Taylor Swift Cleared by Big Machine to Perform Old Songs at AMAs

The label says it has given the award show approval.

Taylor Swift has the green light from Big Machine Label Group to perform old music from her Big Machine catalogue at the upcoming American Music Awards, where she'll be honored as Artist of the Decade. But whether she will go ahead with it, is still up in the air. 

In a statement to Billboard that does not mention Swift by name, a representative for Big Machine said the company has "agreed to grant all licenses of their artists' performances to stream post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms.

"It should be noted that recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television or any other live media," the statement continues. "Record label approval is only needed for contracted artists' audio and visual recordings and in determining how those works are distributed."

Swift's rep has not responded to request for comment. 

Big Machine originally released what appeared to be a joint statement with dick clark productions, which produces the AMAs. However, dick clark productions has since stated to Billboard that “at no time did dick clark productions agree to, create, authorize or distribute a statement in partnership with Big Machine Label Group regarding Taylor Swift’s performance at the 2019 American Music Awards. Any final agreement on this matter needs to be made directly with Taylor Swift’s management team. We have no further comment.”

Last week, Swift penned a letter on social media claiming that Big Machine founder Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun, whose Ithaca Holdings acquired Big Machine (and Swift's entire six-album catalog with the label) in June, are blocking her planned performance of a medley of her earlier hits at the AMAs because "that would be re-recording my music before I'm allowed to next year." She added that the two execs were also preventing her from using Big Machine-era recordings in a forthcoming Netflix documentary.

Swift also claimed Borchetta said that the projects would only be cleared if she agreed not to re-record her Big Machine catalogue next year.

Both sides have been trading barbs since, with Big Machine maintaining that the company has not tried to prevent Swift's performance, and that her narrative "does not exist." Rather, Big Machine says the disagreement is over an unresolved payment issue between the two parties (Swift's team has disputed that claim, too). 

Meanwhile, everyone from Selena Gomez to Elizabeth Warren has weighed in.

Read Big Machine's updated statement below. 

The Big Machine Label Group informed dick clark productions today that they have agreed to grant all licenses of their artists' performances to stream post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms. It should be noted that recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television or any other live media. Record label approval is only needed for contracted artists' audio and visual recordings and in determining how those works are distributed.

The AMAs are produced by dick clark productions, a division of Valence Media, the parent company of the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group.

UPDATE: This article was updated at 4:20 p.m. EST to include updated statements from Big Machine Label Group and dick clark productions clarifying that BMLG has informed dcp that the label has agreed to license its acts' performances for post-event streaming. An earlier version of the statement, provided by BMLG, incorrectly stated that the label had come to terms with dcp on the agreement. 

 

American Music Awards 2019

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