Remember when, in July, Scooter Braun bought Big Machine Records and, with it, Taylor Swift’s masters? At the time, it was speculated (and helpfully suggested by Kelly Clarkson) that Taylor technically could rerecord her old music, so as to own it herself—though that option was viewed as kind of a laborious long shot. Lo and behold, in an absolutely delicious power move, Swift announced on Good Morning America on Thursday that she will thwart Braun by doing just that. Insert “look what you made her do” lyric here.
“It’s something I’m very excited about doing because my contract says that starting November 2020... I can record albums one through five all over again,” Swift told ABC’s Robin Roberts. “Artists deserve to own their work.” Reading between the lines of Swift’s statement, she may not plan to rerecord her sixth album, Reputation, released in 2017. Instead of using old copies, fans—and commercials, movies or shows wishing to use the music—could purchase Swift’s new versions. “I’d buy all of the new versions just to prove a point,” Clarkson tweeted in July, when Swift called Braun’s ownership of her music the “worst-case scenario.”
“All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years,” Swift wrote of Braun—the super-manager of the likes of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, referencing his role in her feud with Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West. “Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.”
Now, Swift is poised to skirt that fate. It’s quite the undertaking if she rerecords her first five albums in full (as opposed to just her biggest hits from each), but if the extra time in the studio, painstakingly re-singing her old tracks, means reclaiming rightful ownership of her music, it’s time well spent. In the still deeply sexist recording industry, it’s a win not only for Swift but for women in music.
Originally Appeared on Vogue