped me of my life's work, that I wasn't given an opportunity to buy," she wrote. "Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it."
Describing this situation as her "worst case scenario," Swift dug into Borchetta, writing, "This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term 'loyalty' is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says 'Music has value,' he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it."
She's grateful that her new partnership gives her ownership of the music that she creates from "Lover" forward, asking her fans to support the "healthier option" by picking up her new album when it drops in August.
Finally on Sunday evening, Borchetta dropped his own version of events on his company's website, including a screenshot of 2018 discussions regarding Swift regaining rights to her masters and everything related to her career there. He also pasted the text message he says he received from Swift before she left Big Machine, and the one he claims he sent her prior to selling Big Machine to Braun.
In the message he claims is from Swift, she indicated that talks had broken down for her to acquire her masters, but didn't seem too bothered. "Owning my masters was very important to me, but I've since realized that there are things that mean even more to me in the bigger picture," he says she wrote. "I had a choice whether to bet on my past or to bet on the future and I think knowing me, you can guess which one I chose."
In the copy of the message he says he sent to her, Borchetta acknowledged Swift's catalog, writing, "I want you to know that I will continue to be the proud custodian of your previous works and will continue to keep you and your team abreast of all future plans for releases of you work."
Braun celebrated the buyout on his own Instagram, writing, "We together at Ithaca are going to do amazing things and our hope is to give every artist the tools they need to succeed in all arenas. Thank you again for the trust, Scott."
In a reported $300 million deal, Braun's Ithaca Holdings purchased an ownership stake in Big Machine, which includes Swift's masters for those first six albums. Other artists moving over with the deal include Florida Georgia Line, Reba McEntire and more. Braun is also a music manager, helming the careers of Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Carly Rae Jepsen and more.
Check out all the celebrity reaction to the story that rocked the music industry Sunday below and is, obviously, still developing:
Unfortunately Can Relate 2 Having Millions Stolen,A FEW TIMES😤.Some Close,Some Very Close,Some Supposed 2 Protect Me.😥😤🤬. PULL UP UR BIG-GIRL G-STRING, PULL ON UR RHINESTONE COMBAT BOOTS,KICK SOME ASS🎼, &REMEMBER “YOU ARE A RICH MAN”
Taylor doesn't deserve for someone who has constantly BULLIED her to OWN THE RIGHTS to her blood, sweat, + tears. It's not the dark ages - artists shouldn't be held down, and I couldn't be prouder of my friend for standing up for what's right. End of story.
This is about protecting artists. Taylor courageously exposed a grown man who has time + time again proven his obsession with holding her down, like his reputation precedes him. He doesn't deserve a morsel of control over the archives of her past.
Telling someone about a deal days before it's public means the deal was already done & she never had the opportunity to even make a bid to own her own work. These deals take months to negotiate in long form. https://t.co/Ra7NdxzcOM
For those asking, I left Scooter Braun a long time ago...I am saddened by this news, but not shocked. He is an evil person who's only concern is his wealth and feeding his disgusting ego. I believe he is homophobic & I know from his own mouth that he is not a Swift fan.