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  1. ITV Report

Who's who in the Taylor Swift row with ex-record label boss over performing her old music

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Richard Pallot

Taylor Swift has accused the head of her former record label and a prominent music industry figure of "exercising tyrannical control" over her career, in a row over her old music.

In an extraordinary statement, Swift alleged Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun are blocking her from performing a medley of her songs at the American Music Awards (AMAs), where she will be named artist of the decade later this month.

Swift asked her fans for help in resolving the matter after efforts by her team stalled.

As the row continues, who's who in this escalating drama.

  • Taylor Swift

Swift needs little introduction: one of the best-selling music artists of all time, she has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, 32 million in America alone - and a whopping 150 million singles.

Taylor Swift performing in 2018. Credit: AP
  • What's prompted her outburst?

Swift signed to Big Machine Label Group, then very much in its infancy, when she was just 14.

The label's founder Scott Borchetta, acquired Swift's back catalogue earlier this year, a move the singer said made her "sad" and "grossed out".

And now Swift is accusing her ex-label boss and record exec Scooter Braun of preventing her from performing her old songs at the AMAs as it would constitute "re-recording them before I'm allowed to next year".

On a statement on her social media accounts, Swift also announced Netflix has created a documentary about "my life for the past few years".

Borchetta and Scooter have declined the use of her older music or performance footage for the project, she alleges.

Scott Borchetta with Taylor Swift after winning Album of the Year at the Country Music Awards in 2009. Credit: AP

Swift also claims Borchetta told her team they will allow her to use her music if she agrees not to re-record copycat versions of her songs next year and "stop talking" about him and Braun.

Swift said she is legally allowed to re-record her old songs and is "looking forward" to it.

The 29-year-old said: "I feel very strongly that sharing what is happening to me could change the awareness level for other artists and potentially help them avoid a similar fate.

"The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you'll be punished.

"This is WRONG. Neither of these men had a hand in the writing of those songs. They did nothing to create the relationship I have with my fans."

Taylor Swift accused Scooter Braun, who also worked with Justin Bieber, of bullying. Credit: PA
  • What does she want her fans to do about it?

Swift asked her fans for "help", by letting Braun and Borchetta "know how you feel about this".

She said Braun "manages several artists who I really believe care about other artists and their work".

Swift added: "Please ask them for help with this - I'm hoping that maybe they can talk some sense into the men who are exercising tyrannical control over someone who just wants to play the music she wrote."

She then named The Carlyle Group, saying they put up the money for the sale of her music.

Swift says she has been blocked from performing her own songs at an awards ceremony. Credit: PA

Swift added: "I just want to be able to perform MY OWN music. That's it. I've tried to work this out privately though my team but have not been able to resolve anything.

"Right now my performance at the AMA's, the Netflix documentary and any other recorded events I am planning to play until November of 2020 are a question mark."

She finished the post by writing: "I love you guys and I thought you should know what's been going on."

  • Who exactly are Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun?

Scott Borchetta founded Big Machine Label Group in 2005 with 13 employees. His first signing was a 14-year-old Taylor Swift who would go on to be the label's biggest star.

Scooter Braun manages artists including Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande and owns Ithaca Holdings, which bought Big Machine Label Group earlier this year, giving the entrepreneur ownership of Swift's back catalogue.

In a post on Tumblr at the time, Swift also claimed she was given no notice of the sale and accused Braun of being a "bully".

Scott Borchetta arrives at the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in 2018. Credit: AP

"I learned about Scooter Braun's purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world," she said in July this year.

"All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I've received at his hands for years."

In response, Braun's wife, Yael Braun, came to his defence saying he is "anything but a bully", adding: "Interesting that the man you're so 'grossed out' by believed in you more than you believe in yourself."

Yael Braun defender her husband Scooter Braun. Credit: PA
  • Are other artists backing Swift?

Pop star Halsey most certainly is, describing Swift's treatment at the hands of Braun and Borchetta as "punishment".

Writing on Instagram, she said: "These people are protected because they inspire complicity with fear.

"Banking on the illusion that people will not stand up for her. That the world will say she is over reacting, You're barking up the wrong tree.

"It is her grace and patience in these moments that make her Artist of the Decade."

Supermodel Gigi Hadid also lent her support to Swift.

Gigi Hadid has supported Swift in her row with Braun and Borchetta. Credit: PA

The 24-year-old tweeted: "Scott and Scooter, you know what the right thing to do is.

"Taylor and her fans deserve to celebrate the music!!"

Big Machine Label Group and Braun have been contacted for comment.

When Swift first publicly rebuked Braun, following the sale of her back catalogue in June, the talent manager's most high-profile client, Bieber, was quick to defend him.

However, he is yet to publicly respond this time.