Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated American Music Awards performance just wrapped, and the singer opted to spend the majority of it just singing her hit songs. She made one nod to the drama surrounding Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta and her Big Machine Label Group-owned catalog at the beginning of her 13-minute performance.
She sang “The Man” as her first song while wearing a white shirt with her first six album’s names written on it.
Then she took off the shirt and continued singing her other highlights. “Love Story,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “Blank Space,” “Shake It Off,” and “Lover” were the songs she chose. During “Shake It Off,” Halsey and Camila Cabello joined her on stage to sing.
During “I Knew You Were Trouble,” Selena Gomez was seen in the audience singing alongside Swift’s mom:
And with “Lover,” her final song, ballet dancers Misty Copeland and Craig Hall did a beautiful routine while she played on the piano.
Swift initially created buzz around the performance when she wrote an open letter on her Tumblr expressing her frustration that Braun, Borchetta, and Big Machine Label Group would not let her play her old songs in any recorded appearance, including the AMAs.
Page Six reported on Tuesday that Swift had been planning to use her performance to speak out about the issue of artist music ownership.
“Taylor will turn her AMA performance into a huge moment, and a powerful message,” a music insider told the outlet. “We are expecting to see artists such as Selena [Gomez] join her on stage as part of a fierce show of female artistic strength and empowerment. Then, when accepting her award, Taylor will likely make a statement about artists being able to own their masters, the music they created, and how she feels she has been treated by Scooter and Scott.”
On Monday, Big Machine Label Group released a statement saying Swift could play whatever she wants on the show.
The Big Machine Label Group and Dick Clark Productions announce that they have come to terms on a licensing agreement that approves their artists’ performances to stream post-show and for re-broadcast on mutually approved platforms. This includes the upcoming American Music Awards performance. It should be noted that recording artists do not need label approval for live performances on television or any other live media. Record label approval is only needed for contracted artists’ audio and visual recordings and in determining how those works are distributed.
The AMAs production company, Dick Clark Productions, responded with a denial that it had any part in BMLG’s statement, making it less clear publicly where Swift’s music rights stood.
At no time did Dick Clark Productions agree to, create, authorize or distribute a statement in partnership with Big Machine Label Group regarding Taylor Swift’s performance at the 2019 American Music Awards. Any final agreement on this matter needs to be made directly with Taylor Swift’s management team. We have no further comment.