Taylor Swift, who looked powerful in a gold chain power suit, wouldn’t let any man outshine her at the 2019 Billboard Women in Music event. At the podium, Taylor slammed Scooter Braun as she accepted her Woman of the Decade honor.
Taylor Swift hasn’t just had an amazing year, she’s had a phenomenal decade! The “Lover” songstress capped off an amazing past few months with an incredible milestone in her career: accepting the honor of Woman of the Decade, courtesy of Billboard. While accepting the award at the Dec. 13 event in the Hollywood Palladium, Taylor wanted the audience to know that she wouldn’t let any man — or record label — undermine her success as a female artist. “I saw that as a female in this industry, some people will always have the slightest reservations about you,” she said at the mic. Those “reservations” include “whether a male was really responsible in the studio” or “whether it was a savvy record label [responsible for her success].” She then moved onto a new battle she’s facing: private equity. Scooter Braun and Taylor’s former record label, Big Machine Records, are on the other side of that fight.
“Lately there’s been a new shift that has affected me personally, and as your resident loud person, I feel like I need to bring it up. And that’s the unregulated world of private equity and people buying up your music…like it’s a shoe line. This happened to me without my approval, consultation, or consent,” Taylor declared at the podium, bringing her feud with Scooter and her former record label boss, Scott Borchetta, into the Billboard event. Scooter purchased Scott’s record label in a reported $300 million deal in June, thus acquiring the rights to Taylor’s first six albums. The news was more horrible than Taylor’s “worst nightmares,” since she had accused him of “manipulative bullying” for years in her original response to the deal.
Taylor even called out Scooter’s supporters during her speech, some of whom were sitting in that very same room, according to Billboard! “And of course, Scooter never contacted me or my team to discuss it prior to the sale or even when it was announced. I’m fairly certain he knew exactly how I would feel about it, though, and let me just say that the definition of toxic male privilege in our industry is people saying, ‘but he’s always been nice to me,’ when I’m raising valid concerns about artists and their right to own their music,” Taylor told the audience. Moving on to her next line, this is where Taylor could’ve dropped the mic: “And of course he’s nice to you—if you’re in this room, you have something he needs.”
Before her powerful speech, Taylor commanded just as much respect in her asymmetrical navy jumpsuit adorned with gold chains. The outfit sent a clear message: Taylor is the boss of the pop music industry, no matter who owns the legal rights to her music! Obviously, Scooter doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Taylor, since the celebrity manager released an open letter on Nov. 22 in which he claimed that his “attempts and calls to have an open discussion with [Taylor] over the last six months have been rejected.”
Leading up to tonight, Taylor has been accruing quite a few honors. She recently broke the record, once held by Michael Jackson, for most American Music Awards! Not only that, but she earned three Grammy nominations for her album Lover, including Best Pop Solo Performance for “You Need To Calm Down,” Best Pop Vocal Album for Lover, and Song of the Year for “Lover.”
But for Taylor, the honors and statuettes mean so much more than words can articulate. “All any of the artists, or anyone in this room, wants is to create something that will last,” she shared during her Artist of the Decade acceptance speech at the American Music Awards on Nov. 24. “Whatever it is in life. And the fact that this is an award that celebrates a decade of hard work … fun and memories … All that matters to me is the memories that I’ve had with you guys — you, the fans — over the years. We’ve had fun times together and may it continue. Thank you for being the reason why I am on this stage, from the very first day of my career to now. Thank you — I’m so lucky I get to do this,” she said.
Clearly, it’s been a remarkable decade for Taylor, who only has more to look forward to! Fans cannot wait to see what the artist does in the future with her music, platform and activism.