Taylor Swift Re-records Herself Because She Can

In 1965 legendary country music artist Johnny Cash was involved in a very public dispute with his record label, Columbia Records.

The bad blood created between Cash and his label resulted in an abrupt end of the relationship in 1986, when after 26 years Columbia unceremoniously dropped him from its roster.

Singer-songwriter John Fogerty wound up in court after being sued by his record label, Fantasy Records, for alleged plagiarism (otherwise known as copyright infringement).

It all happened over a song that Fogerty, the co-founder and front man of Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), had released as a solo artist. Fantasy Records claimed that the tune was merely a CCR song with a different title.

Prince had a very open feud with his record company, Warner Bros. The musical artist and performer extraordinaire made an appearance in public with the word “slave” written across his face. The entertainment industry dubbed him with the new royal title of “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.”

Taylor Swift has had a long public battle with a music executive connected to her career. The country-turned-pop superstar recently made the decision to re-record and re-release her second album. The move was prompted in part by the attenuated dispute.

All of the above artists that have been involved in fights with their respective record companies have something quite interesting in common. They were extremely upset over a fundamental issue, one that carries great weight with human beings across time and around the globe – property rights.

The right to the private ownership of property is a hallmark of civilization.

Just like she famously is able to do with her song lyrics, Swift encapsulated the private property notion in a recent Instagram post.

“Artists should own their own work for so many reasons,” Swift wrote. “But the most screamingly obvious one is that the artist is the only one who really knows that body of work.”

A term that almost always appears in contracts between musicians and record labels is “master recording.” It refers to the complete, original, or official recording of a performance fixed in a tangible medium, from which copies are made.

The ownership of master recordings is at the heart of Swift’s desire to re-record her music.

Back in 2005, 15-year-old Swift signed with an up and coming label, Big Machine Records. The terms of her contract gave the company the rights to her original master recordings.

The Nashville-based independent label signed Swift to the roster shortly after the company had formed. Other artists who also recorded with Big Machine include Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line, and Sugarland.

When Swift’s contract expired in November of 2018, she switched companies and signed with Universal’s Republic Records. However, Big Machine still maintained ownership of the master recordings of Swift’s first six albums.

As her fans already know, Big Machine sold the master recordings to a private equity group that is owned and controlled by a powerful music manager and executive named Scooter Braun.

Swift reacted almost immediately to the purchase by Braun, posting the news to her massive social media following. She alleged repeated bullying by Braun, sounded off bitterly over the fact that her artistic output was controlled by an individual not of her choosing, and called the situation her “worst case scenario.”

In 2019 Braun sold off the rights to the Swift master recordings for a reported $300 million.

Swift had promised that someday she would re-record and re-release her original six albums in order to obtain ownership over her music. In December of 2020, she started to make good on the promise, beginning with her 2008 release “Fearless.”

She gathered the same musicians who had worked on the original album and re-recorded the material a second time. The result, “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” was a re-do of the 2008 album with a bonus of six new songs.

The re-release worked out swimmingly for Swift. Not only does she now own the new re-recorded versions of her songs, but the newly released album hit number one on the Billboard 200 chart, giving her added incentive to continue the re-recording trend.

Swift’s 2021 release of the same music that she had recorded back in 2008 may sound the same. But the ownership and control of her music is as different as it can be.

Celebrities Show Love for W.H.O., Disrespect for U.S.

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Despite having temporarily sacrificed some of our freedom during the coronavirus lockdown, many Americans seem to have gained a newfound appreciation for our country.

The Hollywood left, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to have had the same experience.

To a whole lot of everyday people, much has been revealed through the pandemic that shocked us to the core, and many a lesson has been learned. One of the most important lessons gleaned is how incredibly dangerous it is to be dependent on a communist regime with regard to our critical supply chain.

Too many of our celebrities, though, continue to display an utter lack of awareness or understanding about the geopolitical realities of our times. This was recently driven home when many of the rich and famous lent their names and talents to the unworthy cause of raising funds for the World Health Organization (W.H.O.).

A virtual concert took place this past weekend, which was promoted as a “One World” event. It was designed to benefit the W.H.O., a global entity that is deeply enmeshed in controversy.

The concert’s marquee included A-list celebrities such as Taylor Swift, John Legend, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Beyonce, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, and Lady Gaga.

Late-night comedians Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel served as hosts. Other famous individuals who made appearances included Ellen DeGeneres, former First Ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama, and Bill and Melinda Gates, the couple whose foundation is the W.H.O.’s second biggest donor.

As a virtual concert, the event had artists and participants appearing from their homes; this allowed for the event to be broadcast across multiple television channels in the U.S. and around the globe. Funds in excess of $128 million were raised, according to a press release from the organizers.

The timing of the concert was more than unfortunate for our nation. President Donald Trump had just canceled funding for the W.H.O., due to credible allegations of influence exerted upon the group by the communist regime in China.

The president took the appropriate action for our country when he held back funds for the W.H.O., pending an investigation of the group’s alleged malfeasance in dealing with China’s mishandling and potential cover-up of the coronavirus breakout in Wuhan.

The W.H.O. has had a spate of bad press. The head of the organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is a former official of Ethiopia’s Marxist Tigray People’s Liberation Front. In January and well into February of 2020, Tedros lavished unmerited praise on the Chinese government for its handling of the virus’s breakout and supposed sharing of information. While the W.H.O. leader commended China, he simultaneously criticized other nations for their responses to the coronavirus emergency.

Tedros had encouraged the nations of world not to limit travel to and from China and also delayed letting the world know that the virus was a public health emergency.

At a recent White House press conference in which he pledged to withdraw W.H.O. funding, President Trump stated the following: “The W.H.O.’s attack on travel restrictions put political correctness above life-saving measures.”

