Just 17 months after acquiring them, Scooter Braun has sold Taylor Swift’s masters for upwards of $300 million to an “unknown” investment fund, Variety reports. Braun’s Ithaca Holdings, which purchased the masters to Swift’s first six albums as part of their Big Machine record label acquisition in June 2019, reportedly secured the sale in the last two weeks.
Swift famously slammed the record executive for facilitating the purchase of her masters in 2019, saying she was “grossed out” by the deal that left her without any opportunity to acquire her own music. The “cardigan” singer, 30, is now signed to Universal Music Group and has since promised to re-record her first six albums. (Though one hopes that this could be circumvented altogether if Braun’s “unknown” investor” were secretly revealed to be Swift—for now, fans can dream!) At Billboard’s 2019 Women in Music event, Swift spoke out about what she called the “toxic male privilege” that enabled Braun’s purchase. “This just happened to me without my approval, consultation or consent,” she said during an acceptance speech.
“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 continued. “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.”
In the past, Scooter Braun alleged that he tried to “reach out” to Swift following the acquisition, but claimed that he never received a response from her team, ET reports. His artist Justin Bieber has also commented on the situation, defending his longtime manager. Taylor alluded to his alliance during her speech, calling out artists like Justin who failed to come to her support: “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.”