Taylor Swift vs. Big Machine Records: The Surprising Celebrities On Her Side

Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift is embroiled in a battle against music executives and the system at large. But she’s not alone. Here’s who is sticking up for the pop star in her time of need.

What’s going on with Taylor Swift?

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift | VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Swift stood up to her former record label, Big Machine Records, back in June 2019. Because of a recent transaction, her master recordings are now owned by Scooter Braun, the manager of Justin Bieber and Kanye West. Both are artists with whom Swift has an issues in the past.

In a lengthy Tumblr post, Swift explained that she was very unhappy with Scott Borchetta of Big Machine, who she claimed knew how much it would upset her to have Braun own her previous music. She then explained that she planned to rerecord much of her seven previous albums.

Swift’s latest announcement

We haven’t heard much about the situation for the past several months, with much of the focus on Swift’s new music. However, on Nov. 14, 2019, Swift took to social media once again to share a new development. At the upcoming American Music Awards, where Swift is being honored, she’s not allowed to perform any of her old music, according to Borchetta and Braun.

And there’s more. Swift has a Netflix documentary in the works, which will showcase her rise to fame. This would, naturally, include her discography. But Big Machine Records again refuses to allow her to include this. So Swift is encouraging other artists (especially those who are signed with Big Machine) to speak out about this.

These fellow musicians support her

It didn’t take long before Swift began to garner support from her fellow musicians. Among them is Cher, who wrote to Swift about how long this kind of thing has been going on in the industry, adding, “I’m sorry.”

Rebecca Black, who many know from her 2011 hit “Friday,” retweeted Swift’s message, calling it “a complete power pull” and tagging Braun and Borchetta. She added, “Denying access like this is solely to play with and diminish a person.”

TMZ approached napper Ne-Yo, who also took Swift’s side. He said that he didn’t understand why they wouldn’t sell the masters back to Swift, saying, “People want her singing the music.” He added, “Justice for Taylor!”

‘Bachelor’ Demi is on Swift’s side

Noticeably missing from the conversation has been Demi Lovato, who works with Braun, and has had an on-again, off-again friendship with Swift. However, another Demi, Demi Burnett of the Bachelor franchise (and a friend of Lovato’s), spoke up. “I know how it feels to be patronized and manipulated by powerful men,” she wrote on Twitter.

Another reality star, Spencer Pratt (of The Hills fame), was another of the early celebrities to chime in. Though he’s not a part of the music industry, Pratt called those who aren’t taking her side “lames.”

The issue is political

This isn’t just an issue of artistry. There are quite a few laws (or lack thereof) that have led to this situation. Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren noted this when she retweeted Swift’s statement, writing, “It’s time to rein in private equity films — and I’ve got a plan for that.” We wonder if we’ll hear about Swift endorsing (or even working with) Warren in the future.