Can Taylor Swift Perform Her Old Songs At The AMAs After All?

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
The haters may continue to hate, hate, hate, but that won’t stop Taylor Swift from performing her old songs at the American Music Awards, according to a report from TMZ. Per the outlet, Big Machine Records has granted Swift permission to perform any song from her back catalog.
Last week, Swift claimed that Big Machine Records had refused her permission to play any of the songs to which they own the masters, which encompasses all of her albums with the exception of 2019’s Lover. 
Swift is allowed to perform her old songs at the AMAs, according to a joint statement allegedly released by both Big Machine Label Group and Dick Clark Productions.
"The Big Machine Label Group and Dick Clark Productions announce that they have come to terms on a licensing agreement that approves their artists' performances to stream post show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms,” the statement reads, per TMZ. "This includes the upcoming American Music Awards performances. It should be noted that recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television or any other live media."
However, in a statement to Refinery29, Dick Clark Productions denied co-authoring the statement.
"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," a representative for the company says. "We have no further comment."
Scooter Braun, who manages A-list clients including Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, bought Big Machine Records this summer through his Ithaca Holdings in a deal financed in part by private equity firm the Carlyle Group. Scott Borchetta, who signed Swift to Big Machine as a teenager, joined Ithaca's board as part of the deal. Swift left the label in 2018 and was furious to learn that Braun, whom she accused in a Tumblr post of “manipulative bullying” and attempting to destroy her career, now owned the master recordings of her work. 
“Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I’m not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be me re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year,” Swift wrote on social media. This, according to the singer, was the reason Braun and Borchetta withheld performance rights to her music at the AMAs, as well as in a future Netflix documentary. 
She then claimed that Borchetta said she could have access to her old music for these uses, as long as she did not re-record her old albums and stopped talking publicly about Borchetta and Braun. 
Big Machine Records have denied Swift’s claims, stating that the “narrative” Swift created “does not exist.” Swift’s publicist, Tree Paine, shared documents that indicate Swift was denied usage rights to perform her older music on television. 
Refinery29 has reached out to Swift, Dick Clark Productions, and Big Machine Records for comment.
This post has been updated with additional reporting.

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