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This story will be hard to shake off.
Taylor Swift’s “masters,” or the underlying rights to her songs, have been sold for the second time in as many years.
But there will be no windfall for Swift - the singer-songwriter said on Twitter, “This was the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge.”
The saga dates back to Swift’s first record deal - a six-album contract with “Big Machine Label Group,” where she relinquished control of her ownership rights on all her work up to 2017.
After Swift left for a competing record label, Big Machine was sold to celebrity talent manager Scooter Braun (with backing from investment giant Carlyle) for $300 million. Swift’s music represented roughly half of the purchase price, according to reports.
Less than two years later, Braun’s company has reportedly sold Swift’s masters to private equity firm Shamrock Capital in a deal that could be worth up to $450 million.
The Drama: Swift posted on Twitter that she had been in talks to buy the rights herself, but Braun reportedly insisted on having her sign an “ironclad NDA” that would “silence [her] forever.”
Time for Payback
In a letter to Shamrock Capital, Swift said she would begin to re-record songs from her first six albums, which her contract allows her to do as of this month.
Swift said, “I know this will diminish the value of my old masters, but I hope you will understand that this is my only way of regaining the sense of 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 benefiting Scooter.”
The Takeaway: Shamrock had better hope she is out of practice.