Rights to Taylor Swift’s first six albums sold by Scooter Braun to private equity firm

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Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 2019 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Emma McIntyre/AMA2019

Taylor Swift has confirmed that the rights to her first six albums have been sold by Scooter Braun to a private equity firm, marking the latest chapter in the U.S. singer’s public feud with the music executive. 

Pop singer Swift said in a post on Twitter on Monday that her team received a letter a few weeks ago from Shamrock Holdings — the private equity firm founded by Roy Disney — notifying her that it had bought her original recordings, known as “masters,” from Braun. 

The deal was believed to be worth over $300 million, according to Variety, which first reported the story on Monday

The dispute over Swift’s music began last year, when Braun’s media company Ithaca Holdings bought Big Machine Label Group from her old manager Scott Borchetta and with it, the original recordings of her first six albums. 

“This is the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge,” Swift said in her Twitter post Monday. 

According to Swift, Shamrock said that before the sale Braun had required that the firm make no contact with her or her team, or the deal would not go ahead. 

The singer said that she also learned from Shamrock that under the deal Braun would continue to profit from her old music catalog, consisting of six albums with her former record label Big Machine, “for many years.” 

“I was hopeful and open to the possibility of a partnership with Shamrock, but Scooter’s participation is a non-starter for me,” Swift said. 

Scooter Braun and Shamrock Holdings have not responded when contacted for comment by CNBC at the time of writing. 

Swift has been trying buy back her masters for the past year but said Braun’s team wanted her to sign an “ironclad” non-disclosure agreement before seeing Big Machine’s financial records, “which is always the first steps in a purchase of this nature.” The NDA was said to have required her to “never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive.” 

Swift said her legal team told her this was “absolutely not normal” and that they’d only an NDA like this to “silence an assault accuser by paying them off.” 

She also included a letter that she had sent to Shamrock in the Twitter post, explaining why she would not currently consider working with the private equity firm but said it should let her know if it was ever “completely independent from Scooter Braun and his associates.” 

In addition, Swift said she would be going ahead with re-recording her old songs and recognized this would reduce the value of her masters but believed it was her “only way of regaining the sense of pride” for her old music.

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