AMAs 2019 Producers Deny Reaching Agreement With Taylor Swift’s Former Label Amid Performance Drama


Shaking it off. Taylor Swift can perform her old hits at the upcoming 2019 American Music Awards — or so claims her former label, Big Machine Records.

“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,” Big Machine said in a statement to Us Weekly. “This includes the upcoming American Music Awards performances.”

The statement also 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.”

Taylor Swift Can Perform Her Old Hits at AMAs 2019, Agreement Reached
Taylor Swift Christopher Polk/Variety/Shutterstock

However, Dick Clark Productions denied reaching an agreement. “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,” the production company said in a separate statement on Monday. “Any final agreement on this matter needs to be made directly with Taylor Swift’s management team. We have no further comment.”

The back-and-forth comes four days after Swift, 29, publicly called out Big Machine executives Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun for allegedly trying to block her from performing her old music at the AMAs and featuring it in an upcoming Netflix documentary.

“I just want to be able to perform MY OWN music. That’s it,” she said in a statement posted on her social media platforms. “I’ve tried to work this out privately through my team but have not been able to resolve anything. Right now, my performance at the AMA’s, the Netflix documentary and any other recorded events I am planning to play until November of 2020 are a question mark.”

Big Machine later released a statement to Us that said in part, “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.”

The Grammy winner has been at war with Borchetta, 57, and Braun, 38, since June, when the talent manager acquired her back catalog of master recordings as part of his purchase of Big Machine.

Swift announced in August that she plans to start re-recording her first five albums in November 2020 when she is legally allowed to do so. She released her latest, Lover, in August.

“These new recordings will compete with the uses of the original recordings. This competition will make it harder for Scooter Braun and his affiliates to make back the financial investment to purchase these masters,” music industry lawyer Erin M. Jacobson explained to Us. “Therefore, the Big Machine side is trying to use whatever leverage they can manage now to stop Taylor from making any new competing recordings in the future.”

The “Me!” singer is set to receive the Artist of the Decade award at the AMAs, which air on ABC Sunday, November 24, at 8 p.m. ET.

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