Taylor Swift Taking Back What’s Rightfully Hers


Time.com // Thatphichai Yodsri / EyeEm

Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” (2008) and “Fearless” (Taylor’s Version) (2021)

Annie Ryan, Entertainment Editor

   When Taylor Swift first started out as just a young teenager with a big dream, she signed under Big Machine Records with Scott Borchetta, who helped shape her into the star she has become. When she signed with Big Machine Records, Borchetta didn’t want Swift’s masters sold on their own because it would decrease the value of his other assets. Some may ask why Swift would sign away her masters. As a young teenager all she wanted was a record deal, with the social promotion and album distribution the record label would soon provide. At the age of 15, she had no way of seeing that she would soon become one of the best-selling artists in the world. 

   Swift has become one of the world’s biggest sensations, so what happens when someone comes for her and her career? Back in June of 2019, Borchetta sold Swift’s first six albums from Big Machine to Ithaca Holdings, a company founded by music mogul Scooter Braun. Braun is considered a mogul due to the fact that he manages or has managed plenty of other prominent singers, such as Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Carly Rae Jepsen and Usher. After attaining Swift’s first six albums, from the self-titled 2006 “Debut” album to her 2017 “Reputation” album Braun then proceeded to sell the albums that were made under Borchetta’s label for just over 300 million. When Swift’s entire life’s work was sold behind her back in the blink of an eye, Swift took things into her own hands. 

   Soon enough, she made the album “Lover” which came out later in August 2019, Borchetta sold Big Machine Records to Braun in June 2019 for just over 300 million. “Lover” was the first album that she owned herself, with no labels or people holding that over her. As Braun acquired Big Machine Records, he came to the thought of how much money he could potentially receive if he just sold Swift’s entire discography that she had made while under Big Machine Records. On Tumblr, Swift called this the  “worst-case scenario”. Braun also managed rapper Kanye West at the peak of the rapper’s feud with Swift, which began when West infamously interrupted her winner’s speech at the 2009 VMAs. There has been a mad feud for the past two, almost three years, but Swift took a stand for her legacy. She had always gotten shade thrown at her, whether it was a phrase like “country girls can’t go pop” or “you’re just a teenage girl”, she didn’t let it bring her down and she knew what had to be done. When Braun sold her discography behind her back, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. Two months after the big blowout between Swift and Braun, Swift announced that she would be rerecording her first six albums, starting with her second album “Fearless”. Swift mainly wanted to re-record those because she wanted everyone to still be able to listen to her older songs without Braun getting any revenue and asked her fans to renegotiate their love for the original recordings to the carbon copies of the albums with new vocals. Swift has gone ahead with these re-recordings with “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)”, the re-recorded version of her 2008 album to be followed by “Red (Taylor’s Version)”, a re-recorded edition of her 2012 album, on November 12, 2021. With  “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” out and “Red (Taylor’s Version)” on the roll for this year, we can expect the next four of her older albums soon in time to come.