Taylor Swift says record label won't allow her to perform old songs on awards ceremony

(Reuters) – American pop singer Taylor Swift has told fans that her planned appearance at an awards ceremony is in doubt, saying executives connected to the company that owns master recordings of her old songs will not allow her to perform them on television.

The 29-year-old singer and songwriter appealed to her 85 million followers on Twitter to show their support for her in an ongoing dispute over the ownership of her songs, and accused the executives of exercising “tyrannical control” over her music.

Big Machine Label Group, the Nashville, Tennessee-based record company that owns the master recordings of some of Swift’s songs, released a statement on Friday calling her complaint “false information” and denying that the label has the right to limit her live performances.

Swift’s comments followed news that she was to receive the “Artist of the Decade” prize at the American Music Awards ceremony later this year. She had planned to perform a medley of her hits on the show.

“They claim that would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year,” Swift wrote in her Twitter post.

The executives, whom Swift identified as Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun, had also refused the use of older music or performance footage for a documentary being made by Netflix about her life, she added.

“The message being sent to me is very clear,” Swift said. “Basically be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished.”

The Big Machine Label Group statement added that Swift owes “millions of dollars and multiple assets” to the company.

“Since Taylor’s decision to leave Big Machine last fall, we have continued to honor all of her requests to license her catalog to third parties as she promotes her current record in which we do not financially participate,” the statement said. “Taylor, the narrative you have created does not exist.”

A representative of the singer could not be reached for comment immediately after Big Machine’s statement.

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Braun, who represents Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande among others, this year acquired Big Machine Label Group, and Borchetta was one of its founders.

Swift signed with Big Machine at age 15 and left last November for Universal Music Group, a unit of French conglomerate Vivendi. She released her first album with UMG in August.

Swift, whose latest album “Lover” has broken records in China, headlined the opening gala for the Nov. 11 Singles’ Day online shopping festival of retail juggernaut Alibaba, which pulled in a record $38.4 billion.

Reporting by Rich McKay; Writing by Clarence Fernandez; Editing by Frank McGurty and Jonathan Oatis

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