The Grammy-winning artist can finally re-record her first five albums — “Taylor Swift,” “Fearless,” “Speak Now,” “Red” and “1989” — and take ownership of her original songs as her contract with Big Machine Records is finally over.
She left the label in 2018, but in July 2019 it was announced that producer/manager Scooter Braun bought the rights to Swift’s records she made with Big Machine when he acquired the company for $300 million.
Swift signed with Big Machine in 2005 when she was 15 years old. The terms of her deal gave the label the rights to her recordings – a common practice in the music industry. But Swift claims she has tried to buy them back in the years since.
Big Machine founder Scott Borchetta claimed there were terms negotiated for her to purchase her masters that she declined. Sources with knowledge of the deal also told Variety there were at least two offers to sell Swift her masters and that she declined both.
She spoke out against the business move in an open letter, denied the opportunity to buy back her masters, and claimed Braun partook in “incessant, manipulative bullying” over the course of years. Swift promised fans one day soon she would be able to re-record her albums despite not owning the original masters.
Swift fans rejoiced about the occasion on social media, so much so that #TaylorIsFree was trending on Twitter.
“It’s officially November which means Taylor can start re-recording her first five albums this MONTH. TAYLOR IS FREE,” gushed someone.
“Finally, it’s November 2020,” another said.
“NOVEMBER IS HERE! This is the month I’ve been most looking forward to since like July/August last year and I’m so excited!!! Taylor can re-record #TaylorIsFree TAYLOR IS FREE,” commented a Swiftie.
“The whole world was waiting for this moment #TaylorIsFree,” wrote a fan.
“I feel like I wanna cry in happiness for Taylor. She deserves more than anything in this world. Today, TAYLOR IS FREE,” a user said.
In an interview with Robin Roberts back in August 2019, Swift confirmed that she would re-record starting in November 2020.
“That’s true, and it’s something that I’m very excited about doing because my contract says that starting November 2020, so next year, I can record albums one through five all over again,” Swift said. “I’m very excited about it. I just think that artists deserve to own their own work. I just feel very passionately about that.”
In 2018, Swift signed with Universal Music Group and Republic (as her U.S. partner). “I’m ecstatic to announce that my musical home will be Republic Records and Universal Music Group,” Swift wrote on social media at the time.
“Over the years, Sir Lucian Grainge and Monte Lipman have been such incredible partners. It’s so thrilling to me that they, and the UMG team, will be my label family moving forward. It’s also incredibly exciting to know that I’ll own all of my master recordings that I make from now on.”
According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Swift has sold more than 45 million certified albums to date in the United States.
Fox News’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.