In 2019, the American Idol alum, 41, told Swift, 33, via Twitter that she should “go in & re-record all the songs” she didn’t own the masters to amid her dispute with Braun, 42, and Big Machine Records. When asked about the tweet during her upcoming SiriusXM Town Hall with Andy Cohen, Clarkson hinted that Braun wasn’t pleased with her advice.
“I think Scooter took offense to it because we ran into each other, and I think he reached out at the time to my manager,” she confessed in a clip from the interview, which airs in full on Friday, June 23. “I was like, ‘It wasn’t anything against him.’ I just, when she came out and said that [about her albums] and I heard about it, I was like, ‘Whatever. Like, rerecord them. Your fans will support you.’ They did.”
The “Breakaway” singer clarified that Braun “didn’t say anything” to her directly about the tweet. “I don’t know what happened or what was said, but I think he thought I was attacking him. … I didn’t even know all the information,” she said. “All I heard was, ‘Man, I really want to own [my work].'”
Clarkson explained that she understood where Swift was coming from in her battle for ownership rights. “She writes everything. It’s so important to her. She’s a businesswoman. It felt wrong that she didn’t have the opportunity. Right? That’s the thing,” she continued. “It’s like, if you have the opportunity and you choose to not pay that much money, that’s one thing, but to not have the opportunity to own something that is really important to you … I knew it was important to her.”
While the Voice coach conceded that she doesn’t “care” about owning her records in the same way as Swift, she still thought the issue was a valid one. “I thought, ‘Why don’t you just rerecord them and your fans will support you,’ and literally, she’s a genius,” Clarkson said. “Not only did she rerecord it, she planned it, like, with this Eras Tour where she gets to [perform everything]. Like, this woman is brilliant.”
When asked whether Swift ever reached out to thank her for the inspiration, Clarkson said no. “She would’ve come up with that on her own, and she maybe already had before I even tweeted it,” she teased.
The “Cardigan” singer signed with Republic Records and Universal Music Group in 2018 after 13 years and six albums with Big Machine. Following the career move, Swift called out Braun and her former label in a lengthy social media letter, accusing the talent manager — who has worked with Justin Bieber, Kanye West and more — of “incessant manipulative bullying.”
“Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy,” she alleged in June 2019. “Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it. This is my worst case scenario.”
The drama continued later that year when Swift claimed that she was barred from singing her old music for her Artist of the Decade performance at the 2019 American Music Awards. Big Machine shut down the Cats actress’ “calculated” social media posts amid the back and forth, noting in a November 2019 statement that they did “not have the right to keep her from performing live anywhere.”
Despite facing setbacks, the “Midnight Rain” artist began the process of revisiting her old work. She dropped Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version) in April 2021 and November 2021, respectively, including previously unheard vault tracks on each album. Her third rerecording, Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), comes out July 7.
“I first made Speak Now, completely self-written, between the ages of 18 and 20,” Swift wrote via Instagram in May. “The songs that came from this time in my life were marked by their brutal honesty, unfiltered diaristic confessions and wild wistfulness. I love this album because it tells a tale of growing up, flailing, flying and crashing … and living to speak about it.”