Celebrity music manager Scooter Braun, who famously reps Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, is set to soon own Taylor Swift’s entire music catalogue.
Swift says in a scathing Tumblr post that she is “sad and grossed out” and heartbroken by the news, and accuses Braun of bullying her for years.
Braun’s media holding company Ithaca Holdings LLC. announced in a statement on Monday that it and Big Machine Label Group reached a “finalized contract” under which Ithaca Holdings will acquire the latter company, Swift’s former record label.
The deal, made for a reported $300 million, includes Big Machine Music, which means Braun’s company will gain the six albums that Swift has released to date, as well as music from other top artists such as Reba McEntire, Sheryl Crow, and Lady Antebellum.
“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work,” Swift wrote on her Tumblr page on Sunday. “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. I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, [Big Machine founder] Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future. I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums.”
“Some fun facts about today’s news: I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world,” she continued. “All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.”
Braun and Borchetta have not responded publicly to Swift’s remarks.
In her Tumblr post, Swift provided examples of alleged bullying by Braun.
“Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it. (See photo),” she wrote. “Or when his client, Kanye West, organized a revenge porn music video which strips my body naked.”
Swift attached a screenshot of Bieber’s 2016 Instagram post that shows him FaceTiming Braun and rapper and Kim’s husband Kanye West, who famously feuded with Swift on and off, most recently in 2016. Bieber captioned the pic, “Taylor swift what up.” He later removed the caption.
“This is Scooter Braun, bullying me on social media when I was at my lowest point,” Swift wrote on her screenshot. “He’s about to own all the music I’ve ever made.
“Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy,” Swift continued in her post. “Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it. This is my worst case scenario. This is what happens when you sign a deal at 15 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.”
Swift said, “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.”
In November, Swift left Big Machine Music and signed a new deal with Universal Music Group. Braun would have no legal claim over the rights to her new singles “Me!” and “You Need to Calm Down,” released this year, or her upcoming seventh album Lover, set to be released by the label in on August 23.
“Thankfully, I am now signed to a label that believes I should own anything I create,” she wrote on Tumblr. “Thankfully, I left my past in Scott’s hands and not my future. And hopefully, young artists or kids with musical dreams will read this and learn about how to better protect themselves in a negotiation. You deserve to own the art you make. I will always be proud of my past work. But for a healthier option, Lover will be out August 23. Sad and grossed out, [broken heart] Taylor.”