Taylor Swift slammed her former label, Big Machine Records, over its plans to release an album of her live performances Thursday night, calling it "just another case of shameless greed in the time of coronavirus."
"I want to thank my fans for making me aware that my former record label is putting out an 'album' of live performances of mine tonight," Swift said in a statement posted to her Instagram account Thursday. "I've always been honest with you guys about this stuff so I just wanted to tell you that this release is not approved by me."
Swift said the album, titled “Live From Clear Channel Stripped 2008," is a recording of a radio show performance she did when she was 18 years old and that it was supposed to be released in 2017. Swift had been with Big Machine Records since the start of her career in 2006, when she released her self-titled album, but she and the company parted ways in 2018 when Swift signed a deal with Universal Music Group.
Swift wrote in a Tumblr post last year that she chose to leave the label after years of fighting for ownership of the master recordings of her first six studio albums. She said that she was only offered the rights to her master recordings if she signed a new contract with Big Machine and that under the proposed new agreement, she would earn the rights to her old albums back one at a time, "one for every new one" she turned in.
When the company was acquired by a holding group led by talent manager Scooter Braun in 2019, Swift alleged that she had been bullied by Braun, who represents artists like Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato. Swift reiterated her allegations against Braun last November, saying that he would not let her perform a medley of her hit songs to celebrate being named Artist of the Decade at the American Music Awards, after which the record company agreed to license her older music for the performance.
Big Machine Records, which had previously disputed her characterization of the deal, did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment.
"It looks to me like Scooter Braun and his financial backers ... have seen the latest balance sheets and realized that paying $330 MILLION for my music wasn't exactly a wise choice and that they need money," Swift wrote. "So tasteless, but very transparent."
Swift said in August that she plans to rerecord the masters of her earlier songs.