May 3, 2021
By this point, you have probably heard about Fearless (Taylor’s Version). Whether you already know every single word of the songs or have no idea why there is a duplicate album from the same artist 13 years later, this should hopefully fill you in.
Imagine this. A sixteen-year-old with big dreams signs with a promising new record label. That teenager proceeds to be the main artist on the label for the next decade. She becomes a global superstar. Through all the hate she gets from the Internet, other artists, their fans, and even their managers, she perseveres and comes back stronger than a nineties trend.
Then one day, the owner of the record label decides to sell the label. Who becomes the new owner? A manager of some of the main artists that encouraged the most hate against the label’s star. Not only does her recording label get sold to a man that has tried to ruin her multiple times, but she also is cheated out of owning any of her life work past, present, or future.
This all seems drastic and unfair, but unfortunately this is just scratching the surface of the hardships Taylor Swift has faced throughout her career. To give more details to the tale above, here are some names. Scott Borchetta has been in the music industry a long time, and in 2006 decided to start Big Machine Label Group. Swift was the main star for the label. Scooter Braun is a manager of stars including Kanye West and Justin Bieber, who have been publicly known to be anti-Swifties. Braun also owns Ithaca Holdings, which purchased Big Machine from Borchetta in 2019.
On top of all the wrongdoings in this change of ownership and Swift’s public “feuds” with other artists, she was denied ownership of her masters before the sale. The best offer they could give her was the chance to earn back one album at a time through each production of a new one. Though her pleading attempt at negotiation was long before the sale, she was blindsided when it happened. By the time Braun had ownership of the label, Swift had already left the label to join Republic Records. It was under this label that she released her first self-owned album Lover.
In late 2019, Swift confirmed she would begin legally re-recording her first five albums in November 2020. This brief summary brings the timeline up to right now: April 2021 and the release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) which includes all the songs from 2008 as well as six new “From the Vault” bonus tracks.
But the question of the whole situation still remains, why? The simple answer is to own her work. Unfortunately, there are always other opinions. Skeptics criticized the star, calling her greedy and attention-seeking. Others said it was a risky move to put the same albums out again because it could lead to no sales. Putting yourself in her shoes might make you think there is nothing better than revenge. However, most fans are certain she is doing this solely for the purpose of rightfully owning all her hard work from her career. Anything else is just added perks.
Now that all this drama has been covered, hopefully everything makes a little bit more sense. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is just the beginning for not only Taylor Swift, but hopefully future artists also owning more of their works as well. All these bold moves and standing up for herself just prove that Taylor Swift truly is fearless.
Written by: Anna Pender
Anna is a Senior Strategic Communications major. She is thankful to have the opportunity to write for the blog because it gives her a chance to explore and write about topics and events that she is passionate about and that are relevant to the world. She loves getting to be creative and share her personality through writing.