Taylor Swift’s 30th birthday celebration started a bit early as the pop titan accepted the Woman of the Decade accolade at Billboard’s Women in Music event on Thursday night (December 12). During her 15-minute speech, the chart-topper delivered an important speech that not only defended herself, but all women in the industry.
Throughout her time at the podium, Swift touched on several points about her own career and how she adjusted for so long to please her critics and still never made any of them happy. Before getting into her recent battle with former label, Big Machine Records, and its new owner Scooter Braun, the superstar also gave a shoutout to Lana Del Rey for rising about her own detractors, deeming her the most influential artist in pop music. However, her most prominent points arrived towards the end of her speech, where the singer called out the music industry and the new shift that has personally affected her.
“That is the unregulated world of private equity coming in and buying up our music as if it’s real estate,” she told the crowd. “This just happened to me without my approval, consultation or consent. After I was denied the chance to purchase my music outright, my entire catalog was sold to Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings. To this day, none of these investors have ever [contacted me] or my team directly to perform their due diligence on their investment in me to ask how I might feel about the new owner of my art, my music… my handwriting. Of course, Scooter never contacted me or my team to discuss it prior to the sale or even when it was announced.”
Swift went on to call out “toxic male privilege” and Braun’s recent social media post about trying to make amends. “I’m fairly certain he knew exactly how I would feel about it though and let me just say that the definition of toxic male privilege in our industry is people saying, ‘But he’s always been nice to me’ when I’m raising valid concerns about artists and their rights to own their music.’ Of course, he’s nice to people in this room, you have something he needs,” he explained. “The fact is that private equity is what enabled this man to think, according to his own social media posts, that he could ‘buy me.’ Well, I’m obviously not going willingly.”