Taylor Swift’s old label says she’s allowed to perform back catalog on TV

Singer Taylor Swift performs during her Reputation tour.
Singer Taylor Swift performs during her Reputation tour.

(John Salangsang / Invision)

Nothing ends a public feud quite as smoothly as a licensing agreement, which is what Big Machine Label Group said it obtained ahead of Taylor Swift’s performance set for Sunday at the 2019 American Music Awards.

Big Machine announced Monday in a statement to Billboard that it had “come to terms on a licensing agreement that approves their artists’ performances to stream post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms. This includes the upcoming American Music Awards performances.”

The statement, originally attributed to both Big Machine and Dick Clark Productions, noted that “recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television or any other live media.”

After Taylor Swift went public Thursday in her fight against her former label, Big Machine says it’s not preventing the star from performing her music.

However, in a separate statement on Monday, Dick Clark Productions said that it did not “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.”


The company, which produces the fan-voted awards ceremony for ABC, added that “any final agreement on this matter needs to be made directly with Taylor Swift’s management team. We have no further comment.”

Big Machine then shared a revised statement on Twitter saying that it “informed Dick Clark Productions today” that the label has agreed to grant all licenses of its artists’ performances to stream post show and re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms.

Reps for Swift and Big Machine did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.

Last week, a frustrated Swift called out Big Machine founder Scott Borchetta and new label owner Scooter Braun in a Tumblr post, declaring she didn’t “know what else to do” and alleging that the label was preventing her AMAs performance. She even sicced her fan base on them, which caused Big Machine to shut down its Nashville offices hours early last Friday.

“At no point did we say Taylor could not perform on the AMAs or block her Netflix special. In fact, we do not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere,” Big Machine said in a statement last week. “Since Taylor’s decision to leave Big Machine last fall, we have continued to honor all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties as she promotes her current record in which we do not financially participate.”

The singer, who has been publicly feuding with Borchetta and Braun ever since the summer sale of Big Machine, said that she planned to perform a medley of her hits from the decade, which presumably included songs from the six studio albums she made under the purview of her old record label. (Swift is now repped by Republic Records, a label owned by Universal Music Group.)

Selena Gomez, Camila Cabello, Halsey and Sara Bareilles are among celebs standing up for Taylor Swift in her fight with Scooter Braun and Big Machine.

The AMAs, hosted by singer Ciara, will take place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and air live on ABC on Sunday. Swift, who will honored as “entertainer of the decade,” has been billed to deliver “an unprecedented performance,” organizers said.

Christina Aguilera, Great Big World, Post Malone, Ozzy Osbourne, Travis Scott, Watt, Green Day, Camila Cabello, Billie Eilish, Selena Gomez, the Jonas Brothers, Kesha feat. Big Freedia, Dua Lipa, Lizzo and Shania Twain are also set to perform.