Interestingly, the “One World” virtual concert was organized by the W.H.O. along with another entity, the non-profit advocacy group Global Citizen.

The staging of a musical event with a theme that ran counter to the Trump administration’s policies was apparently something that Global Citizen had been involved with on a prior occasion, as recently as September of last year.

President Trump had just shared with the United Nations General Assembly the notion that “the future does not belong to the globalists. The future belongs to the patriots.” A mere four days later an event called the “Global Citizen Festival” was held in New York’s Central Park.

Entertainers that were featured included Queen (with Adam Lambert), Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, OneRepublic, Carole King, and Hugh Jackman, a celebrity lineup with comparable star power to the one that the W.H.O. featured at its fundraising concert. Tickets to the event were offered for free to “global citizens” who were willing to “take a series of actions to create lasting change around the world.”

Similar to the recent W.H.O. “One World” concert, the event brought together entertainment figures to appear with activists in order to promote a host of radical pseudo-utopian causes.

Our nation and the priceless freedoms it affords are what enable individuals to reach for the sky and, when hard work and destiny lock hands, achieve their dreams.

Perhaps as tragic as a virus that infects the body is a hatred that hardens the heart. There is no virtue in supporting the W.H.O., an organization that may have assisted China and betrayed the U.S. and possibly the whole world.

Taylor Swift Gets Political

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For quite a while now the Internet has had a peculiar obsession with pop star Taylor Swift’s self-imposed political silence.

Liberal-minded Twitter and Facebook users have been posting comments pressuring Swift to join the ranks of myriad other celebrity activists who use their fame capital to move the political bar ever further to the left.

Up until now digital bully tactics have had little effect on the singer-songwriter. However, times have apparently changed in a big way, and Swift, who is currently on a “Reputation” concert tour, uploaded a photo to Instagram that virtually announces her candidate picks for political office in the state of Tennessee.

Swift previously nurtured an image of being above the political fray. In stark contrast, she has now chosen to take very specific positions on a number of polarizing issues in addition to her candidate endorsements.

Letting it be known that she will be voting as a Tennessee resident in the 2018 midterms, Swift announced her support for two Democrat candidates in her home state, one who is running for the U.S. Senate and another who is striving to secure a seat in House of Representatives.

Along with her endorsements, Swift let loose with an over-the-top slam of Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn, who although of the female gender has the seemingly incorrect party affiliation attached to her name, at least according to leftist celebrity activists.

Swift informed her fans that Marsha Blackburn was running for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee and conveyed her emotion-laced opposition.

“As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me,” Swift shared.

Accompanying her post was a black and white photo in which Swift wears a flannel shirt that makes her look like her old country music singing self.

A number of Swift’s A-list BFFs, including Blake Lively, Karlie Kloss, Katy Perry, and Chrissy Teigen, “liked” the post.

In her political Instagram post, Swift referenced her former approach to avoiding political expression.

“In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now,” Swift wrote.

Swift’s habit of abstaining from political discourse had become part of her public image. In a 2012 interview with TIME, she said that in spite of keeping herself “as educated and informed as possible,” she does not discuss political subjects.

“I don’t talk about politics because it might influence other people,” she told the publication at the time.

In November 2017, a blogger criticized Swift for her political silence and actually accused her of enabling an alt-right and white supremacist fan base.

Meghan Herning wrote a piece titled “Swiftly to the alt-right: Taylor subtly gets the lower case kkk in formation,” which was published in PopFront Magazine. Herning asserted that Swift’s single “Look What You Made Me Do” contains “dog whistles to white supremacy in the lyrics.”

Additionally, referring to the clothing worn in Swift’s related music video, Herning wrote that “Taylor lords over an army of models from a podium, akin to what Hitler had in Nazi Germany.” Herning added that “the similarities are uncanny and unsettling.”

Essentially condemning Swift for her silence, Herning wrote, “And while pop musicians are not respected world leaders, they have a huge audience and their music often reflects their values. So Taylor’s silence is not innocent, it is calculated.”

Herning received a letter from Swift’s attorneys, demanding she retract the article and threatening a lawsuit. The American Civil Liberties Union promptly came to the aid of Herning.

That same month, the left-leaning UK Guardian published an editorial titled “The Guardian view on Taylor Swift: an envoy for Trump’s values?”

The newspaper implied that, in part, because of her silence, Swift was a stealth Trump supporter.

“… a notable voice has been missing from the chorus: that of Taylor Swift, the world’s biggest pop star. Her silence is striking, highlighting the parallels between the singer and the president: their adept use of social media to foster a diehard support base … their laser focus on the bottom line; their support among the ‘alt-right,’” the editorial read.

The Guardian claimed that Swift’s songs “echo Mr. Trump’s obsession with petty score-settling in their repeated references to her celebrity feuds, or report in painstaking detail on her failed romantic relationships.”

In a Politico piece titled “The Weird Campaign to Get Taylor Swift to Denounce Donald Trump,” which summarized the pressure being mounted at the time on Swift to jump on the anti-Trump skateboard, Swift was labeled “studiously apolitical.”

Stats on the pop singer reveal that she has garnered 112 million Instagram followers, 84 million followers on Twitter, and 72 million “likes” on her Facebook page.

It is arguable that she is at the apex of the celebrity pyramid, as liberals who have pressured her to join their ranks are no doubt aware.

Her level of fame grants her greater endorsement power than many of the other celebrities who have been visible participants in left-of-center protests of late.

With all this in mind, there is now a question of whether Swift will be able to hold on to her popularity, and additionally whether she can maintain her sizable social media platform after the public becomes fully informed of her newfound politics.