Taylor Swift appeared at Billboard's 2019 Women in Music event on Thursday, and she delivered a passionate speech upon accepting her Woman of the Decade award. She made sure to thank those who have personally helped her, but she also wasted no time taking aim at Scooter Braun, who purchased Big Machine and the master rights to her first six albums a few months back.
The topic was brought up after she took issue with the "unregulated world of private equity coming in and buying our music as if it's real estate." She continued, "This just happened to me without my approval, consultation, or consent." She heavily criticized Braun for the move in an open letter earlier this year, and has since made her frustration at the situation abundantly clear.
"After I was denied the chance to purchase my music outright, my entire catalog was sold to Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings in a deal that I’m told was funded by the Soros family, 23 Capital, and that Carlyle Group," she added. "Yet, to this day, none of these investors have bothered to contact me or my team directly—to perform their due diligence on their investment. On their investment in me. To ask how I might feel about the new owner of my art, the music I wrote, the videos I created, photos of me, my handwriting, my album designs."
She additionally claimed that Braun never made an effort to contact her or her team prior to the sale taking place. "I'm faily 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 right to own their music," she said. "And of course he's nice to you, if you're in this room, you have something he needs."
Taylor Swift previously announced her plans to re-record her first six albums, which she would have full ownership of. "The fact is that private equity enabled this man to think, according to his own social media post, that he could 'buy me,'" she continued. "But I’m obviously not going willingly. Yet the most amazing thing was to discover that it would be the women in our industry who would have my back and show me the most vocal support at one of the most difficult times, and I will never, ever forget it. Like, ever."
During her speech she also took the time to share her appreciation for some of the women she respects most in the music industry. Lana Del Rey, Lizzo, Rosalía, King Princess, Billie Eilish, Halsey, Megan Thee Stallion, and Maggie Rogers were among those to get a shout out.
Watch her full acceptance speech above.